Real estate agents say no ‘panic selling’ since Hazelwood closure speculation

REAL estate agents have moved to quash fears of “panic selling”, as speculation looms large over Hazelwood power station and mine’s closure.

Stalwart Latrobe Valley agent, Jim Demetrios of Stockdale and Leggo, said media reports suggesting the end of the Valley power plant would not cause panic selling – the widespread selling of investments.

“You will get some people that will feel insecure or vulnerable or they might become a bit more negotiable in the selling price,” Mr Demetrios said.

“It’s not going to cause panic selling. There could be a bit of caution in selling and buying, but entry level (properties) are so affordable and our rental market, regardless of what happens, is a protected market.”

During the privatisation of the power industry in the 1990s, Mr Demetrios said the market did slow down, but many workers who had received payouts injected their money into local real estate.

He stressed no serious announcement had been made by the station’s owners, and the news was no different to market discussion the community faced during the Hazelwood mine fire in 2014.

“We’re advertising for more staff here, there are no serious concerns,” Mr Demetrios said.

Morwell resident Sam Tierney, who lives in the north part of Morwell, said her husband had be struggling to find work in the last 12 months.

She said they might have no choice but to leave the area and sell their family home if the station closed.

“Nobody’s going to want to live here and buy homes,” Ms Tierney said.

“I think it’s going to be tough to sell homes very soon.”

Moe agent Danny Edebohls said he had “heard it all before” and noted the region was a diverse market – recently selling a two bedroom home for $89,000 and later a rural property at $2.4 million.

“I can anticipate people being concerned about it, but whether it comes to fruition (is another thing),” Mr Edebohls said.

“There’s been talk of power station closures for 30-odd years.”

Chris Davis of Keith Williams in Morwell said a few sellers had wondered if properties would be adversely affected.

“There’s no point panicking until you know something and people could create a downturn if they panic.”