Finance Property Auction rates recover, but it’s far from a ‘new boom’

Auction rates recover, but it’s far from a ‘new boom’

weekend property wrap June 29
The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom house attracted just one bid of $15 million. Photo: Ray White
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Both Melbourne and Sydney saw their weekend auction success rate sit nicely above 70 per cent, however there’s no new boom, according to one auction commentator.

The final tally will revise lower as late results come in, but still hover in the commendable high 60 per cent range.

The unreported results include a Vaucluse trophy home that was passed in on a $16 million vendor bid at its late Saturday afternoon auction.

weekend property wrap June 29
The home was listed with a $16 million price guide. Photo: Ray White

There had been just the one bid taken by auctioneer Damien Cooley of $15 million for the home of hotelier Ashton Waugh.

He’d listed the home with a $16 million price guide through Gavin Rubinstein, the Ray White network’s top performer.

The three-level home was completed two years ago with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms. Peter Ahern of buck&simple Architecture redesigned the Gilliver Avenue home with a panorama that takes in the city skyline, Opera House and Harbour Bridge from its 835-square-metre block that cost $6.7 million in 2004.

There were 1292 capital city homes taken to auction over the final weekend of June, returning a preliminary national auction clearance rate above 60 per cent for the third consecutive week.

It was 66.5 per cent nationally, according to CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan.

The winter hibernation continues, with lower listings down on the 1484 homes and 1487 auctions held over the prior weekends.

Sydney was the strongest market with volumes down to 503 auctions from the 558 auctions held the week prior.

Sydney returned a preliminary auction clearance rate of 72 per cent, with the top sale being an Elizabeth Bay apartment in The Palms harbourfront complex.

The three-bedroom offering at 8/12-16 Billyard Avenue fetched $3.815 million with four registered bidders.

weekend property wrap June 29
The apartment had stunning water views. Photo: Ray White

More than 100 groups went through the open homes, Ray White agent Ian Campbell said.

“There’s a shortage of stock at the moment, and when you combine that with increased buyer confidence since the election, it makes sense that open-home numbers and auction clearance rate numbers are up,” he said.

“The buyers loved the convenience of being able to walk in to the city or take the ferry.”

The buyer was also keen on securing a berth for a boat on the adjoining block, Domain reported.

The Ray White Elizabeth Bay selling agent Renee Cross had given $3.7 million price guidance for the split-level, three-bedroom, 231-square-metre apartment with two car spaces.

It last sold at $990,000 in 1995.

Melbourne returned a 70.6 per cent preliminary auction clearance rate this week, increasing on the 68.9 per cent final clearance rate last week.

Its volumes were lower week on week, with 536 homes auctioned, down on the 635 auctions held the previous weekend.

A four-bedroom Kew home was Melbourne’s top sale. The 58 Alfred Street offering was passed in for $4.25 million, with Domain reporting it sold post auction for $4.35 million to an investor, who plans to rent it out.
weekend property wrap June 29
The property was on a 795-square-metre block. Photo: Kay & Burton
There was a pre-auction sale when $2,308,888 was paid for 48 Orchard Street, Glen Waverley.

It was a five-bedroom, two-storey house sold through Barry Plant, having sold in 2011 at $1,998,888.

 weekend property wrap June 29
The home had four bedrooms upstairs, two with en suites. Photo: Barry Plant

The weekend auction performance was varied across the smaller auction markets, with Adelaide seeing a 68.9 per cent success rate, while only 33.3 per cent of homes sold across Perth.

Brisbane had a 36 per cent clearance rate, including the nation’s cheapest sale.

It was the three-bedroom at 34 Antares Avenue, Kingston, which fetched $195,000.

weekend property wrap June 29
“Bring your tools,” the agent told potential buyers. Photo: Ray White

It last sold at $60,000 in 1998.

“Bring your tools,” said Ray White Logan selling agent Chris Liu.

The higher auction results were aligning with the trend in housing values, Mr Brogan said, noting the rate of decline had been consistently improving through 2019, largely driven by improved conditions across Sydney and Melbourne.

“If we see auction clearance rates holding above the 60 per cent mark consistently, it’s a firm sign that buyer and seller price expectations are more balanced and housing prices are finding a new floor,” he said.

Property commentator Andrew Wilson said the weekend results reflected a “steady solid winter market on the road to recovery for Sydney and Melbourne”.

“Sydney and Melbourne home auction markets continue to report clearance rates at the highest levels since 2017, with solid rising buyer momentum contrasting to the fading market of a year ago,” Dr Wilson noted.

“Seller numbers however remain relatively subdued – particularly in Melbourne and will remain so for at least the next month over the school holiday period.

“Lower interest rates are a key catalyst for a recovery in buyer confidence with another cut next week by the RBA – if it eventuates – to continue to fuel a market revival,” Dr Wilson said.

“There’s no new boom as yet though,” said SQM’s Louis Christopher.

Jonathan Chancellor is editor at large at Property Observer

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