"We're all holding our breaths ... we're just doing it behind masks."
That was how River Realty managing director Chris Henry described the property market as COVID-19 continues to loom menacingly.
Mr Henry said the market "fell off a cliff" in March and April, but there has been positive signs of a resurgence recently - although a COVID spike could quickly put an end to it.
"Things were very challenging, dormant even, for a while there but things are picking up again now, moreso with the residential market than the commercial market at this stage," he said.
"Our office has had record back-to-back months for rentals. The reason for that is that people are exiting the cities or the Central Coast, and moving up here," he said.
"They want to try before they go, so they're renting to get a feel for the place. That's a good sign.
"We're also starting to see offers accepted again and contracts exchanged, and generally seeing a good turnaround of inquiries. There's no doubt there has been a lift in confidence."
Mr Henry said the commercial market was showing the first signs of a return to life, but was not nearly as active as residential.
"We're getting a trickle of interest again, but it's still the very start of a resurgence," he said.
One property that was caught up in the COVID crash was the historic former Little Red Apple premises near the Long Bridge in High Street.
The 1878 construction had only just hit the market when COVID took its toll.
"In hindsight we couldn't have put it on the market at a worse time," Mr Henry said.
"But I've spoken to the owners and they're still committed to selling. We'll give it a fresh marketing campaign and exposure.
"Unfortunately with the timing it never really had a chance."
He said at this stage there were no plans to drop the price.
"If I get significant feed back from the public that the price is too high, we'll consider changing it. But as I say, it never really got a chance to sell."
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