Buyer activity was softer yet auction clearance rates remained steady in South East Queensland (SEQ) last week, an independent auctioneer has reported.
Jason Andrew Auctioneers director Jason Andrew said with the Queensland state election around the corner, borderline buyers can traditionally opt to wait for the leadership result before acting.
“There is always an element of uncertainty that creeps in just before an election, although it tends to only knock out the indecisive buyers; the active buyers who were in the marketplace last week were clearly serious,” he said.
Mr Andrew said the declining level of buyer activity recorded earlier in March continued last week, with average crowd numbers more than halving. Despite the lack of numbers, the clearance rate fell only marginally to 41 per cent, driven by the buyers who did attend being highly motivated to transact.
The company reported the number of registered bidders per auction fell from 1.2 to 0.84 last week, with the percentage of those registered actually making a bid remaining almost level at 66 per cent.
“The clearance remained fairly level despite the drop in overall buyer numbers, no doubt helped along by an increase in the average shift from the vendor’s reserve price from 5.9 per cent to 6.9 per cent for sales under the hammer,” Mr Andrew added.
“The forced sale rate was also up, from 65 per cent to 76 per cent.”
“One interesting observation this week is a jump in the number of protracted negotiations between the seller and the eventual buyer to achieve a sale, with some up to an hour long.”
“We will watch with interest how the market develops in the coming weeks.”
Mr Andrew’s results come as Australian Property Monitors (APM) noted a 38.1 per cent clearance rate for Brisbane last weekend, based on 20 reported auctions.