Auction numbers edge higher post Easter lull

Modest auction numbers marked the usually quiet post-Easter weekend across most capitals.

Data from Australian Property Monitors (APM) showed solid clearance rates for both Sydney (55.3 per cent) and Melbourne (54.3 per cent), although both cities recorded less than 200 auctions each. Sydney posted 181 recorded auctions for 120 sales, while Melbourne saw 100 sell from 177 auctions.

According to Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) figures, the auction clearance rate recorded for Melbourne was 55 per cent last weekend, compared with 61 per cent on the same weekend last year.

“This weekend’s result provides a clear indication that further interest rate increases by the banks would negatively impact demand and confidence in the residential property market,” said REIV CEO Enzo Raimondo.

REIV’s figures were based on 369 auctions, with 202 selling at auction or shortly after, and 167 being passed in.

“The March quarter median prices released by the REIV show that residential property prices have remained relatively flat for the quarter with the median house price at $535,000,” Mr Raimondo continued.

“By comparison the median price of a house sold at auction during the quarter was $716,000, an increase 2.3 per cent from $700,000 in the December quarter. Approximately 610 auctions are expected next weekend.”

According to APM, the most expensive property auctioned last weekend was located in Paddington, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs ($2,125,000), while the most affordable was a $225,000 unit in the Melbourne suburb of Greensborough.

In Adelaide, there were 19 recorded auctions with 10 selling, while in Brisbane 21 properties went under the hammer for 10 sales.

Jason Andrew Auctioneers said that after the traditional Easter lull in auction activity, his company posted a 48 per cent clearance rate in the South East Queensland last week. This was consistent with the year-to-date (YTD) averages, the company said, which handles around 20 per cent of auctions in the region.

“Buyer numbers were higher than pre-Easter, although still down on the YTD activity,” the company said.

“The average number of registered buyers per auction was 93 per cent, down from 136 per cent, while the percentage actually making a bid was slightly higher at 72 per cent compared to the YTD average of 68 per cent.

Director Jason Andrew said the clearance results are encouraging considering there has been a significant drop in the number of vendors in a forced sale position.

“Last quarter we saw the percentage of vendors with a strong motivation up to almost 80 per cent, while last week that number was down to 58 per cent,” Mr Andrew said.

“Interestingly, the average shift on auction day from the vendor’s original reserve to secure a sale under the hammer remained relatively consistent at six per cent.”

“These results are indicative of a fairly healthy balance between buyers and sellers, with a good number from each side prepared to transact at current market value.”

“With the market holding a strong anticipation of a rate cut in May, we will watch the numbers with interest over the coming weeks.”

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