The best suburbs in Brisbane to sell under the hammer have been revealed, with new data showing the hotspots where vendors are making the most of a thriving auction market.
Brisbane, not traditionally an auction-led city like Sydney and Melbourne, has long had institutionalised low clearance rates but the appetite for auctions has grown in recent years, particularly in suburbs where buyer demand is high.
New data from Domain has drilled down to the number of auctions held in each suburb in the 12-month period to August this year, as well as the number of properties sold by auction and its correlating clearance rate.
Kenmore, in Brisbane’s leafy south west, and Wishart, 14 kilometres south east of the CBD, had the highest
auction clearance rates of any suburb in Brisbane – 62 per cent of properties there sold under the hammer over the 12-month period.
Their clearance rate was more than double Brisbane’s average of 30 per cent during the same 12 months.
Kosma Comino of LJ Hooker Sunnybank Hills said Wishart’s low turnover and strong demand from parents wanting their children in the Mansfield
school catchment had seen properties selling under the hammer sometimes for up to $200,000 over their reserve.
“I started doing auctions here because the demand was so huge from buyers that properties were selling within a day and I thought we could do better,” he said.
“When you’ve got demand in a suburb like this, you get such great results. Some properties have gone for $200,000 to $300,000 over reserve – for somewhere out in the suburbs to get those results is absolutely crazy.
“I honestly reckon this would be one of the best suburbs to sell via auction.”
It was a similar story in Kenmore, where a shortage of stock, coupled with its affordable prices for
young families, made it an area in high demand.
“Kenmore has been the place over the past 12 months that I have recommended to young families as value for money because there’s over a 10 per cent price difference between it and Chapel Hill,” said Reuben Packer-Hill of McGrath Paddington.
“High clearance rates are always going to come down to supply and demand. The big benefit of an
auction campaign is you have a deadline, so when there’s a slower market with low confidence, as Brisbane’s has been, you go for auctions because buyers have to make a decision.”
Other suburbs with strong clearance rates included Kallangur (60 per cent), Chapel Hill (57 per cent), Chermside West (55 per cent) and Wavell Heights (54 per cent).
However, it was important to note the strong clearance rates in these suburbs, including Wishart and Kenmore, were based on a relatively low number of auctions in each area, said Domain research analyst Eliza Owen.
“A higher clearance rate doesn’t necessarily mean the most robust auction market. The other side of a robust
auction market is that vendors are willing to participate, and the number of auctions is relatively high.”
Brisbane’s most auction-heavy suburb was prestigious Camp Hill in the inner east, which had 104 auctions listed in the 12 months to August this year. Camp Hill also had a healthy clearance rate of 34 per cent.
Other suburbs that held a lot of auctions included Sunnybank Hills, Paddington, Calamvale, Wynnum, New Farm, Bardon and
Some of these suburbs reported lower clearance rates, although Bardon, West End, Hendra and Indooroopilly all managed to clear in excess of 40 per cent of their auction stock – a very strong result for suburbs that also had a high number of auctions, Ms Owen said.
“Bardon is a great example,” she said. “I think it is fair to say that suburbs with a strong performing auction market don’t always have the highest clearance rate, but may also have a decent number of listings.
“Bardon has an above average clearance rate of 45 per cent, compared to Brisbane at 30 per cent; and it had a decent number of auctions results collected  – and, importantly, it has seen a rise in the annual clearance rate.”
Shane Hicks of Place Bulimba auctions most of the properties he sells at Camp Hill and said it was the best way to nut out the serious buyers.
“What I found was that in Camp Hill, which had a reasonable market but lacked a sense of urgency from buyers, we’ve been able to successfully use the auction method to decrease sellers’ days on market and create a sense of urgency among buyers,” he said.
“We are dealing with so many
interstate buyers – one in three of our transactions would involve an interstate buyer at the moment – and they are so used to the auction process. They find the private treaty process bizarre and often laugh at it. At an auction they feel they are paying fair market value.
“Because of this, we’re finding the appetite for auctions has increased with our local buyers too.”
Ms Owen said it was important to look at all of the factors that impacted on a suburb’s auction figures.
Over the past 10 years, an average of 9.8 per cent of property listings were campaigned by auction, as opposed to about 30 per cent in Sydney and Melbourne.
“The clearance rate is not the only indicator of a thriving auction market. It’s also important to consider how many auctions are being held, how many get withdrawn from auction, and how many properties sell post-auction,” she said.
“When considering the auction method, you may also think about how many similar properties have sold in the area. This will affect the amount of information available about what a property is worth.”
She said it was not always easy to get a clear picture of
Brisbane’s auction market.
“Low clearance rates across south-east Queensland are partly institutional. Queensland agents cannot provide a price guide for auctions, which might prevent potential buyers devising an optimal strategy for the day,” she said.
“The auction might be more about drumming up awareness or urgency around a property than selling on the day.”