Weekend Auction Wrap: Volumes taper off ahead of Christmas

Auction volumes and the preliminary clearance rate across the country were lower this weekend, as the tapering off ahead of the Christmas period officially began.

The clearance rate in Sydney dropped for a third straight week, with volumes down by -13 per cent on the prior week. Only 846 homes were taken to auction, according to the latest data from CoreLogic. Sydney recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 73.6 per cent, which has been trending lower as we near the Christmas break.

Melbourne recorded a 73.2 per cent clearance rate from 1,394 auctions which was also down by -8.3 per cent on the prior week.

Across the country, the combined capitals’ clearance rate sank below 70 per cent with a -5.6 per cent fall in volumes in what is likely the last full weekend of auctions for the year. Auction volumes will now probably remain low until after the holiday period and will start to ramp back up in early February next year.

Source: Corelogic

Across the country, Australia’s leading auctioneers managed to get some strong results for vendors in the final full week before Christmas as they continue to outperform their respective capital city averages.

Alec Brown (Canberra)

Alec Brown had a huge weekend in Canberra to round out the year, with an impressive 92 per cent clearance rate.

“We had the real bulk of our 2019 rounding off and it was a cracker. We had really good attendance rates which were great. We had 14 auctions for the week, with 61 registered bidders across those auctions, so the numbers were quite healthy.

“We had 13 from those 14 sold, for a 92 per cent clearance rate, with a combined $680,000 above reserve across all those auctions. When we compare it to a 61 per cent Canberra average, we had a very strong end to the year.

“We’ve still got another five or six to go for the year including a couple on Saturday, but things are looking good and we’re about to begin our January campaigns. We have one of our largest in-room auction events in January and we will have about 35 properties going off on one night.

“2019 was a tale of two halves across the board not just here. The first half was pretty tough going, with the banking Royal Commission, and the Federal Election, it was that natural quiet-spot in the market. The second half really did fire and the consumer confidence has bounced back. All predictions are pointing towards a strong start to the new year.”

Josh Larsen (Sydney)
DiJONES Head Auctioneer Josh Larsen closed out the year with some more solid results, with more strong bidder numbers.

“We cleared everything for the year which was nice, with nine booked in and they all sold. At least three registrations on everything and what was interesting, on one of them, even though we only had three registrations to start with, three more people registered during the auction, which hasn’t happened.

“Obviously there was a bit of urgency in buying before Christmas I think. There was plenty of interest about, even though we are at the tail end of the year.

“In the last quarter (of 2019), we’ve had some really strong results. I think the number of people registering has really picked up and the strong prices across all sectors was really good. The highlight was seeing so many properties above $5 million selling under the hammer.”

Justin Nickerson (Queensland)
Justin Nickerson continues to see impressive numbers of registered bidders, even into the tail end of the year.

“We were a bit down on last week, but a good number of registered bidders for each auction which was good.

“We had a really good one in Indooroopilly, which was a really strong auction. We had 11 registered bidders and really strong bidding all the way through it.

“It was bit of slow start to the year for South-East Queensland, but definitely the second part of the year was stronger. It was a pretty strong finish to the year which was great, in terms of volumes and clearance rate. The bulk of the volume for us will be back around 18 January.”

Stu Benson (NSW)
Stu Benson finished with a 100 per cent clearance rate in Sydney as he looks to round out the year next weekend.

“My last ‘full’ weekend of auctions was a belter, with seven out of seven selling on Saturday, and another two selling prior. I’ll call just three more next weekend then I’ll hang up the gavel until Saturday, 1 February, 2020.

“The ’Sold in 24hrs!’ and ‘Sold after one Open Home!” brigade are a curious lot. Stock is still historically low in Sydney. There are enough people missing opportunities to buy without the added pressure of them never seeing the property because it sold before they found it.

“Let’s be honest, Sydney agents – everything’s selling. So why not apply the process that allows you to meet more buyers, grow your database, build stronger relationships, and then let competition dictate value?

“I’d like to thank the Hills District faithful for continuing to #TrustTheProcess with Benson Auctions and congratulate Elite Agent on another outstanding year. Have a safe Holiday season, everyone! I look forward to engaging with you all in 2020.”

David Holmes (Canberra/QLD)
David Holmes had a strong weekend to round out the year and achieved some excellent prices for vendors.

“Some great results in the weekend over reserve and three properties being sold prior.

“Bookings are looking strong even in January. There’s loads of buyer confidence and good crowd sizes all weekend.”

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Rowan Crosby

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