A Perth-based group has reported an upswing in auction activity, although a veteran independent auctioneer is yet to see evidence of a spike in auction sales in the otherwise heavily private treaty-focused market.
ACTON, which operates around 20 offices in WA, sold five properties under the hammer over two recent weekends, which managing director Graeme Baxter believed showed WA consumers were now more open to the idea of auctions.
“Auctions are still the fastest way to sell a property, but for most of this year we have seen properties get passed in and then sell soon after,” he said.
“Now we are seeing more sell under the hammer as well as sell prior.”
According to Mr Baxter, there are several factors behind the improvement.
“Lower stock levels are creating more urgency," he said. "Buyers’ choices have reduced over the course of the year and they realise that if they want a property they need to act, they can’t just assume it will be passed in and still be available.
“The desire not to miss out has also led to more properties selling prior to the auction. So far five properties listed for auction this month have sold before the auction date.”
However, veteran independent auctioneer Tom Esze, who operates in WA, said the auction market was relatively stable.
“I wouldn’t say it’s spiking or anything, but coming into spring we’re going to see more stock on market, which will mean more auctions in general," he told Real Estate Business.
“On any normal weekend there are usually around 20 recorded auctions in Perth, and that hasn’t changed over the past few months from what I’ve seen.”
According to realestate.com.au’s auction result data, which are supplied by RP Data, 18 auctions were reported in Perth on the weekend ending September 9, compared to 485 in Melbourne and 381 in Sydney.
Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) president David Airey said recently that the main reason behind the different auction culture in WA is due to the success of the ‘offer and acceptance’ form that has developed in the state.
“This reliable document used for a sale by private treaty would be familiar to most home buyers who have used it to write an offer and then subsequently negotiated with the seller over any counter-offers," Mr Airey said in a blog recently.
"Its simplicity is the main reason why private treaty dominates sales methods in our state."
Mr Baxter added that his group's recent auction success wasn’t just related to high-end properties, with recent under the hammer sales including a multimillion dollar property in Doubleview, a Californian Bungalow in Mount Hawthorn, and "extremely well-priced family homes in South Lake and Coodanup".