Weekend Auction Wrap: Sydney and Melbourne auction results continue to lead the way

Auction results were strong for yet another week, as buyer demand continues to outstrip supply.

Across the country, the latest CoreLogic data has shown that the national preliminary auction clearance rate came in at 74.5 per cent from a total of 2,837.

This was the second busiest week of the year, however, the numbers were down slightly on the prior week, where 3,206 homes went under the hammer.

Sydney saw another strong week, with a preliminary clearance rate of 78.1 per cent, which is where the final number settled from last week. Although, volumes were sharply lower.

Source: Corelogic

Meanwhile in Melbourne, 75.3 per cent of homes sold from a total of 1,491 auctions which was only slightly down on the prior week’s total of 1,533 auctions.

Despite more stock slowly coming to market, clearance rates have held above 70 per cent across the largest markets, demonstrating the market has some depth and sellers remain in a strong position.

Across the country, Australia’s leading auctioneers are seeing strong results in the final weeks before Christmas in Sydney and Melbourne, while the other capital cities appear to be waiting for the new year.

Justin Nickerson (Queensland)
Justin Nickerson saw some different types of auctions this week, with many being more drawn out that what he’s seen recently.

“We had a pretty steady weekend. One thing we did notice was that most of the sales came from long negotiation type sales. None really went quickly over reserve. Most were pausing and negotiating, which probably just reflects the market a little bit at the moment, where there’s not a huge amount of depth to it. Generally, there’s one buyer or two if you’re lucky. Then outside of that, it’s pretty tough going.”

Luke Banitsiotis (Victoria)
Luke Banitsiotis is still seeing very strong buyer activity and doesn’t expect anything to change in the next two weeks with prices booming once again.

“We had eight (auctions) scheduled and we sold seven. The market down here’s just not giving up and it just keeps going and going. And some of the prices are going beyond what they were getting back in 2017. Not across the board, but there are some properties that are selling and we’re looking at the price and wondering if we would have got that price back in 2017. Sydney’s starting to do the same thing too, it’s really booming.

“We’ve got auctions all the way up to December 21 as there’s a few people who jumped on board late who said they need it sold this year. They can see what the market’s doing now and instead of hoping it’s the same in the new year, they are just saying let’s get it done.”

David Holmes (Canberra/QLD)
David Holmes had a hard-fought weekend of auctions but is looking at a busy start to the new year.

“It was a good weekend volume-wise, however, our results were fairly standard. There was no record-breaking stuff. In fact, it was probably harder than the last couple of weeks, to be honest.

“We’ve got a strong weekend next weekend, but this week the auctions were hard going and most were a struggle just to get to the reserve price.

“I think confidence in the market is probably impacting the owner’s expectations a little bit, but we’re still confident that the next couple of weeks will bring in some good results.

“We’ve got bookings right out to March now, so I think a lot of people are actually saying this year is done and dusted and that’s even January. I think people are looking at book-ending 2019 and looking forward to a really good start to 2020.”

Stu Benson (NSW)
Stu Benson continues to see strong results in Sydney, particularly via the auction process.

“Thursday night, Saturday or Sunday morning, it mattered not – sold, sold, sold! The sheer lack of stock continues to ensure that auctions are well attended and well contested in the North West of Sydney. Ten of my 13 bookings sold, with two of those remaining three likely to transact today. 

“A highlight for me was my Thursday night auction in Castle Hill, a campaign which was brought forward 10 days (and GASP! off a Saturday time slot) to capitalise on intense buyer interest, and also to ensure that one particular bidder was physically present, rather than bidding via the phone which he’d have had to do if the auction remained on its original date.

“I’m expecting an upward swing in the percentage of properties listed for sale via auction to kick off 2020. The numbers don’t lie – if you’re selling via auction, you’re selling for more.”

Matt Condon (Victoria)
Ray White Victoria Tasmania Chief Auctioneer Matt Condon continues to see strong bidding on auction day.

“With another high volume of auctions scheduled for Ray White Victoria this week, it’s great to see the buyer confidence and momentum continue as we get closer to Christmas.

“Based on data from the Ray White Group, we’ve seen an increase in the number of registered bidders per auction. On the ground, we definitely noticed a trend with a number of buyers holding back and waiting for the property to be announced on the market.

“When the property was announced on the market, buyers were actively competing well and truly past that point in order to secure a property.

“As we head closer to Christmas it’s great to see the buyer confidence continue in the marketplace and RWV is expecting another strong auction day clearance rate.”

Gavin Croft (Sydney)
Gavin Croft had another solid week in Sydney as we head into the Christmas break.

“There were 14 BresicWhitney auctions this week, 10 sold giving a weekly auction clearance rate of 71 per cent and an average of four registered bidders per auction.

“So far this year, BW has now conducted 601 auctions, 491 have sold on or before auction giving a YTD auction clearance rate of 81.5 per cent.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.