Auctions stall on election weekend

Traditionally, real estate agents caution vendors against marketing their property for auction on a day where some type of major event is scheduled. Whether it’s a public holiday, footy finals or as we had this Saturday, a Federal election, the number of auctions conducted drops significantly when buyers are distracted by other goings on.

It’s not surprising therefore, that the number of properties up for auction this weekend was around half that of the weekend before according to the Home Price Guide’s auction results.

In Sydney, 81 out of 112 properties sold on Saturday, producing a clearance rate of 66%, which reflects the fairly consistent results we have seen out of the Harbour city for the past month or two.

Melbourne’s clearance rate was slightly up from the previous week at 69%, after 75 out of 106 properties sold, while Adelaide had an unremarkable 30% result with only 10 properties auctioned and just 3 selling.

As has been the case on numerous occasions recently, Brisbane again fared the worse with just 6 out of 22 properties selling to give a clearance rate of 26%.

In a commentary on Domain, Australian Property Monitors general manager Anthony Ishac said the drop in auctions this weekend, “is almost identical to what happened during the November 2007 federal election.”

He says house price growth is likely to continue to soften somewhat until the end of August as it has right throughout winter, due to nearly six consecutive interest rates rises.

As a result Ishac says, “Both elections will have been held during tightening phases of monetary policy, with the RBA wary of inflation.

The difference this time around is the Gillard government has avoided an unpleasant rate rise, which the Howard government had to deal with.”

Ishac notes that despite the hype regarding affordability issues, dwindling housing supply, record house price growth and the general propaganda surrounding our property and finance markets this year, neither party really put anything on the table with regard to the future of property in Australia.

“It looks like another three years under the weight of the same issues,” he says.


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