Real Estate

Auctions still best, say agents, despite low clearance rates

Written by The ReReport

Real estate agents are still insisting an auction campaign is still the best way to sell your property in most parts of Sydney, despite new data showing clearance rates are as low as 15 per cent in some areas.

The theory is an auction sale encourages buyers to act quickly.

Many in the west are now abandoning auctions in favour of private treaty but agent Blaz Dejanovic of Ray White still swears by them.

“I tend to do auctions because no matter what price you put up there on the internet, buyers are still looking for a bargain — they come in 10 per cent lower,” he said.

“And then they go home, watch the news and see house prices dropping to 2020 and they procrastinate, so we try to get the best price when there’s urgency at an auction.”

He said even though there were 42 per cent fewer auctions this year than last and clearance rates have averaged 33 per cent, some homeowners are achieving higher than expected results.

He helped Abbotsbury dentist Ben Nguyen and his wife, Ngoc, sell their house at 16 Withers Pl for $1.85 million — $250,000 above reserve — under the hammer last Saturday.

“We’d heard a lot of bad stories about poor clearance rates and people not getting the price they wanted and buyers not able to get finance,” Mr Nguyen said.

“We were really scared … but going to auction was the best move we ever made.”

They’d bought the home for $1,247,000 in 2009. The family is moving to be closer to Strathfield’s private schools.

CoreLogic data prepared for The Sunday Telegraph shows there were 17.5 per cent fewer auctions this year across the city but there were 8.7 per cent more in the east.

Even though clearance rates on average are well down (54 per cent); veteran eastern suburbs agent Bob Guth of Bradfield Cleary said: “When the market is weak, it’s the best way of effecting a sale.”

Nine out of 10 of the agency’s homes put up for auction are sold within 30 days of the scheduled day.

And there have been some recent outstanding results, with a block of nine flats at 13 St Neot Ave, Potts Point selling for $7,651,000, which was more than $1.5 million above reserve through Raine and Horne Double Bay; another block of flats in Coogee selling for $5,540,000, $890,000 above reserve through Ray White Randwick and an apartment with harbour views selling for $2.5 million, $600,000 above reserve to a Bondi Junction plastic surgeon through Richardson and Wrench Double Bay.

The figures show there were 29 per cent fewer auctions in Sutherland for an average clearance of 38 per cent; 15 per cent fewer in Ryde (44 per cent); 26 per cent fewer in Parramatta (32 per cent); 16 per cent fewer in outer west and Blue Mountains (15 per cent); 22 per cent fewer in the northern beaches (40 per cent); 13 per cent fewer on the north shore (50 per cent); 16 per cent fewer in the inner west (49 per cent); 27 per cent fewer in the inner south west (36 per cent) 11 per cent fewer in the city and inner south (44 per cent); 38 per cent fewer in Blacktown (44 per cent); 16 per cent fewer in Baulkham Hills (27 per cent) and four per cent fewer on the Central Coast (41 per cent).

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