Sydney property reignites with open homes & auctions back on

Auctions and open inspections are back, but other factors are at play too.

With open homes and public auctions back on for the first time since COVID restrictions were put in place, it was a lively weekend for Sydney property at BresicWhitney.

Buyers resurged with 627 inspecting across our homes, an average of 8 per inspection. It comes as inventory remains at record lows in the sales market.

On the numbers from CoreLogic, auction clearance rates climbed back to 70% across Sydney to their highest level since mid-March.

There was a notable drop in the number of homes pulled from auction, showing growing confidence among vendors. And more homes were sold at auction, than before auction, with more vendors prepared to go under the hammer with a return to on-site auctions.

But stock levels remain at extremely lows. In the AFR last week, CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless said sales listing volumes were “back to what they were in September 1991”.

That same discussion also turned to economic activity taking a hit in relation to other industries connected with real estate transactions.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver agreed if low volumes were sustained for several more months, it would affect everyone from banking to tradespeople, and could end up being a drag on the economy, possibly by as much as 1%.

Another report from St George Bank recently projected a 7% to 10% decline in national housing values this year, but said price rises could resume as early as next year.

With low interest rates underpinning buyer demand, “Stimulus measures will provide fuel for rapid housing price growth once the broader economic recovery begins,” the report said.

Meanwhile, an influx of rental properties is setting different records in the leasing market. We currently have 100 properties on the market, with 65 others vacating and going online in the next 2 weeks. It comes in the wake of employment upsets, border closures, a diminished international student market, and no incoming overseas professionals.

With the government’s stimulus measures helping many people through this period, most owners and landlords have opted to hang in the market, and ride out the COVID-19 storm.

The question for those owners is whether predicted unemployment, future evictions, and growing vacancy rates will further weigh on the rental market, putting downward pressure on sales prices.

For those taking the selling route right now, the weekend’s numbers show that confidence and sentiment is up amongst the current pool of buyers.

We had 3 properties go to auction over the weekend, with all 3 sold. Together with 9 BresicWhitney sales for the week, these results included a number of sales over $2 million from Edgecliff to Hunters Hill.

Romany Brooks had 2 successful auctions with 32 Langley Street, Darlinghurst which sold for $1.551 million to a previous BW underbidder. She also sold 11 Boundary Street, Darlington for $1.075 million.

John Yannakis had the other sale under the hammer with 137 Arundel Street, Forest Lodge which sold for $1.285 million.

Andrew Liddell’s vendors from Balmain snapped up something in Hunters Hill after being referred to one of Nicholas McEvoy’s listings.

At 4/24 Church Street, Hunters Hill, Nicole Robertson had buyers who inspected Tuesday, came back Wednesday, and purchased Friday for $1.05 million. It was the first property they had looked at in Hunters Hill.

At 4/313A Edgecliff Road, Edgecliff, Maclay Longhurst sold a home off-market for $2.35 million, in just 14 days, showing 10 buyers.

Emily Davidson sold 303/208-210 Old South Head Road, Bellevue Hill for $1.47 million to a buyer who was set on 1-bed homes in the inner city.  Cross promoting between agent databases widened the search to the east.

With 21 new homes signed this week, our listings are now at the highest levels since COVID-19 hit, and auctions dates are being locked in for May.

We’ll continue to update you on prices, vacancy rates, buyer numbers, and new stock levels across both sales and leasing.

The two spaces have never been so intertwined.

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