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Active bidders remain undeterred

By Jessie Stewart

The real estate auction market had another strong weekend across Australia with some very determined active bidders in the new world of social distancing, according to Ray White.

The leading auction house, that conducts one in four auctions across Australia and New Zealand, booked a preliminary national clearance rate of 63 per cent of its 338 scheduled auctions, slightly down from last week but well up on the 18 month average.

The group has been encouraged by the use of its digital registration cards, digital paddles and the uptake of its  ‘conscious contact’ campaign while adhering to social distancing rules to assist in flattening the curve.

Ray White Group Managing Director Dan White said the most important part of the strong week of activity was that “we were able to provide a safe environment for our customers and members”.

“We are operating in a new way yet we are still creating the same competition for our vendors and delivering great outcomes,” Mr White said.

“The housing market is currently holding up extremely well, considering the incredible developments both locally and internationally.

“We aren’t assuming anything and like everyone else, we don’t have a crystal ball.

“But for now, we do know that current market activity, record low interest rates, a strong banking system, and the community’s faith in the housing market, especially in uncertain times, should give all homeowners confidence in the value of their homes.”

Ray White Principal Ash Weston said there was no doubt crowd numbers were down a tad this week given the heightened awareness of social distancing although quality buyers still turned up.

“We have taken great measures to ensure that our open for inspections and auctions are as safe as possible,” Mr Weston said.

“Facebook Live and other live streaming platforms are providing an avenue for buyers to watch the real time price action, should they not wish to attend in person.“

Ray White Victoria Chief Auctioneer Matt Condon said there was an increase in auction volume this week and crowds remain strong yet spread out.

“We noticed buyers were often hesitant but once the auction kicked off buyers were bidding with strength and confidence. We are continuing to see competitive bidding across the network and it’s great to see so many great auction results for Ray White Victoria.”

In Melbourne, Ray White Carnegie Partner Josh Hommelhoff today sold 2/8 Paget St, Hughesdale for $1.170 million in front of a crowd of 30 people. “There would have been a bigger crowd in normal circumstances for sure. I have done back to back open homes from 9am to 4pm with an auction in between and actually only had one person asked about our new protocols. I’ve had good numbers at all my open homes today.”

It was a very successful day in the field for Ray White Gladstone Park Director and Auctioneer Phillip Mercieca who said his office sold four from five properties for their vendors.

Among them, at 29 Bellini Drive, Greenvale agent Vito Trentadue sold the property for $695,000 . “It wasn’t a huge crowd but the opening bid was $580,000 and it moved up very quickly to $650,000 and then it shot to $695,000. The buyers were local first home buyers, while the sellers are downsizing to an apartment,” Mr Mercieca said.

“Nearly all of our sellers today were hesitant about going to auction and we are trying to keep them all calm. But interestingly there was definitely a sense of panic buying today. Buyers just wanted to ‘buy now’ for a fear of lack of stock coming up.”

Locally, at 10 Bellevue Cr Seaford agent George Devic sold the property under fierce competition. “The vendor had their doubts about going to auction today given the week’s events. However we proceeded to auction with a reserve price of $650,000 and there were at least 40 people there and three active bidders who pushed the price to $692,000. The vendors were over the moon ecstatic with the result,” Mr Devic said.

Ray White Principal Ash Weston said today was the first real test of the market to see if there was any effect from the economy but “it did not deter the buyers from attending open homes and participating at auction”.

“The market is still confident with many great results this week and plenty of people rushing to buy property,” Mr Weston said.

“When people came to the door we spaced them out. Open numbers were very strong across the weekend and private inspection requests in particular have increased dramatically.”

“As a company, we are absolutely focused on navigating our community safely home over the coming weeks. Our team understands the significant role we have in keeping our community safe and we are all prepared to work tirelessly over the next 30 days to ensure everyone has a safe place to call their own.”

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