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NSW Will Allow Auctions, Open House Inspections From Next Weekend

The NSW government has announced it will allow rental inspections and auctions to take place from next weekend as the state begins to ease coronavirus restrictions.

The government said the relaxing of the restrictions was due to the state's triumph in limiting the spread of COVID-19. 

“Choosing a home is one of the biggest decisions anybody makes, and easing the restrictions to ensure people can more easily inspect, buy or rent a property is an important step for NSW,” Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said in a statement on Sunday.

“The real estate industry has been adaptable in transitioning to online auctions, property inspections by appointment or online, and now as we make the move back to a more normal mode of operation we must ensure safety measures such as social distancing remain a key part of the process.”

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It comes after a six-week shutdown, where real estate agents were ordered to only hold private bookings over coronavirus fears.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged people not to become complacent and said the safety of residents will remain a priority.

In NSW, housing inspections had been limited to private bookings. Image: AAP

Hazzard said social distancing was vital during face-to-face inspections and real estate agents should limit the number of people viewing properties. They should also follow "stringent cleaning" guidelines and ensure clients do not touch surfaces, and that hand sanitiser is available.

Real estate agents were also advised to continue utilising online viewings as much as possible, consider extended hours for open house viewings and hold auctions in outdoor areas wherever possible.

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“The community has done an outstanding job in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and we need to make sure we continue to exercise vigilance and care."

Perrottet urged common-sense and said the relaxing of the restrictions was not a license "to be having a look through" neighbours' homes.

“If we want to keep as many people in jobs as possible and businesses in business it is important to follow the safety advice and not put others at risk," he said. 

Do you have a story tip? Contact Eden at egillespie@networkten.com.au