Coronavirus fears impact on weekend auction results with dip to 69 percent

Coronavirus fears impact on weekend auction results with dip to 69 percent
Jonathan ChancellorDecember 7, 2020

The coronavirus scare has finally affected the hitherto robust capital city auction market sentiment, but not too dramatically.

The national clearance rate has dipped to 69 percent according to the preliminary Domain data.

It is the weakest national result since the opening weekend results of 64 percent on February 1, having been in the 70s in the intervening five weeks.

This time last weekend Domain had the national figure at 75 percent, with Sydney at 80 percent and Melbourne, with its Moomba weekend distraction at 69 percent.

Today it was 73 percent in wet Sydney, down seven percent.

Melbourne sat at 68 percent, so just a small dip.

City Success rate Number listed  Reported auctions 







This week

14 March

Sydney73.4%644433361 $328.5  
Melbourne68.0%1,090751532 $412.7  
National69.6%1,9211,292969 $778.2  

Source: Domain

The weekend prior, on the last Saturday in February saw Domain calculate the national figure at 78 percent, with Sydney at 82 percent and Melbourne at 77 percent.

The top reported sale was an $8 million luxury Lavender Bay apartment that the Sunday Telegraph reported sold for more than $1 million over its reserve price with four registered bidders amid the 50 attendees.

Melbourne's top sale was $3.82 million in Malvern East, with several pricier homes failing to find buyers including a no-bid $5 million Hawthorn offering. 

There has been an escalating trend towards sale before auction as sellers worry just whether the buyers will emerge on auction day in the current contagion scare.

SQM Research calculated Melbourne had 117 sold priors, 17 rescheduled and another 39 either withdrawn/sold prior/rescheduled.

Sydney had 164 sold priors, 25 rescheduled and 53 SP, withdrawn or rescheduled.

"All search activity on has slowed over the past week," said Nerida Conisbee, chief economist with the rival property listing site last last week.

The Australian Financial review described search activity as "a leading indicator of the health of the property."

The chief economist Nerida Consibee had said she expected the clearance rate to be lower, but added it was difficult to predict the influence of coronavirus.

As the major capital cities head into the busy pre-Easter auction period, estate agents dread that would-be vendors will sit on their hands when it comes to mid-April fresh listings.

It is commonly believed a major drop in property prices will not occur unless there was a spike in full time unemployment as the prospect of a recession looms.

Some property pundits had forecast a similar success rate for auctions as the last two weeks, given the interest rate cut was encouraging more people to buy.

The data for saw a bigger drop in Sydney, down to a preliminary 74 percent.

Canberra dipped to 66 percent.

The data for the prior Saturday saw 83 percent in the ACT; and 82 percent in NSW.

Yesterday was 71 percent in Victorian, down from 77 percent on the prior weekend.

Last weekend was 69 percent in SA and 53 percent in Queensland.

Today it was up in SA to 74 percent, so against the national trend, while it was down a bit in Queensland to 51 percent.

The weekend results do see contradictions as Cooley Auctions in Sydney reported 73 percent today selling 37/51 compared with 61 percent last weekend selling 33/54.

McGrath Sydney agent sold 41 properties today, but saw 20 pass in or get withdrawn.

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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