Homebuyer confidence may be increasing in Victoria, with one group claiming some offices are experiencing 20 per cent more auctions compared to last year.
Harcourts Victoria has had a strong start to 2013 with year-to-date auction numbers increasing by 12 per cent across the state, while some individual offices reporting increases as high as 20 per cent.
Sadhana Smiles, CEO of Harcourts Victoria, said that a sense of optimism is returning to the state’s property market.
“We are starting to see more buyers in the market and investor activity is increasing," she said. "Twelve months ago there were only small groups at auctions and many properties were being passed in," she said.
“We are now seeing clearance rates hovering between 65 and 70 per cent, clearly showing that buyers are back in the market.”
According to Australian Property Monitors (APM) data, residential clearance rates in Melbourne this past weekend sat at 64.5 per cent, down 2.9 per cent on the weekend before.
“From our observations, buyers are starting to realise that the market is competitive again. We are starting to see more and more properties being sold under the hammer, often above the reserve price with multiple bidders,” Ms Smiles said.
Ms Smiles reported that at a recent auction in Mill Park, the group conducted over 100 inspections of the property, handed out over 18 vendor statements, and had over 200 in attendance on auction day.
There were multiple bidders on auction day, with the home selling for well over its reserve price.
“In Melbourne, we’re starting to see a slight growth in the sub $600,000 property market, however I do expect to see improvement across the board.
“I doubt we’ll see the big spikes that have occurred in the past, but we should see more of a slight rise and a return to market stabilisation,” Ms Smiles said.