Auction popularity spreading

Auctions are gaining popularity in Sydney-based suburbs typically reserved for private treaty sales.

This shift towards auction activity has been evident in the city's southern suburbs, according to award winning auctioneer Damien Cooley.

“We’re seeing a lot more activity in the Sutherland Shire and St George areas, and auctions are starting to pick up in Wollongong too," he said.

“The eastern suburbs, inner west and north shore used to be the places for auctions in Sydney, but we’re seeing the popularity branch out now.”

Mr Cooley told Real Estate Business that the auction market is on the rise as more vendors embrace a quick sale in uncertain times.

“Most people have their perceptions of auctions the wrong way around,” he said.

“They think of auctions in boom markets, and private treaty in constricted times. But when a market is in decline, people should consider auction more often, to create urgency and reduce days on market.”

David Highland, principal at Sutherland Shire-based Highland Property Agents, agreed, adding that he has seen a big increase in auctions in the luxury market.

“We’ve been selling properties at auctions that other agents in the area couldn’t sell through private treaty," he told Real Estate Business.

“It’s across a whole range of different price points, but we’re seeing a big number of high end, luxury waterfront homes come through auction in the $3 million to $3.5 million mark.”

But Mr Highland claims there’s no tricks to getting auction business, and that vendors are more than willing to sell under the hammer.

“We don’t pressure our clients into auctions, we just give them the facts and they make their own decisions," he said.

“It gives the sale a timeframe, which vendors like in uncertain times like these.

“But it’s not the only way to sell, it’s not suited to everyone and every property,” Mr Highland admitted.

Earlier this year, Raine & Horne Marrickville, in the city's inner west, reported a doubling in the number of sales it handled via auction.

“Three years ago, auctions represented approximately 40 per cent of our total sales, now it’s nearer to 85 per cent,” Michael Smith, principal of Raine & Horne Marrickville, said.

The agency said developing a regular series of in-room auctions had contributed to its achievements.

“We also decided to work with a regular auctioneer, David Gray from Auctionworks, and this helped us deliver Marrickville homeowners healthy sales results and fast transactions,” Mr Smith said in February.

In-room auctions, according to Mr Smith, not only take the weather and noisy neighbours out of the sales equation, but also deliver a professional location for sellers and buyers.

“While on-site auctions have their place, we believe in-room auctions provide buyers with a neutral and methodical environment, where they are also less conspicuous."


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