Melbourne Property News Monthly Wrap – March 2020

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Auction shutdown disrupts market in March.

During March more than 2,848 auctions were reported to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV). There were 1,209 sales at auction with 684 properties passed in. 315 of those on a vendor bid. The clearance rate averaged 74.5%, slightly down on February’s 76.5%.

Market conditions were disrupted in the last week of March as the ban on public auctions and open-for-inspections took effect from midnight Wednesday the 25th. 

That meant 1,400+ public auctions scheduled for the weekend of the 28th & 29th of March were cancelled. Most of these scheduled auctions were converted to Private Treaty Sales, including Expression of Interest or Sale by Set/Fixed date campaigns. Understandably some properties were withdrawn from sale. Public auctions usually account for 30% of Melbourne home sales, so for the other methods of sale it’s business as usual. And inspections by appointment can continue.

Fewer auctions, but a high clearance rate

The REIV reported 363 auctions on the last weekend of March however the majority of these (228) were sold prior to auction whereas 99 were sold online. Hence the reason why March’s final weekend posted a very high clearance rate of 90%.

Online auctions are a combination of live stream and a traditional auction, with buyers registering to place bids, whist watching an auctioneer on video. Online auctions using platforms like Zoom & GAVL for example will increase, as real estate agents and customers become more adept with the process.

To get a quick indication of current market sentiment, analysts CoreLogic surveyed agents in Melbourne and Sydney in the third week of March. Agents reported signs of falling buyer enquiry. Seller enquiries were also down. Because the length and extent of the Coronavirus economic setback can still only be estimated, a dip in market confidence is inevitable. 

The landscape is changing each week, and then we adjust. We wish the best of health to all Vendor Marketing clients and connections, and stay safe!

Craig Knudsen
Principal Advisor
Vendor Marketing

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