Melbourne auctions are dismal

The Melbourne auction scene is dismal with the general number of bidders now down to “one or none”, buyer’s agent Morrell and Koren’s Emma Bloom says.

Despite being the nation’s strongest auction market, Melbourne’s auction volume has plunged year on year down to 718 auctions against 955 last year. Sydney too struggled for supply of homes for sales, at 459 auctions versus 798 last year.

Melbourne’s preliminary auction rate at the weekend was 58.5 per cent, according to Domain. For the week, it was 61.3 per cent higher than last week’s 57 per cent but still lower than last year’s 69.8 per cent.

“A lot of auctions have been failing,” Ms Bloom said. “What agents are now doing to protect the value of the home is to use an expressions-of-interest private treaty selling method.”

Ms Bloom said they did this so they could pitch potential buyers against others sometimes “phantom buyers” in a less transparent sale process to an auction.

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The only exception this past weekend was the sale of the five-bedroom family home at 8 Avenel Road in Kooyong at just over $3 million. It had a “surprising” four bidders, Ms Bloom said.

“I nearly fainted, it wasn’t even that good,” she said.

Ms Bloom said there was plenty of room to negotiate on properties of less than $5 million in Melbourne.

Despite growing weakness in Melbourne’s housing market – which posted one of its lowest months in July with prices falling 0.9 per cent – the most expensive sold nationally over the weekend was the four-bedroom house at 5 Currajong Road in Hawthorn East at $3.1 million.

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