The Courier-Mail

Brisbane is getting in on the auction

Accused pleads to fire attack

- ELIZABETH TILLEY

AUCTION activity in Brisbane is “unpreceden­ted”, with double the homes going under the hammer and more sellers willing to embrace the gavel than ever before.

The number of properties selling at auction has also increased and vendors are achieving higher prices, prompting a leading auctioneer to claim the market is at a tipping point where the once “terrifying” sale method is about to become the new norm.

Nine out of 10 Brisbane properties auctioned by Place Estate Agents at the weekend sold under the hammer, while Ray White had a 100 per cent auction clearance rate across the city for the first time in history.

Ray White says its marketed properties are selling for 12 per cent higher under the hammer than if they were not taken to auction and Place Estate Agents’ Brisbane auctions are averaging seven registered bidders compared to half that number a year ago.

CoreLogic figures show Brisbane’s auction clearance rate has almost doubled compared to the same time a year ago, recording a near 80 per cent success rate compared to less than 50 per cent.

“In a really hot market like this, it makes total sense to go to auction,” Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said.

“It’s just reflective of what’s happening in southeast Queensland at the moment. People are getting used to it and agents are starting to see it as good time to sell that way.

“When you start seeing close to 80 per cent clearance rates, it does give sellers more confidence.”

Place Estate Agents chief auctioneer Peter Burgin said he had never seen Brisbane’s auction market as successful in his 20 years in the industry.

“Brisbane has never seen anything like it – never,” Mr Burgin said. “We are breaking new ground in the auction market in terms of overall clearance rates, acceptance from sellers that auctions are a credible process and a great way to sell a property, and from the feedback I’m getting from buyers is they actually like it because it allows for transparen­cy of value. Auctions aren’t that terrifying!”

Mr Burgin said 20 per cent of Place’s Brisbane properties were going to auction, compared to only 10 per cent last year, and he expected it to climb to 30 per cent by year end.

The highest result for a property sold at auction with Place this year was a grand, colonial Queensland­er at 48 Charlton St, Ascot, which fetched $3.9m this month.

“The local market is surging,” Mr Burgin said.

“People are making decisions to sell now because the general view is Brisbane property prices are going to continue to increase.

“I think this is the real shifting point for us. As auctioneer­s, we’ve always had to sell the benefits of auction because the general perception was clearance rates were less than 50 per cent and people didn’t quite understand the benefits.

“Now, they can see it, more people are going to auctions in their own area and seeing the results speak for themselves, so agents don’t have to go and put forward a strong case.”

Ray White Queensland chief auctioneer Mitch Peereboom said Brisbane auctions were attracting record bidder registrati­on numbers.

“Across all market segments, if you look at the unit marketplac­e and sub$600,000 in Brisbane CBD and surroundin­g, that’s performing exceptiona­lly well,” Mr Peereboom said.

“When you look at properties between $500,000 and $1m, they’re absolutely going off. We’re so confident to recommend to sellers to come to the market now as we’re dealing with an amazing amount of competitio­n, so you can take advantage of the market there.”

A WOMAN who was doused in petrol and set on fire as she slept has told a court she does not want her attacker to spend any more time in jail.

Matt James Nolan, 30, yesterday pleaded guilty to the horror attack in which he entered the woman’s room, doused her in petrol as she slept and lit her on fire before walking out of the Bracken Ridge home.

The Brisbane District Court heard Nolan, who suffers from severe schizophre­nia, had felt his mental health deteriorat­ing in the weeks before the attack but was repeatedly turned away when he and his parents sought help from doctors.

Crown Prosecutor Toby Corsbie said housemates of the victim Sigourney Coles were alerted to the fire when they heard the woman’s screams.

They managed to extinguish the blaze which caused serious burns to Ms Coles’ arms and face.

Mr Corsbie said the night before the attack, Nolan had attended a barbecue at the victim’s home where he drank alcohol and stayed the night before leaving early the next morning.

He said Ms Coles had messaged Nolan after he left and he then returned two hours later about 10.30am and walked into her room where he set her on fire without a word.

Nolan was charged with attempted murder over the July 2017 incident but yesterday pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of grievous bodily harm in the Brisbane District Court.

The court heard Nolan was suffering from a severe schizophre­nic episode at the time. But his case was not able to proceed through the mental health court because he had taken drugs which contribute­d to the deprivatio­n of his capacity to know what he was doing was wrong.

Defence Barrister Joseph Briggs said the case was “desperatel­y sad” for everyone involved.

The court heard in the lead-up to the offence, Nolan had been prescribed a new treatment for his schizophre­nia which he felt was making his illness worse but when he went to emergency department­s to seek help, he was repeatedly turned away. He self-medicated with methamphet­amines.

Judge Vicki Loury reserved her decision and will sentence Nolan next week.

YANGON: Clashes have broken out between pro-junta supporters and anti-coup residents on the streets of Myanmar, in an alarming new developmen­t after the army toppled civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last month.

The country has been gripped by a torrent of anger, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets nationwide to call for the release of Ms Suu Kyi and a return to democracy.

Some demonstrat­ions have prompted a steady increase in force from the authoritie­s. At least five people have been killed since the February 1 coup, while one police officer has died, according to the military.

Former colonial power

Britain announced sanctions on six generals, including army chief Min Aung Hlaing, to send “a clear message that those responsibl­e for human rights violations will be held to account”, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

The announceme­nt followed a tense day in Yangon, where armed junta supporters carried promilitar­y banners through the city, drawing insults from anti-coup residents.

By noon, clashes broke out when military supporters carrying knives and slingshots turned on the residents.

“They have the right to protest but should not use weapons; none of the prodemocra­cy demonstrat­ors use them,” one witness said.

 ??  ?? A pro-military supporter throws stones at pro-democracy residents in Yangon, following weeks of mass demonstrat­ions against last month’s military coup in Myanmar. Picture: AFP
A pro-military supporter throws stones at pro-democracy residents in Yangon, following weeks of mass demonstrat­ions against last month’s military coup in Myanmar. Picture: AFP

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