Selling online: Despite nay-sayers, first weekend shows results

It’s a whole new style of selling, but it seems like real estate agents have adapted well to being online-only. As new government regulations came into effect, many wondered how well the industry would adapt; suffice to say, everyone stepped up to the plate. The weekend saw a preliminary clearance rate of 51.38%.

No on-site auctions were held last weekend, despite 3,203 properties registered to go under the hammer. Of these 716 were withdrawn from auction and of those that went ahead with the auction, 1,813 were sold via online auctioning giving a preliminary clearance rate of 51.38%.

Kevin Brogan, Residential Market Commentator of CoreLogic said it was to be expected to see an impact on the clearance rates due to the restrictions on auctions and open houses.

“We saw a significant number of withdrawals with an escalating rate of properties sold prior to auction,” said Mr Brogan. “One of the things we’ve noticed is the resilience of the agents to adjust so quickly. With the preliminary rate still in the 50 per cent range, it shows the real estate agents were working hard to adapt.”

Source: CoreLogic


The clearance rate for Sydney so far has been 47.3%, down from the same time last year of 54.3%. Considering the radically different economic situations and selling approaches in place in 2020, it’s impressive how close they are.

McGrath Estate Agents reported that many of the online auctions and virtual inspections using the latest technology were proving to be successful for them. 

“We have painstakingly worked with our agents to ensure that we exceed the safety requirements around COVID-19 of social distancing of between more than 4 square meters, and we’re delighted to continue to service clients and keep the wheels of commerce moving for our country,” said McGrath CEO Geoff Lucas, “Today is a great litmus test of how the business of real estate can continue, where the livestreaming of auctions have seen multiple bidders participate from the safety of their own home, as the auctioneer conducts the auction from either the property or from another location. 

Ray White Group Managing Director Dan White said Saturday was a day for the true believers of the auction method.

“It proved that those agents and auctioneers that are adaptable and technologically talented can continue to thrive in the new environment,” said Mr Lucas.

“Don’t be swayed by people that say auctions don’t work anymore. Instead, talk to those agents that have already adjusted and have found new solutions, and most importantly fought hard to deliver for their customers.”


The preliminary clearance rate for Brisbane was 32.5%, just barely down from last year at the same time (33.5%).

Justin Nickerson of Apollo Auctions said South East Queensland saw an understandable cooling on the hot start to 2020.

“Despite this – many transactions still occurred prior to and during the remote auction process resulting in a respectable overall clearance rate,” said Mr Nickerson.

“Although bidder numbers and those participating were down this week, once agents and buyers become more familiar with the new system we expect the market to maintain some momentum.”


With the highest number of auctions registered at 1,517, the preliminary clearance rate was 58.6%, still up from last year which was 52.1%. This is a truly promising result, showing that we can expect the Melbourne market to remain hot for a while yet.


There was still plenty of interest in the capital where a clearance rate of 64.7%t was achieved from 90 auctions up from last year’s 39.6%. Canberra is going from strength to strength in 2020, and even the idea of a potential recession doesn’t seem to be on the minds of buyers in the territory.


With 30 auctions Perth achieved a 30% clearance rate down from last year at 40.9%. The Perth market is slowly on the rise, so while this may seem a little slow, we can expect Perth to sell more and more properties over coming weeks. Last weekend’s successes will pull a number of buyers and sellers back onto the market as well.


There were 111 auctions that produced a clearance rate of 28.1%, down from 53.9% same time last year. Adelaide was definitely hit the hardest, but as with Perth, we believe that there will be more interest in the properties as sellers and buyers alike hear about the successes nation-wide.

Written: 2 April 2020, Updated: 8 April 2020

We would love to hear your thoughts on this project.

Have you visited this project recently, or perhaps you live nearby or bought in a neighbouring building? Tell us what you love about this project, or perhaps what you don't.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments