Online auctions here to stay, as volumes surge this weekend

Australian capital cities are set to have their busiest auction week since late March, and their fourth busiest week since CoreLogic records commenced in 2008.

This week 3810 homes are expected to go under the hammer – double the volumes recorded this time last year.

Continuing the upward trend seen since early October, Sydney is set to host 1439 auctions this week – its busiest week all year. This week’s volumes are up 14.3 per cent from last week and 78.8 per cent from this time last year.

Since restrictions lifted in early October, auction volumes have increased 91.1 per cent.

Benson Auctions has 34 auctions booked in for this current week – 11 mid-week and a further 23 across Saturday and Sunday, a combination of online and onsite.

Auctioneer Stuart Benson said this weekend would be his first weekend back to all live onsite auctions.

“Up until last week, my Saturday and Sundays were a combination of online and onsite, which proved to be a tough juggle darting between my studio, front yards, agents’ offices, then backyards throughout the Hills Shire,” Mr Benson said.

Auctions this week

Source: CoreLogic

Moving forward, all weekend auctions would be onsite, he said, while agents would have the option of online or onsite throughout the week.

“It’s so great to be out in front of crowds again – the banter, the quick-wit, the genuine rapport building and the energy,” Mr Benson said.

“In saying that, online auctions have really become not only fun and exciting, but have proven to be incredibly effective. They’re certainly here to stay, no doubt about it.”

With an increase of stock throughout the Hills District, and Sydney’s North West in general, buyers were being a bit more discerning when it came to choosing a property, Mr Benson said.

“When there was extremely limited options, buyers were fighting for what was scarce,” he said.

“At the moment, with options available to them, they are being more measured in their bidding. That’s Supply and Demand 101.”

According to Mr Benson, prices seem to have finally levelled off, which was good news.

“Having bidders turn up to auctions only to see everything sell $300,000 above reserve makes it hard for the overwhelming majority of buyers,” he said.

“Whilst we are still seeing competition at our auctions, and the clearance rate remains robust, buyers seem to now know and feel what properties are worth in this ’new normal’, so the crazy results are rarer than before.

“They certainly still happen though – just yesterday I sold 54 Nelson Road, Cattai at 11am for $2,601,000, which was $301,000 above its reserve.”

Since COVID-19 restrictions lifted in early October, Sydney auction volumes have followed an upwards trajectory, while clearance rates have tended downwards.

With its highest auction volumes since late March, last week saw Sydney record its lowest clearance rate since early July, with 71.5 per cent of the 1259 auctions held returning a successful result.

The previous week saw 1239 homes go under the hammer, reporting a clearance rate of 74.1 per cent, while this time last year, 71.3 per cent of the 840 auctions held reported a successful result.

Adelaide recorded its highest auction volumes since CoreLogic records commenced in 2008, at 82.2 per cent, up from 80.2 per cent the week prior.

This week, Adelaide is expected to host 260 auctions.

Ray White auctioneer John Morris said he had a full week of auctions scheduled, with some sold prior due to aggressive pre-auction offers.

“There’s a lot of aggression out there in terms of buyers missing out,” Mr Morris said.

“But, we are seeing that when a property does get taken all the way to auction, generally the price we’re achieving is anywhere between five to 10 per cent and above the highest offers made prior to auction.”

While South Australia had been one of the states least impacted by COVID-19, Mr Morris said there had been plenty of online activity, and no reason to believe that would change.

“Close to 50 per cent of my onsite auctions have an online component, and all of my in-room auctions” Mr Morris said.

“I can’t see it going anywhere. I had a fully online auction the other day for Ray White North Adelaide, and there were 48 registered bidders.”

Mr Morris said online auctions allow people to attend more than one auction simultaneously.

“If we weren’t offering it then we would be missing out on bidders,” he said.

This Saturday, 3 Brack Court, Trott Park goes under the hammer in a suburb that’s not known for its auctions.

“A lot of agents, especially within the Ray White network, have embraced the auction method so wholeheartedly, that they have turned non-auction suburbs into auction suburbs,” Mr Morris said.

Also up for grabs is a block of land at 112 South Terrace, Pooraka, and 2/94 Chief St, Brompton.

This week Melbourne is scheduled to host 1651 auctions – its seventh consecutive week with volumes in excess of 1000. Last week Melbourne hosted 1564 auctions, compared with just 646 last year.

Canberra is scheduled to host 180 auctions, overtaking the week prior as its busiest auction week on record. Volumes across Brisbane are down this week at 250, but the number is more than double than this time last year (119).

Perth is expected to host 29 auctions this week, while just one auction is currently scheduled in Tasmania.

Check out our auction round up next week, when we’ll delve into Melbourne and Tasmania’s auction markets.

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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a freelance journalist for Elite Agent.