February early bird vendors will secure the buyers in 2016

February early bird vendors will secure the buyers in 2016
February early bird vendors will secure the buyers in 2016

Sydney's fatigued clearance rate fell for 10 consecutive weeks, but on Saturday gave the first sign things may have bottomed out.

With just one auction weekends remaining, the Christmas break couldn't come quickly enough to stop the marked deterioration in auction success.

The market has plenty of anxious unsuccessful auction vendors who have an unsold property heading into the long summer slowdown.

The latest auction results from CoreLogic RP Data have Sydney’s clearance rate under the 60 per cent mark for five weeks now, possibly heading into the low 50s.

These unsold homes will sit on the market for longer than their vendors ever envisaged, possibly only to sell if there is a considerable price change to attract the keen, yet cautious smaller pool of buyers.

The recent high levels of withdrawn auction listings presents a huge opportunity for buyers who missed out earlier this year, but the absence of enough buyer interest to warrant any auction, suggests these offerings may be B grade, that is houses and apartments that tick fewer boxes than others perhaps based on size, style and location.

The time to offload these was when the market was more robust. There are still buyers around, but as auctioneer Damien Cooley noted average auction registrations slipped from seven to three. And Cooley added only 49% of the sold property actually fetched at or above their reserve.

The beauty of the current conditions is that sellers can put their property up for sale and know they can buy back in, without hopefully paying the crazy prices of mid-year.

John Symond, executive chairman of Aussie Home Loans, says Sydney is now heading into a more healthy market.

"That's what we want.

"We don't want prices going skyrocket month after month, year after year because that inevitably causes problems."

Saturday auctions are scheduled through to December 19 this year, with most agents ideally, or more likely desperately, seeking to seal a deal ahead of the scheduled auction. I see there's seven Blacktown auction scheduled for three days before Christmas.

There's never a huge Santa rally when it comes to property. Just a few too many many December distractions. 

Private treaty negotiations will continue right until Christmas Eve and then a smattering through to New Year's Eve.

I recall the late 1980s guru agent Andrew Gibbons even sold a Vaucluse house on Christmas Day once.

If you are thinking of being a fresh seller in 2016, have a conversation with your agent now about the marketing. 

Select someone with a good track record of selling in market dips. Don't necessarily choose the agent who quotes the highest forecast selling price.

And for mine, yes the early bird does capture the worm. CoreLogic RP Data results show the fresh February auction results are almost always stronger than where December left off. Last December finished off at 69%, and rebounded in February this year at 83%.

It's that optimistic outlook that starts most years that secures a healthier auction outcome, but beware some years then just head backwards from there.

This article was first published in the Saturday Daily Telegraph.



Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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