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Digital Dominance: Australian Housing Market Rides the Wave of Online Auctions in 2024

By Tiger Malan

Auction season is off to a red hot start in 2024, with some 2775 listings going under the hammer across the capital cities, last week, according to CoreLogic.

Add to that the 47 properties that went to auction through Ray White Burleigh Group in early February with an almost 75% clearance rate, and it’s clear, the Australian housing market is not slowing down.

Intriguingly, the RWBG event was fully online at Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club, rather than dozens of onsite auctions scattered around the Gold Coast, and that made for an interesting dynamic.

Some 2000 people either tuned in throughout the day, or made bids on the listings down the line – the benefit to them: their agents were able to give them ‘one on one’ attention.

Online auctions can seem a bit daunting to some people – particularly less tech savvy bidders who might even struggle to log on.

RWBG is the forefront of this modern selling process; and ensures anyone who wants to make a bid, can make a bid.

“It’s also fair to say, online auctions are a product of the COVID pandemic, when in person auctions weren’t possible; but clearly its pros far outweigh its cons, and that’s why it’s here to stay,” RWBG Principal, Tiger Malan says.

“Online auctions allow buyers to bid from the comfort of their own home where they might be able to make far more rational decisions.

“For those who don’t particularly like the tension and theatre of in person auctions and have botched their bids in the past, this is a game changer.”

Online auctions also allow for flexibility if a buyer can’t actually make an onsite one.

They can make a bid from home, workplace or even holiday destination, if that is indeed where they find themselves on the day of the auction – physical distance is no longer a barrier to vying for a new property.

Online auctions offer transparency for buyers as to what’s going on.

They can watch in real time themselves, see every bid and how the auctioneer is handling the property.

“You get a much better ‘feel’ for the auction online, rather than relying on someone telling you how it’s going on the phone,” Malan says.

“You can watch yourself as counter bids come in, how quickly, and how the auctioneer reacts – these are important insights for a buyer.

“Likewise, you can stick to your bidding strategy a lot more closely – you’re not bidding blind.”

Online auctions are the new frontier for real estate and not every property lends itself to an online auction – onsite auction will likely remain the preferred selling process for many people, but the concept is catching on.

The litmus test for them, though, will be their long term clearance rates, and selling price above reserve, but so far they’re holding steady against onsite ones.

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