Residential auctions gain traction in Canberra during November

Independent Property Group agent Mark Larmer auctions a house in Downer.Independent Property Group agent Mark Larmer auctions a house in Downer. Photo: Graham Tidy Fairfax Media

Almost half of Canberra houses taken to market in November were sold via the auction method.

The 47.4 per cent result was a sharp spike from 2016’s overall auction rate of 35.1 per cent, however the sales method has steadily increased since 2010.

In 2010, 23.7 per cent of properties were sold under the hammer. That figure rose to 29.2 per cent in 2015, before climbing another 6 per cent in 2016.


!function(e,t,n,s){var i=”InfogramEmbeds”,o=e.getElementsByTagName(t),d=o[0],a=/^http:/.test(e.location)?”http:”:”https:”;if(/^/{2}/.test(s)&&(s=a+s),window[i]&&window[i].initialized)window[i].process&&window[i].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var r=e.createElement(t);r.async=1,,r.src=s,d.parentNode.insertBefore(r,d)}}(document,”script”,”infogram-async”,”//”);

Allhomes data scientist Nicola Powell said the Canberra-wide shortage of properties may have drawn more agents and vendors to the competitive nature of auctions.

“We have seen such a strong demand for detached houses,” Dr Powell said.

“That has really helped push up the prices and resulted in more homes sold by auction.”

Luton Properties sales manager and auctioneer Craig Sheargold said the method had several advantages for both buyers and sellers.

“It gives the sellers time to get feedback on where their property sits in the market, and just as importantly, it gives the buyers time to make an offer,” Mr Sheargold said.

Mr Sheargold said Luton Properties sold more than 1450 homes in 2016 and about 750 of those were taken to auction.

He said 67 per cent of the auctioned properties exchanged after 21 days on the market, which compared favourably with the private treaty method. 

“Even if you negotiate on the first weekend [for a private treaty sale] it would usually take two to three weeks before you have an exchange of contract,” Mr Sheargold said.

Tuggeranong was the only Canberra region to record a decline in auctions. In 2016, 18.8 per cent of houses in the region sold at auction, compared to 22.2 per cent in 2010.

The inner south had the highest proportion of auctions in 2016 – 64.1 per cent, up from 2010’s 46.1 per cent.

In November, Canberra recorded its highest auction result of all time when a Yarralumla mansion at 12 Hunter Street sold under the hammer for $5,475,000 through Peter Blackshaw Manuka’s Mario Sanfrancesco.

However, Mr Sanfrancesco said more vendors were choosing to take their homes to auction across all sectors of the market.

“The recent increase by sellers and some agents is based on the very bullish results and the strong clearance rate,” Mr Sanfrancesco said.

He said buyers and sellers were now familiar with process and also appreciated the transparency of auctions.

“The media reports on the results, there are TV shows about the process, the consumer is much more in tune than they were even a decade ago.”