Sydney’s auction market has posted its strongest result in a year but the number of properties going under the hammer is markedly down on this time last year.
With 608 auctions scheduled across Sydney for Saturday, sellers have some cause for optimism, experts say, because the number of properties up for auction last month was much higher than February and the clearance rate remained steady.
“It is anticipated that the number of homes going under the hammer are likely to hold firm during early April … in the lead-up to Easter,” Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said.
“If clearance rates continue to hold around 50 per cent over the initial two weekends in April, it could be an indication that seller pricing expectations have adjusted to softer market conditions.”
March is traditionally a strong month for auctions and auctioneers are reporting strong buyer interest and activity.
“More buyers are attending auctions and actually bidding,” Cooley Auctions’ Briannan Davis said, which was in stark contrast with the end of last year when commonly only one buyer would attend an auction. “But more importantly we saw vendors meeting the market.”
Units have continued to outperform houses, albeit narrowly. Sydney’s unit clearance rate in March was 55.4 per cent compared to 53.5 per cent for houses.
Ms Davis said expectations around price were still being adjusted.
“I had a $3 million house in Rose Bay with two buyers that ended up selling [last week], but the vendors had to come back from their reserve,” she said.
“But straight after there was a one-bedroom apartment in Potts Point [for auction]. We had six buyers competing and it went well over the reserve.”
|Auction volume||Auction volume annual change||Clearance rate||Clearance rate annual change|
|City and East||629||-24.5%||53.6%||-11.7%|
|Lower North Shore||354||-19.2%||64.3%||-5.0%|
|Upper North Shore||186||-38.4%||54.5%||-2.2%|
The Agency’s director of sales and chief auctioneer Thomas McGlynn said it was clear confidence had returned to the market.
“Sellers have virtually come to terms with the current market and the opportunities that lie with the current market,” Mr McGlynn said.
While some properties, such as those that were south-facing or had no parking, were more challenging to sell, highly-coveted properties continued to attract plenty of interest.
The lower north shore performed the best across the city, recording a March clearance rate of 64.3 per cent.
The February clearance rate rose nearly 15 percentage points, from 50.7 per cent to 65.3 per cent, once post-auction sales were factored in – typically of properties that passed in.
The clearance rate rose to 57.3 per cent when properties sold two weeks after auction were included, climbing to 62.7 per cent to include properties sold two to four weeks post-auction and to 65.3 per cent including properties sold four to six weeks post-auction.
The number of properties being withdrawn prior to auction has risen to two in 10, which Dr Powell said was a trend distinct to Sydney. Those withdrawals are counted in the clearance rate calculation as unsuccessful auctions.
Mr McGlynn said many properties passed in because sellers were not meeting market expectations on the day.
“If all sellers simply set their reserve price predominantly on buyers’ feedback, the clearance rate would be very high,” he said.
“Many of those people in the days after the auction are deciding to lower [their] expectations to sell their property.”
This article was first published in www.domain.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/sydney-auction-clearance-rate-hits-12-month-high-in-march-2019-815961/