, Lockdown’s surprise effect on home sales, The Nzuchi Times

Lockdown’s surprise effect on home sales

, Lockdown’s surprise effect on home sales, The Nzuchi Times

Extended lockdown has failed to extinguish Sydney’s housing boom and may even be adding further fuel to the red hot market.

Experts revealed competition for real estate has been ramping up since the lockdown started because of fewer homeowners listing their homes for sale at a time of still elevated demand.

New listings dropped 13.3 per cent over the past month but there was no noticeable change in buyer activity, according to realestate.com.au.

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The conditions put pressure on buyers to offer higher prices and agents reported “ferocious bidding” at weekend auctions.

This included at one Sutherland Shire auction where the buyer paid $725,000 over an already inflated $2.7 million reserve price, beating out 14 other bidders registered for the virtual auction.

Other online auctions attracted up to 61 bidders – numbers normally seen in boom markets.

The preliminary auction clearance rate for the 780-odd properties scheduled to go to under the hammer was 77 per cent, according to CoreLogic.

The bulk of the properties that did not sell were withdrawn from auction prior to bidding, with only 29 auctions passing in.

, Lockdown’s surprise effect on home sales, The Nzuchi Times

My Housing Market economist Andrew Wilson said the lockdown created a sense of “trepidation” in sellers but not buyers.

“If you see something for sale you can still buy, there are mechanisms to do it, but it is difficult to think of starting a marketing campaign in lockdown. Listing is a more problematic process than buying,” he said.

The shrinking supply of available properties could extend the current upswing in prices, Mr Wilson added.

“There is a lot of FOMO out there from buyers and all the (lockdown) does it prolong it and extend the cycle of growth,” he said.

Realestate.com.au director of economic research Cameron Kusher said there would likely be a rebound in listings once lockdown ended but it was clear some buyers wouldn’t be prepared to wait.

“The market had a lot of momentum going into lockdown and with everyone at home there may be those with more time on their hands to think about where they are living,” he said.

“If you have to purchase it could get a lot more difficult because there will be less on the market. Some listings may even be removed.”

Avenue Auctions director Andrew Cooley, who dropped the hammer on the Sylvania Water house for $725,000 over reserve, said in the Sutherland Shire, where there are close to half as many properties up for sale than in a normal year, bidders were aggressive at auction.

“Buyers have learned the lesson from last year,” Mr Cooley said. “Everyone thought the market would tank, then it boomed. There is a view from buyers that the market could get stronger.”

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