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Clearance rate strengthens on the back of eased restrictions

Relaxed social distancing regulations are showing early signs of positively impacting the auction market, with Sydney this week bouncing back to a preliminary clearance rate of 73.4 per cent.

The welcome bolster to Sydney’s results helped lift the capital city clearance above 60 per cent, but CoreLogic is urging caution when analysing the results, with volumes still trending lower.

Their figures indicate 400 capital city homes were scheduled for auction this weekend, with preliminary results returning a 64 per cent clearance rate.

The previous week saw 480 homes scheduled for auction and a final clearance rate of 59.9 per cent. One year ago, there were 930 homes taken to auction and a 55.2 per cent clearance rate.

“It is important to interpret clearance rates with caution given auction volumes remain substantially lower than usual,” CoreLogic reflected.

“Sydney, one of Australia’s largest auction markets, returned a preliminary clearance rate above 70 per cent, suggesting the relaxation in social distancing policies specific to housing are having an immediate and positive impact on home auctions, although the number of auctions remains well down on last year.”

There were 193 auctions scheduled in Sydney this week, returning a preliminary clearance rate of 73.4 per cent. In comparison, last week saw 216 homes taken to auction with a success rate of 66.3 per cent.

In Melbourne, 118 homes were scheduled to go under the hammer this week. So far 93 auctions have been reported, returning a preliminary success rate of 60.2 per cent. The previous week saw a final clearance rate of 56.5 per cent across 163 auctions.

“As mentioned over the previous week, with restrictions easing across many states and territories, we will likely see the number of homes taken to auction increase in the coming weeks,” CoreLogic said.

Domain results

Domain’s results reflected a similar trend, indicating a preliminary clearance rate nationally of 63.5 per cent. The result came off the back of 280 properties listed, 156 reported results, 122 properties sold and only 36 withdrawn this week.

Sydney also proved the standout performer for Domain, with a clearance rate of 76.1 per cent. In the harbour city this weekend there were 149 auctions listed, 82 reported, 70 sold and only 10 withdrawn. Although the volumes remained subdued, the clearance rate is a marked improvement on previous weeks and also indicates far fewer withdrawals.

Last week Sydney had 146 properties listed, 82 auctions reported, 67 sold and 23 withdrawn for a clearance rate of 62.8 per cent.

Domain results also highlight the fact things are actually comparable, if not better, than the same week last year when Sydney had 180 properties listed, 133 auctions reported, 84 sold, and 26 withdrawn for a clearance rate of 52.8 per cent.

Melbourne was a slightly different story.

This week, 82 properties were listed, 49 auctions were reported, 36 sold and 19 were withdrawn for a clearance rate of 52.9 per cent.

The clearance rate was up on last week when Melbourne saw 115 properties listed, 73 results reported, 47 properties sell at auction and 30 were withdrawn for a clearance rate of 45.6 per cent.

In the same week last year, Melbourne had 395 auctions listed, 327 results reported, 207 properties sell and 18 withdrawn for a clearance rate of 60 per cent.

Ray White results

Ray White was also reporting an improved national clearance rate of 72 per cent, noting bidders were out in force across Australia as limited crowds were allowed on-site.

Again, it was Sydney leading the charge, with Sydney members clearing 80 per cent of all auctions held, with 9.1 registered bidders on every lot, up 5.1 from a year ago.

Ray White Managing Director Dan White said that, despite more speculation on the property market again this week, active bidder numbers rose again.

“We are not surprised by the strong activity at our auctions. Bidding activity remains well up on where we were last year,” he said.

“Congratulations to all our vendor clients that took advantage of these favourable selling conditions.”

New South Wales

Ray White New South Wales Chief Auctioneer Alex Pattaro said the confidence within the market was ‘electrifying’.

“Homeowners who are looking to cash in must act fast because buyers across Sydney auctions were out in droves,” he said.

“We saw an average of nine bidders across Ray White auctions in Sydney today, an incredible 5.1 jump on this time last year and a strong clearance rate.

“Activity within the market has also bounced back, average crowd sizes were hovering around 30 attendees – of course keeping to our social distancing requirements.”

Victoria

In Victoria, Ray White Chief Auctioneer Matthew Condon noted the softening of restrictions earlier in the week saw a mix of onsite and online auctions conducted across the weekend and some agents even opted for a combination of the two.

“This just goes to show that no matter what the auction day environment looks like, we are able to achieve exceptional results for our clients while practising correct social distancing and operating in a safe environment,” Mr Condon said.

“Based on preliminary data from the Ray White Group, it was exciting to see yet another increase in the average amount of registered bidders per auction.

“There still remains a shortage of properties available for sale. This is providing a great opportunity for anyone that is considering selling as the demand currently exceeds supply.

“Overall, it’s great to see the confidence of Victoria’s real estate market continues to increase and strengthen. Ray White Victoria is expecting a strong auction day clearance rate this week.”

Queensland

Ray White Queensland Chief Auctioneer Mitch Peereboom said there was an average of 3.3 registered bidders per auction this week for Ray White Queensland, which was an outstanding result.

“At this point in time the clearance rate is 41.2 per cent of all the auctions conducted this week that have sold under the hammer or prior to the auction and we do have a few that are being negotiated currently,” Mr Peereboom said.

“We’re definitely seeing interest from buyers willing to compete through our online platforms still, as we make sure we’re creating the safest environment we possibly can.

“As we head into the end of May and certainly into June we’ve got a number of auctions that have been booked and volume is certainly increasing as again, in alignment with restrictions being lifted in Queensland.

“So, over the next few weeks we look forward to continuing to report on the results and of course work closely with our customers to keep delivering outcomes.”

South Australia

In South Australia, Ray White Chief Auctioneer John Morris said after last week’s solid results for the brand there was a lot to live up to.

“We do have a lot to live up to on last week’s numbers, the average registered bidders was 7.8 with 3.4 of them participating,” Mr Morris said.

“Add to this the fact that there were absolutely no auctions that didn’t have any bidding – every single auction last week had bidding, we certainly have a lot to live up to this week and I’m sure we can smash it.”

And results indicate they did, with 10 properties going to auction.

Among them was 76 Rose St in Adelaide’s Mile End. The two bedroom home sold under the hammer for $665,000 in front of nine registered bidders.

Ray White West Torrens Sales Agent Raffaele Spano said he had two active bidders who battled neck and neck throughout the auction to secure the Mile End home. In the end, the winning bidders were a family originally from Western Australia who had been renting nearby.

“I’m just happy we had the chance to get back to onsite auctions – there’s no better feeling and it’s a good step towards normality,” Mr Spano said.

“Early in the week was a bit strange but then the new regulations came out and we got the roadmap to easing restrictions.

“Everyone was pretty receptive to the way we wanted to run it from the 1.5m distancing and ten people maximum, there was no blow back at all.”

Mr Spano also said the property received close to 40 private inspections and in the last week they had more than 50 groups attend multiple open houses.

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