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Melbourne auction listings plunge 83 per cent as COVID-19 lockdown extended for two weeks

Auctions in Victoria have virtually almost disappeared with the number of properties listed in Melbourne diving by 83 per cent in just one week.

In the last week of August, 162 homes in Melbourne went to auction as winter ended.

The first week of spring, traditionally a strong time for auctions, was a very different story with just 28 homes listed in the week ending September 7, CoreLogic data showed.

Melbourne’s auction clearance rate has also dropped from 40.6 per cent to 33.3 per cent with just eight homes selling for more than the reserve price.

Auctions in Victoria have virtually almost disappeared with the number of properties listed in Melbourne diving by 83 per cent in just one week. Pictured is an auction in Brisbane illustrating how Queensland is allowing socially-distanced bidding on site

Auctions in Victoria have virtually almost disappeared with the number of properties listed in Melbourne diving by 83 per cent in just one week. Pictured is an auction in Brisbane illustrating how Queensland is allowing socially-distanced bidding on site

By comparison, Sydney’s equivalent auction clearance rate over the same time frame rose from 64.2 per cent to 69.5 per cent. 

Melbourne’s auction clearance woes

Auction listings plunged from 162 in the week ending August 30 to 28 in the week ending September 6

This marked a plunge of 82.7 per cent 

Clearance rates fell from 40.6 per cent to 33.3 per cent

Source: CoreLogic 

The results were confirmed on Sunday as Victoria’s Labor Premier Daniel Andrews announced the strict, Stage Four lockdowns would be extended until September 28.

Under Victoria’s lockdowns, home owners are allowed to sell their house but auctions can only be held remotely by video link.

Home inspections are also banned.

During the earlier lockdowns in March, neighbouring New South Wales banned open home inspections but allowed prospective buyers to see a house or apartment by appointment provided social distancing and hand sanitiser rules were followed.

Melbourne is also Australia’s worst performing house market with median house prices dropping for the fifth consecutive month in August.

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said Melbourne and Sydney had the most to lose from the coronavirus pandemic as the national border closure caused net overseas migration to plunge from 232,000 in 2018-19 to just 31,000 in 2020-21.

In the last week of August, 162 homes in Melbourne went to auction as winter ended. The first week of spring, traditionally a strong time for auctions, was a very different story with just 28 homes listed in the week ending September 7, CoreLogic data showed. Pictured is Melbourne's Bourke Street on Sunday as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a lockdown extension

In the last week of August, 162 homes in Melbourne went to auction as winter ended. The first week of spring, traditionally a strong time for auctions, was a very different story with just 28 homes listed in the week ending September 7, CoreLogic data showed. Pictured is Melbourne’s Bourke Street on Sunday as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a lockdown extension

Australia’s population growth pace would more than halve from 1.4 per cent to 0.6 per cent – marking the slowest increase since 1917 before the Spanish flu.

Central business district apartments and housing near universities were most in danger.  

‘Three-quarters of those capital city migrants arrived in Sydney and Melbourne Within the cities, the largest number of overseas migrants are generally centered around the CBD, and precincts close to the CBD, where high density housing options are common, and to a lesser extent, middle-ring suburbs close to educational precincts or transport hubs such as Parramatta in Sydney or Clayton in Melbourne,’ Mr Lawless said.

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