742 auctions were reported to the REIV on the weekend.  433 sold at auction, 142 sold prior to auction and 165 passed in resulting in an improved clearance rate of 78%.  There were an additional 149 private sales.  In comparison, there were 1,329 auctions held on the same weekend last year producing an 81% clearance rate.

With the clearance rate consistently improving, the media are now reporting more positive stories about the property market than their normal doom and gloom reports.  This in turn seems to helping some buyers to make the decision to purchase now.  It is still too early to call whether the property market has bottomed out however we do believe there more buying opportunities at the end of last year and each negotiation we are involved with now is met with more competition from other buyers.

Selling agents are reporting healthy numbers through many open for inspections but whilst the clearance rate is looking stronger, there are still buyers sitting on their hands with a wait and see approach.  Rising rents are pushing first home buyers into the market and as mentioned last market wrap, some people migrating from overseas are opting to buy rather than rent.

A huge auction in Geelong over the weekend with 19 Layton Crescent, Newtown going under the hammer.  A family relocating from Melbourne outbid four other bidders to secure the four bedroom, two bathroom, three car garage home on 973 sqm.  It is interesting to note that the property is in need of renovation.  The price quoted prior to auction was $1,690,000 to $1,790,000, the property was announced on the market at $1,800,000 and sold for a huge $2,535,000.

26 Westbank Terrace, Richmond was also hotly contested at auction which was brought forward due to an acceptable offer being placed on the property.  The updated four bedroom, two bathroom, two carpark home was quoted at $1,400,000 to $1,500,000 prior to auction and had active bidding from four parties (more buyers attended but did not have an opportunity to put their hand up) and the property sold for $170,000 above the acceptable offer for $1,770,000.

The market sentiment appears to be improving but also the lack of stock is also contributing to the higher bidders per property.  Unfortunately, there are no signs that the stock levels will improve in the immediate future.

Have a great week.

David Easterbrook