A major network is set to hold its biggest weekend of auctions on record at the end of this month.
hockingstuart, which has more than 50 offices across Victoria, has reported it has 176 auctions scheduled for October 26 across its network, the highest number in its 28-year history.
CEO of hockingstuart Nigel O’Neil told Real Estate Business there had been a slow build up in auction volumes since last year up until July this year.
“Year-on-year, our actual number of sales for the first three months of this financial year versus the same quarter last quarter is 33 per cent up, so our volume of sales is about a third up on the same quarter for the last financial year,” he said.
“Previously buyers were stockpiling cash, and so in 2011 and 2012 we saw a lot buyers exit the market and stick their dollars into low risk, long-term deposits.
“That changed early in 2013, and now we are seeing that build momentum. So the number of buyers re-entering the market and logging their interest to buy has increased remarkably and that’s been reflected by the clearance rate.
“The clearance rate across hockingstuart has been 70 [per cent]-plus for the past six months on average and tipping over into the 80 per cent-plus [region] on a number of weeks.”
Another network that has enjoyed growth in auctions is CENTURY 21, which reported that its auction volumes had surged by 87.5 per cent between January and September this year.
Mr O’Neil said buyers were largely made up of upgraders looking for their second or third home.
“What they’ve been doing was waiting the good quality properties to come back onto the market. They’ve been waiting patiently this year and [activity] has started to happen because people are confident they’re going to get a price they’re happy with.”
He added that the last weekend of October would also test buyer confidence.
According to Australian Property Monitors (APM), Melbourne’s auction clearance rates had been averaging around 75.1 per cent over the last two months.
Senior economist at APM Dr Andrew Wilson said the city had been producing solid results despite rising listing numbers.
“The sternest test for the market however is yet to eventuate with record or near record level auctions scheduled over coming weeks,” he said.