Barry Plant, a Victorian real estate group with more than 80 offices, has booked two consecutive months of sales increases in a Melbourne market that's struggling to grow.
“The last time we had an increase in the number of sales over the previous year's month was May 2010, so to have two months in a row showing an increase over the previous year is a very positive indicator that the market is picking up,” CEO Mike McCarthy said.
Mr McCarthy said the group's March 2012 figures showed a 6.8 per cent increase on the same time last year.
The March results followed another successful month in February which posted an increase of 3.6 per cent over February 2011.
The results come against the backdrop of a challenging property market, with stock levels up 11 per cent on-month in March (at 50,800) and vacancy rates hovering at just under three per cent, according to SQM Research.
Figures from RP Data show average days on market are around 55 days.
The company said April also looked promising on the back of above-the-reserve auction results and an increase in auction attendance, particularly in Melbourne's North West.
Last weekend, Barry Plant Taylors Lakes principal James Hatzimoisis sold all three of the Taylor's Lakes properties listed for auction above the reserve.
"A property at 14 Lyrebird Court, Taylors Lakes which was an incomplete five bedroom double-storey on 1101m2, had around 100 people attending and five bidders. It was declared on the market at $410,000 and ended up selling at $545,000. Also, 18 Pacific Place, Taylors Lakes, a double-storey on 677m2 was declared on the market at $460,000 and sold for $491,000," he said.
The previous weekend, James said the standout auction was 855 Old Calder Hwy, Keilor.
“This was a three bedroom brick veneer home on 546sqm in unliveable condition. Over 150 people attended and there were eight bidders. The bidding began at $250,000, it went on the market at $340,000 and sold 41 bids later at $425,000 to first home buyers that plan to renovate and occupy.”