Weekly Auction Wrap: Are the boom times back?

It’s been another strong weekend for auctions across the country as the clearance rate remains at boom-time highs.

Sydney had a preliminary auction clearance rate of 78.9 per cent while Melbourne was also strong at 76.1 per cent. These are the same types of numbers that we were seeing in the recent housing boom in mid-2017. Across the country, the nationwide auction clearance rate sat at 73.6 per cent.

It’s been a sharp bounce that has caught many off guard, given that this time last year the clearance rate was sitting at 49 per cent in Sydney. Since that point in time, the RBA has slashed the cash rate to 1 per cent, Labor lost the Federal Election which allowed negative gearing to survive and APRA have wound back their restrictions on borrowers.

All of which have clearly contributed to a boost in confidence and the surge in auction results.

Justin Nickerson (QLD)

Justin Nickerson presided over one of the best weekends of the year in Queensland with strong numbers across the board.

“The clearance rate we had was the strongest for the year so far and the same for the number of average bidders, so it was a really buoyant weekend.

“There was still a mix of properties that had either a very high number of registered bidders and those that didn’t. On average there were a lot of registered bidders this weekend.

“We had a couple that went over reserve, which was nice. It’s actually been quite a nice last three or four weeks. So we’ve got a lot more volume coming back now and now that it’s spring, it’ll be interesting to see whether that clearance rate remains consistent or not.”

Stu Benson (NSW)

Stu Benson is starting to think the boom times are returning in Sydney, with buyers coming out in force at the moment.

“In Sydney, in particular in the North-west, it’s extremely reminiscent of 2016/2017. Market confidence is back, competition is back, it’s almost getting to the point where it’s hard to value a property in the sense that the demand is so high.

“I had five out of six of my properties sell under the hammer, with one more under negotiation at a premium price. And the results we’re yielding are far above what we’ve been expecting.

“It’s really been the lack of stock and confidence returning that is driving the clearance rates that we’ve been getting.

“My bookings for the next two months suggest that the preference for agents is to auction whenever possible. And the great thing for buyers is that it is going to give them a chance.”

Alec Brown (ACT)

Alec Brown believes the buyers are really starting to look strong at the moment and that should continue into the spring.

“The thing that I’m starting to really get a lot of confidence around is the fact that the bidder numbers are so strong right now. The wait-and-see approach that we’ve seen for so many months post-election I feel has gone out the window. Buyers are prepared and active.

“Every one of our auctions was selling above reserve price. On the whole the ACT is performing really well, overall hovering around that 60 per cent clearance rate.

“Moving forward, we are starting to see the volume starting to increase, but I expect to see the clearance rate start moving up to that 70 per cent mark.”

David Holmes (Canberra/QLD)

David Holmes has seen a fair bit of consistency in the market as we head into the spring.

“Buyers are out there doing their thing, there’s no record breaking results, but it’s been steady and hopefully we can keep growing in that way headed into the spring.

“Volume has been steady here but I am expecting a bit of a later surge this year.”

Gavin Croft (NSW)

Gavin Croft saw another strong weekend in Sydney, with a clearance rate in-line with the average.

“We had 21 auctions this week, 17 sold giving a weekly auction clearance rate of 81 per cent with an average of seven registered bidders per auction.

“Over the course of the year, BresicWhitney have conducted 367 auctions, 291 have sold on or before auction, giving a YTD auction clearance of 79 per cent.”

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Rowan Crosby

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