How mainstream media spins weekend auction clearance rates

May 3rd, 2017

With Sydney’s property market precariously poised, now more than ever our systemically conflicted mainstream property media has a responsibility to be balanced and not peddle fake news.

The bolded emphasis in the quotes is ours.

Consider this piece on 1 May 2017 by Domain’s Dr Andrew Wilson:

“Despite reports it’s heading towards a demise, Sydney’s auction market produced yet another boom-time result at the weekend, re-focusing after holiday interruptions in the past month…

“Proving the city’s not slowing down, Sydney recorded a strong clearance rate of 80.3 per cent”…

“Sydney recorded a median price of $1,230,000 on Saturday which was…6.7 per cent higher than the $1,152,500 recorded over the same weekend last year.”

Since when is a 6.7% annual increase a “boom time result”?

And could the “strong clearance rate of 80.3%” not just mean “the city’s [actually] slowing down” because sellers are meeting the market which might also explain that miserable 6.7%?

Without hint of qualification, Dr Wilson barrels on:

“[t]he most expensive house reported sold at auction was a six-bedroom home at 38 Newton Road, Strathfield sold for $4,750,000”…

Well, it so happens an inner west selling agent attended the auction and that evening posted a very detailed blog about it.

And yes, we are referring to a selling agent – one in whose interests it is to talk up the market.

Instead, that agent did the opposite which adds even more credibility to the blog:

“This week there were 2 properties scheduled for Auction in my marketplace. One sold… at auction for above what the agent was quoting, but not at a price the owner was happy to sell at, but would take, it seemed. Looking at the Auction from the outside it was clear that 2 parties wanted it, it was just about who was willing to pay more…In this case it was also about what the owner would accept because as the bidding stopped at $2,550,000 the agents went in to have a long conversation with the vendors. To me they obviously hadn’t reached the price that they would have been happy to sell at so they needed to make a decision… would they take what the market was offering? …

At an Auction in Strathfield today the same thing happened, the Auction stalled and the agents went in to have a conversation with the vendors. At $4,700,000 with 2 buyers bidding no one was prepared to move. The agents managed to get an extra $50,000 from the highest bidder, making them bid against themselves … it sold for $4,750,000.

The one in my market place? The agents tried to push the underbidder up and probably tried to even get an increase from the highest bidder but it didn’t work. Sold at where it stopped $2,550,000”…

For even more credibility, according to Domain’s published 29 April 2017 auction results, the only property to sell that Saturday for $2,550,000 was the inner west’s 38 Janet Street, Drummoyne.

To us, this doesn’t sound like a “boom time” but a lot like spin, Dr.