Natalie Di Paola

Every year before Easter the property market is usually bursting with action however, reports show that the number of Pre-Easter Super Saturday auctions this year are lower than previous years.

According to Domain, Saturday February 17 saw an estimated 510 properties at auction, with a clearance rate of 67.5 per cent, while Saturday February 24 saw a higher number of 964 auctions with a clearance rate of 70 per cent. Saturday March 3 saw a decrease, with 801 auctions with a clearance rate of 65.3 per cent.

One reason for this decrease in numbers is the fact that property prices have increased significantly. There have also been less properties listed for sale and less buyers.

More properties are selling before auction as there are often only one or two buyers interested and making offers. Some properties haven’t sold at auction or are being withdrawn from auction because there simply hasn’t been enough interest.

However, some real estate agents believe this decline could also be attributed to an unusual rise in properties sold during January, before the Super Saturday period began, which usually starts at the end of February.

Agents are also attributing the lower numbers to a buyer’s concern that bank interest rates will rise in the future. The banks have also recently implemented tighter restrictions around how much you can borrow based on salary.

However, real estate agents are still encouraging buying and selling during the Pre-Easter Super Saturday period.

“If you’re a seller, I think it’s a good time to sell between now and Easter because I think the market is stronger now than what it will be this time next year,” says Mr Michael Dempsey, Managing Director and Principal at Your Real Estate, Roseville.

“For buying, there can be some thought for holding off to not buy, because there could be a slight downturn. But the market is not going to drop very much soon, it should stay level now, I think.”

Meanwhile, Mr Andrew Baird, Licensee at LJ Hooker, Roseville, advises sellers and buyers to trust their real estate agents during this time of year.

“You do your research, have a look around at everything on the market. And have a good chat with the agent, and don’t be afraid to make an offer,” Andrew says.

“There may be no one else interested in it and you could get lucky and they take your offer. If it does go to auction, know what your limit is but be prepared to bid on the day.

“If you’re a seller, again if you find a good agent who communicates with you through the campaign, you will end up with a successful result, either before or at auction. But every property’s different, so you can’t tell.”