Weekend auctions: Surprise competition as live action resumes in capitals

Victoria kicked off its first on-site auctions since bans were lifted, and some NSW sellers scored big with strong competition from bidders, amid a busy weekend of activity in the auction capitals.

Latest realestate.com.au auction data shows Victoria had a clearance rate of 70% in its first weekend of live auctions in eight weeks, while NSW hit 73% after coronavirus bans were lifted last week.

1 Kyarra St, Hampton sold in one of Melbourne’s first auctions back.

Nerida Conisbee, realestate.com.au’s Chief Economist, said while auctions were “trending back to normal” in Sydney and Melbourne with return of on-site sales, it will “take some time for numbers to get back to where they were prior to COVID-19 shutdowns.”

“Yesterday, there were 137 auctions scheduled in Sydney and 110 scheduled in Melbourne, representing a significant drop compared to this time last year – and auction numbers were already very low due to the 2019 federal election,” Ms Conisbee said.

“While clearance rates only look at a very small portion of the market, the big spike in the New South Wales clearance rate last weekend to 77% is perhaps proof that buyer activity remains strong and that buyers are more comfortable buying in-person than online.

“This theory is also supported by increased levels of buyer enquiry and search activity on realestate.com.au.”


Despite Melbourne getting the green light to resume live auctions, online bidding rendered some of its biggest results by the week’s end.

13 Omeo Court, Blackburn South attracted 32 registered bidders.

Fierce competition forced a live auction in Blackburn South to go online, as the three-bedroom home at 13 Omeo Court attracted 32 registered bidders – well above the physical distancing limit of 10 people.

This led to a nearly hour-long bidding war via online platform Gavl, as 15 bidders pushed the price $62,500 above reserve to $1.0225 million.

In Hampton, a three-bedroom home at 1 Kyarra Street sold for $2.31 million – a result that agent Nick Johnstone said could not have been achieved via online bidding platforms.

“By having some human emotion back at auctions, it definitely makes a difference to the result” said Mr Johnstone, of Nick Johnstone Real Estate.

Read more about Melbourne’s weekend auction coverage here.

This Hampton home sold for over $2 million at live auction on Saturday.


Live auctions resumed in NSW last weekend and Sydney bidders, sellers and agents were back in semi-normal swing.

One couple in the inner west suburb of Concord made a big profit on their renovated Frederick St home, which sold for $2.705 million – more than double the $1.255 million they paid for the property in 2014, according to sales records.

Four bidders registered for the auction of the Frederick St house.

Four groups of buyers registered to bid for the five-bedroom home, which had a reserve of close to $2.6 million.

Auctioneer Damien Cooley received an opening bid of $2.4 million within 30 seconds of launching proceedings and the initial offers went up in $50,000 increments.

“We’re extremely happy,” said owner Richard Bowe said. “We were expecting a lot lower … we were anxious when it was going to be only an online auction but being able to do it (on-site) again made a difference.”

On Saturday, a five-bedroom house on Dock Rd in Birchgrove sold for $3.82 million, $320,000 above the reserve price.

Selling agent Lynsey Kemp of Belle Property said all the six registered bidders were upgrading families.

Read more about Sydney’s weekend auction action here.

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