The clearance rate slightly dipped over the weekend with 471 auctions reported to the REIV.  288 sold at auction, 78 before auction and 105 passed in.  In addition there were 156 private sales.  In comparison, there were 733 auctions reported to the REIV last year resulting in a clearance rate of 72%.

The RBA unexpectedly raised interest rates last week not only due to high inflation of 7% but also due to the unemployment rate of 3.5% which is a near 50 year low, increasing wages and also rebounding house prices.  Rising interest rates last year resulted in a stop start property market sentiment and the feeling is that this interest rate rise has paused some buyers again but likely for only a short period.

The feedback from our team meeting this morning is that all buyer agents saw strong buyer numbers through the open for inspections they attended and active bidding at auctions.  So whilst there are some they may have decided to sit on their hands again, there is still strong interest in property and this short term lull may present some opportunities for buyers.  I do strongly believe stabilisation of interest rates is in sight and whilst the property market is currently stable, property prices may increase again by the end of the year.

246 Clarke Street, Northcote was quoted at $1.2m to $1.3m prior to auction and passed in with active bidding.  The small, three bedroom, one bathroom home on a subdivided block went to auction with participation from two bidders.  The property passed in and sold for $1.225m which was below the $1.25m reserve.

Six bidders participated in the auction of a near new four bedroom townhouse in Bentleigh with a crowd of 200 people watching on.  The bidding started at $2,100,000 and sold for $2,430,000.  The property has some wow factor with a high quality fit-out and a swimming pool but it is located close to the train line.

A renovated property in Highton, Geelong was under strong competition with buyers.  99 Belle Vue Ave, Highton is a four bedroom, one bathroom home and was quoted at $680,000 to $720,000 prior to auction.  Five bidders participated in the auction and the property sold for a huge $831,000 which was $111,000 over reserve.

Have a great week.

David Easterbrook