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Auctions set records, attract higher prices

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Auctions have netted sellers an extra 11.7 per cent more under the hammer than if they’d accepted the highest offer prior to auction.

Auctions set records, attract higher prices

The national property auction market has broken all records for the first few months of the year, while also notching up the busiest ever Easter week of activity.

The national property auction market has broken all records for the first few months of the year, while also notching up the busiest ever Easter week of activity.

CoreLogic’s Quarterly Auction Market Review revealed that 23,748 homes went under the hammer in the first three months of 2022, making it the busiest March quarter since records began in 2008.

For comparison, there were 19,004 capital city homes taken to auction in the first quarter of 2021 and 18,902 over the March 2020 quarter.

During the three months to December 2021, 42,918 homes went to auction, setting a new benchmark and carrying through to an earlier than usual pick up in this year’s auction volumes CoreLogic Research Director Tim Lawless said.

However, the combined capital city clearance rate of 69.9 per cent for the March 2022 quarter was down from the December result of 71.3 per cent and weaker again when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2021 when the clearance rate was 80.0 per cent.

“The first quarter of the year saw the trend in auction volumes and clearance rates heading in different directions,” Mr Lawless said.

“While the number of auctions held reached a March quarter high, the clearance rate gradually drifted lower through the quarter.”

As demand becomes more thinly stretched, lower clearance rates on higher volumes were a normal trend, Mr Lawless said.

Data released by the Ray White Group showed that auctions were favouring sellers over buyers.

Over the past year, Ray White auctions have netted sellers an extra 11.7 per cent more under the hammer than if they’d accepted the highest offer prior to auction. 

Ray White Adelaide recorded the largest gap, with auctions selling 13.6 per cent more than the highest offer prior, closely followed by regional Australia at 12.3 per cent. Ray White auctions across Melbourne and Sydney weren’t far apart at 11.4 per cent and 11.3 per cent respectively. In southeast Queensland, Ray White auctions sold under the hammer for 11.2 per cent more than the highest offer prior on the Gold Coast, while in Brisbane the number was 10.3 per cent. 

Ray White National Special Programs Director Bianca Denham said the auction method worked well for sellers for a few reasons. 

“A great auction agent knows they need to build competition and gather as many bidders as possible,” she said.

“Auction has always been regarded as the truest measure of market value and given the results we're seeing at auction day, almost 12 per cent above highest offers prior to auction, our sellers are being rewarded. 

“Keeping the property in the market for three to four weeks, allows all active buyers to see the property and maximises the competition on auction day. 

“We very rarely hear vendors who sell by auction lamenting whether they could have got more, it gives great peace of mind that you have extracted the best money the market will pay.” 

Clearance rates

Higher overall listing numbers and a slowing rate of sale in Sydney and Melbourne had impacted market conditions early in April but picked up towards the end.

Sydney’s auction clearance rate over the March quarter was 69.1 per cent, compared to 69.9 per cent over the previous quarter, and 84.5 per cent over the March quarter 2021.

There were 8,283 auctions held in Sydney in the first three months of 2022. But for the week ending on Wednesday (27 April), the New South Wales clearance rate was back up to 81 per cent.

Overall, Melbourne’s clearance rate was recorded at 68.5 per cent over the March quarter, down from 69.7 per cent over the previous quarter and 77.5 per cent over the March 2021 quarter. In terms of auction volume, there were 10,315 homes taken to auction across the city over the March quarter.

Ror the week ending on Wednesday, the Victorian clearance rate was up to 79 per cent.

Of the smaller capital city markets Adelaide was the top performer with a clearance rate of 80.6 per cent for the March quarter from 1,797 auctions (89 per cent for week ending 27 April). Canberra recorded a clearance rate of 77.9 per cent from 1,227 auctions (85 per cent this week) and in Brisbane 1,916 homes went under the hammer resulting in a clearance rate of 67.9 per cent (68 per cent this week for Queensland).

“With such strong selling conditions, we’ve seen a progressively larger portion of homes being taken to auction in Adelaide; a city that has historically favoured sales campaigns by private treaty rather than auctions,” Mr Lawless said.

Easter is traditionally one of the quietest auction periods of the year and generally marks the start of the winter selling season.

Although this year’s Easter week was the busiest on record with 937 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities, Mr Lawless predicted the trend would be for fewer auctions in the coming months.

“This is a seasonal trend we see through the winter months, but as selling conditions gradually swing towards a buyer’s market, we could also see clearance rates trending lower,” he said.

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