Testing time for auctions
VALENTINE’S Day seemed a good occasion to get reacquainted with Melbourne’s love for auctions, but it is the next couple of weekends that will show how much.
The city recorded a 67.4 per cent clearance rate across 565 auctions, compared to 60.7 per cent the previous weekend — the lowest clearance rate CoreLogic RP Data had recorded in 26 months.
CoreLogic RP Data Victorian housing specialist Robert Larocca said results between now and the Labour Day long weekend would be a litmus test for the state of Melbourne’s auction market, which was sending mixed messages at the moment.
“On one hand, the clearance rate has risen to be closer to the trend rate for last year, when it was 68.2 per cent,” he said.
“In contrast, volumes are low, suggesting that potential vendors are lacking the confidence shown last year.
“It is also possible that vendors and their real estate agents are choosing private sale instead of auction as a method of sale. It won’t, however, be possible to ascertain if that is happening for a few months.”
While there is a jump in auctions scheduled this weekend to 939, it is still well down on the 1401 for the same time last year.
Among the biggest suburbs for auction activity today are Richmond, St Kilda and Bentleigh East.
The lower level of stock on the market is giving buyers more determination to buy at auction, Barry Plant, Moonee Valley director Bill Karp said.
Mr Karp’s agency returned to the auction market last weekend, with five out of six houses selling under the hammer.
“(Last) Saturday was going to be a barometer for the start of the year, because we had auctions in different parts of Moonee Valley ... different suburbs and different price ranges,” Mr Karp said.
He said buyers had determination on their faces and a willingness to have a crack at the right property
Five bidders were at 136 Epsom Rd, Ascot Vale, which sold under the hammer for $720,500, more than $45,000 above the reserve. Mr Karp said there was a correlation between scarcity of houses and strength of bidding.
“There’s a lack of supply and as a result more bidding, stronger bidding,” he said.
The top-selling house last weekend was at 26 Ardmillan Rd, Moonee Ponds.
Nelson Alexander agent David Vaughan said the renovated california bungalow with a north-facing backyard attracted family buyers looking to be close to local schools.
Mr Vaughan said it was passed in at auction for about $2.21 million, with negotiations taking the sale price up to $2.44 million.
The top-selling house at auction last weekend was in Ardmillan Rd, Moonee Ponds, selling for $2.44 million.