This weekend's super Saturday will be a true test of the Melbourne property market

Mal JamesOctober 22, 20120 min read

It attracts more anticipation than a grand final and a bigger array of stars than the Cup Carnival. And the results are more telling than the Bathurst 500: that’s what super Saturday, October 27th represents to the largest array of buyers and sellers on offer this year.

This coming weekend was always going to be a big weekend for auctions. It’s the only Saturday you could start your four-week auction campaign after the grand final and complete it before the Melbourne Cup.

Who said Melbourne doesn’t revolve around sport?

In the sport of Auctions there are six “majors” each year, and this is the second last major for season 2012. As in golf or tennis, the majors are a culmination of many minor tournaments that occur each weekend beginning mid-February and ending in mid-December.

They are the ones we all remember – the ones that leave us with an indelible indicator as to the state of play of the market, and the likely worth of our property nest egg right now.

The first major happens the fourth weekend after the Australia Day weekend.  This is the key weekend in the short opening season between Australia Day and the Labour Day weekend. The second is the last weekend before Easter, and the third is the fourth Saturday after Easter, usually in mid to late May. Those three majors are the highlights of the opening, pre-Easter and post-Easter mini selling seasons.

There is then a long winter break where not much happens at the higher end, until we hit September and the fourth major happens on the weekend before the grand final. The fifth is coming up this weekend. And the final major is the fourth Saturday after Melbourne Cup, usually the last weekend in November. These are the main pointers to the early and late spring and the pre-Christmas selling seasons.

Why is it such a big deal to keep an eye on what is happening on these super Saturdays?

When you have a good cross-section of stock, with some really good homes all going under the hammer at the same time, it gives an accurate indication of buyer depth and therefore future price and market direction. If Bidderman, the average number of bidders per auction, is up towards two per auction on a super Saturday we can confidently say the market has some health. If clearance rates are down in the lower 50% levels and Bidderman is around one bidder per auction, prices are not looking solid going forward.

For us, this weekend will be a true test of how the market currently seems to be travelling – which to date has actually been OK.

Mal James is principal of James Buyer Advocates, which advocates on behalf of buyers of property over $1 million. Mal writes weekly auction reports, advice and in-depth market analysis on James' website.

Mal James

Mal James is principal of James Buyer Advocates, which advocates on behalf of buyers of property over $1 million.
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