Ray White chief says auction price guidance "almost impossible" in aggressive Sydney market

Ray White chief says auction price guidance
Ray White chief says auction price guidance "almost impossible" in aggressive Sydney market

"It’s been almost impossible to give accurate price guidance when potential purchasers are prepared to fight and bid aggressively, resulting in some delighted vendors," the Ray White chairman Brian White recently noted.

The admission accompanied the Ray White Group achieving $3.2 billion in March sales nationally.

"How wise are vendors to have embraced auction in this cycle," he said in his latest monthly advisory, The White Paper.

"All of the talk in Australia is about Sydney.

"But it went much broader than Sydney," he said earlier this month.

"It’s always a good sign for Australia when New South Wales is powering.

"It becomes a catalyst for confidence across the nation," he said. 

"Ray White in Victoria set a new record reflecting a dramatically improved Melbourne market," he said.

He pinpointed a number of offices that "showed just how big some real estate agencies can become.

"For example, Double Bay did $120 million, Remuera in Auckland did $55 million, Glen Waverley in Melbourne also did close to $50 million.

"All massive increases over any previous level."

Last November he noted New South Wales was the standout with its first $1billion month, adding the experience at Ray White Balmain where Sam Kelso and Emily Sim opened a new business and were profitable in the first year, was "inspiring." 

"We’re seeing record auction clearance rates," he wrote in late 2013.

"Property prices are increasing in most markets, particularly the big cities.

"The highest percentage of property is now being taken to auction.

"Confidence to upgrade one’s home is being backed by enthusiasm of a cycle a-go.

"Sooner or later, the cycle will lose intensity," he acknowledged. 

Mr White likes to call markets as accurately as possible, and in the past weaker markets once noted "There's a terrible statistic in the industry that shows about half of sales are made at a price that is less than the owner was previously offered."

And he had also advised the only softness was the confidence hit that resource regions in Australia are now experiencing. 

"On a bearish note, prices are dropping in resource areas.

"A reminder of how closely linked property prices are to economic activity," he said. 

Brian White has said the continued focus on China had resulted in the company being recently invited to present at a key investment conference being held by CCPIT – the arm of the Chinese Government promoting investment within and outside of China.  

But adding that while project sales continued at remarkable levels - "what would this market look like if it no longer had Asian interest?" 

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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