Auction markets lift on last weekend before spring

The nation’s property markets have delivered a better than expected result in the last weekend before the spring selling season begins, but experts say it’ll take a few weeks before we see any solid results.

But it’s certainly looking rosier. Australian Property Monitors economist Andrew Wilson says that despite last year’s disappointing performance, this year has resulted in a slightly better economy and a more positive consumer base.

“We’re starting to see fewer issues with the eurozone now, and issues such as the carbon tax and the mining tax don’t seem to be resonating as much as they did previously,” he told SmartCompany.

The weekend’s results show Sydney recorded a result of 62.5% on 223 reported auctions, up from last week’s 57.9% and 53.9% from the same time last year.

But the bigger surprise was in Melbourne. The Real Estate Institute of Victoria reported a rate of 66% for the weekend, compared to 57% last week and 52% this time last year.

“This weekend’s result represents a substantive improvement on the year to date clearance rate of 60%. Vendors looking to sell over spring will hope this improvement continues over the next few months,” chief executive Enzo Raimondo said in a statement.

Wilson says it’s a positive result, given the market “has generally been able to keep its head above water”.

‘It’s certainly a good result, but it’s also an atypical one,” he warns.

The Melbourne market also posted an unusual increase in the last week of winter last year. Wilson says the rise may be a sign the spring selling season will start off with a bang, but warns it’s more likely Melbourne will keep its cool until after the football season ends in the last weekend of September.

“I think it’s more likely the market will begin to build up slowly,” he says.

“There is the football focus in Melbourne, but no doubt agents will be busily preparing in concert with their vendors on spring marketing campaigns and so on.”

The marriage of spring selling season and football creates some volatility for sellers who must navigate their auctions around key points in the sporting calendar.

Two years ago, many sellers found themselves in trouble when the AFL Grand Final ended in a draw and had to be replayed the following week.

But whether or not spring selling season kicks off in September or October, Wilson says the market is better suited for a positive result.

“The economic front is looking a little steadier, and consumer confidence is better.”

“Overall, we’re in much better shape than last year.”

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