Bidding numbers at auction suggest surprise price growth for some suburbs

Bidding numbers at auction suggest surprise price growth for some suburbs
Bidding numbers at auction suggest surprise price growth for some suburbs

Rising auction bidder numbers are underpinning the stronger clearance rates we've witnessed this year in most regions across Sydney.

This emerging trend, if maintained, will soon lead to higher than expected price growth.

The average number of registered bidders sat at four at February auctions, according to the comprehensive data kept by auctioneer Damien Cooley at Cooley Auctions.

It was up on the three during December, but still below the five in February last year.

Sydney's 2016 weekend clearance rates have mostly sat above 70 percent, compared to the low 50s of late last year, and the 80 percent record levels this time last year.

The big test comes today with the traditional pre-Easter Super Saturday bumper auction offerings.

But what has been noticeable in recent weeks have been the anecdotal reports from auctions showing higher bidders numbers.

An original condition 1940s Curl Curl fibro cottage sold at $1.933 million with 11 registered bidders, young families versus owner builders.

After the strong $1.7 million opening bid for 40 Bennett Street, there were five active bidders for the property last sold for £3,500 in 1953.

It was downsizers who completed at Cremorne Point for a three-bedroom triplex garden apartment that fetched $4,065,000. The recent McGrath auction saw 10 parties raise their bidding cards after the $3.1 million opening bid. There had been a $3 million to $3.3 million auction price guide.

A strong auction result at 7 Doris Avenue, Earlwood came after 25 registered bidders turned up at its recent auction. Just four took part before it was knocked down at $1,340,000 to locals who plan to renovate. Auctioneers Rocky Bartolotto, from Auction Services, took a $950,000 opening bid on the three bedroom brick home sitting on a 417 sqm block size.

Not all regions are experiencing the same trend, according to CoreLogic RP Data, highlighting the right method of sale is a extremely important decision. 

Sydney’s strongest performing sub-regions currently stand at Ryde, with 86 percent selling, the Eastern Suburbs at 84 percent and the Inner West at 78.6 per cent. The three weakest regions have been Blacktown, Parramatta and the Hawkesbury for auctions.

But the momentum in some suburbs will catch some agents are giving ridicously low price guidance to buyers. Right at the time when NSW Fair Trading is holding a rigorous underquoting audit with inspectors currently looking at published advertisements and the estimated selling prices contained within agency agreements.  

More importantly they are also reviewing and considering the comparative sale price evidence utilised in developing their estimated selling price.

This means agents must be wise to all the recent sale prices in their patch. 

The early 2016 market rebound has meant underquoting has returned as an issue as in the first seven weeks since the laws were introduced, Fair Trading received 68 complaints. 

"Complaints are from named individuals, anonymous complainants and other real estate agents," a department spokesperson said.

This article was first published in the Saturday Daily Telegraph.

Auctions Clearance Rates

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