Real estate group, Harcourts Victoria have reported a strong start to 2013 with year-to-date auction numbers increasing by 12 per cent across the state. In some of the group’s offices, the number of auctions booked has increased by 20 per cent compared to this time in 2012.
Sadhana Smiles, Chief Executive Officer of Harcourts Victoria, says that a sense of optimism is returning to the state’s property market. “We are starting to see more buyers in the market and investor activity is increasing. “12 months ago there were only small groups at auctions and many properties were being passed in. We are now seeing clearance rates hovering between 65-70 per cent, clearly showing that buyers are back in the market,” Ms Smiles said.
“From our observations, buyers are starting to realise that the market is competitive again. We are starting to see more and more properties being sold under the hammer, often above the reserve price with multiple bidders,” Ms Smiles added.
Ms Smiles reports that at a recent auction in Mill Park, the group conducted over 100 inspections of the property, handed out over 18 vendor statements, and had over 200 in attendance on auction day. There were multiple bidders on auction day, with the home selling for well over its reserve price. “In Melbourne, we’re starting to see a slight growth in the sub $600,000 property market however I do expect to see improvement across the board. “I doubt we’ll see the big spikes that have occurred in the past however we should see more of a slight rise and a return to market stabilisation,” Ms Smiles said.