Live online auctions sees real estate industry overcome onsite auction ban

Live online auctions sees real estate industry overcome onsite auction ban
Live online auctions sees real estate industry overcome onsite auction ban

With 2700 scheduled auctions nationally, before the coronavirus onsite auction ban, most of Saturday's property vendors have gone private treaty or withdrawn altogether from the market to await better times.

Just over half the scheduled auctions were changed to private treaty, Domain figures showed.

And 10 per cent became online auctions.

The week saw a surge in the proportion of properties sold prior to auction, lifting from 22 per cent of the preliminary collection last week to 36 per cent this week, CoreLogic advised.

The auctioneers did a great job when going ahead online on Saturday. CoreLogic advised 59 of 100 online Sydney auctions found buyers. Melbourne had 140 live auctions with 97 finding buyers yesterday.

But technically using the traditional auction measuring rules, the national clearance rate fell into the 30s.

The last time clearance rates were so low as was in 1989 when the Reserve Bank of Australia took the cash rate to 17 percent, today they are 0.25 percent.

Sydney at a 37 percent clearance rate was slightly stronger than Melbourne's 35 percent, according to Domain's preliminary data, which included onsite and inroom auctions held prior to the ban.

The REIV reported just 99 properties sold under the auction hammer, but advised this represented a 90 percent success rate as they don't include the 998 withdrawn properties.

The REINSW doesn't publish data.

The tally, that didn't include withdrawn, rather just the limited number of online auctions with the most motivated vendors and best prospects, advised the weekend clearance rate in Melbourne was 84 percent and 57 percent in Sydney.

In Melbourne, CoreLogic's preliminary auction clearance rate sat at 58 per cent across 1,517 auctions this week. The preliminary numbers show 32 per cent of Melbourne auctions were withdrawn from the market.

There were 1,263 auctions scheduled in Sydney this week, of which 385 (45%) have been confirmed as withdrawn so far, returning a preliminary clearance rate of 47 per cent, CoreLogic said.

Ray White advised its withdrawn rates increased from 15 per cent to 25 per cent this week. 

Domain reported the online platform, Gavl, had 57 auctions scheduled of which only 15 went live. 

Of the live auctions, three sold and 12 passed in.

AuctionNow had around 170 listings.

Across Australia the online auctions were typically running late and long, as the new process took shape.

Live online auctions sees real estate industry overcome onsite auction ban
A live auctioneer at the weekend.

One auction took 45 minutes from its advertised start time without a sale in Sydney's south.

Ray White New Farm agent Haesley Cush sold 4 Owen St WOOLOOWIN for $950,000 with two active bidders competing during his first virtual auction which ran for a marathon one hour and 40 minutes.

Ray White was mainly using Real Time Agent with Bid Tracker plus Google Hangouts for its auctions.

At the AuctionNow portal, auctioneer Damien Cooley said the day had been a "resounding success for the industry."

"To adapt to these conditions in such a short time has been an incredible effort.

"Our technology has given agents and auctioneers around the country the ability to help buyers and sellers transact. 

"We have seen several properties with multiple online bidders, many of them competing in what can only be described as fast paced and very exciting auctions." 
"We will continue to improve our technology, live stream picture quality and continue to ensure consumers can watch, register, bid, buy and exchange on live auctions on any device anywhere in the world," he said.
  %  listed advised sld wdn      

This week


Syd 37 1058 394 351 547      
Mel 35 1400 470 451 807      
Nat 35 2723 933 857 1492      

Last week


Syd 58 780 601 420 113      
Mel 57 1187 1023 637 80      
Nat 57 2162 1775 1132 207      

Same week last year


Syd 55 626 466 320 114      
Mel 49 792 710 368 34      
Nat 50 1649 1375 774 162      

Source: Domain 

There was drama at a Ray White auction when a bidder accidentally lodged a virtual bid some $200,000 higher than intended into the online bidding system.

The bid was quickly undone by auctioneer James Keenan and that bidder went on to be the $1.41 million Newtown underbidder.

There were 50 bids for the two bedroom Darley Street home which sold for $1,415,000 with four bidders battling it out over the 40 minute auction, sold at $85,000 over reserve with four of the eight registered bidders active.

Notwithstanding the drama, agent Shaun Stoker said "the system faultlessly took more than 90 bids during a highly competitive auction."

Elsewhere in Newtown an online bidder battled a phone bidder for 156 Denison Street at its LJ Hooker auction.

After 22 bids its sold for $1,753,000 to the phone bidder having opened with the online bidder's $1.55 million offer. 
The auction of a four-bedroom house at 57 Brown St, St Peters commenced 20 minutes after its scheduled time. 

It passed in at $1,520,000.

Hunters Hill saw a $3.375 million sale, the highest reported Sydney success.

Just two bidders competed but over 130 tuned in to the auction, which had three interruptions with technical glitches.

But McGrath CEO Geoff Lucas said he was delighted the agency could "keep the wheels of commerce moving for our country."

“Today is a great litmus test of how the business of real estate can continue, where the live streaming of auctions have seen multiple bidders participate from the safety of their own home, as the auctioneer conducts the auction from either the property or from another location."

There were seven registered to bid for the McGrath listing at 14 Hampton Road, Sylvania Waters that sold for $1,596,000.

Some 38 viewers watched the auction that had three participating bidders.

There were 99 tuned into the auction of 19 Archibald Street, Padstow that McGrath sold for $1,007,500.

Three of the nine registered bidders participated after the $800,000 opening bid.

McGrath also secured the $1.02 million sale of 3 Limburgers Road, East Geelong that had four buyers online, and one on the phone. 

The national McGrath network had 191 weekend listings, with a 55 percent success rate from the online offerings, but a 37 percent clearance rate when taking withdrawn property into account.

There was an auction at Dundas with two bidders, one of whom posted a $1.37 million bid after the $1.35 million vendor bid lodged by its Stone Real Estate agent, available to be seen on the running bid list.

However interested parties were advised following the live auction for 5 Ronald Avenue that the property "passed in for an undisclosed price."

There were more than 100 bids for a one-bedroom unit in Potts Point that had an $800,000 guide but fetched $1.208 million. 

There were 67 bids in Queens Park for 23 Cuthbert Street that sold for $1,905,000.

The inner west Sydney agency Cobden Hayson advised 50 percent of the buyers had stepped back in their intent on March 19, which had dipped to 60 to 70 percent, by March 26.

There were some opportunistic buyers, Matthew Hayson advised, along with recent buyers committed to sell. 



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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