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Despite momentary disruptions, the auction market found a way to thrive and boom amid the impact of COVID-19.
With limited mobility impacting auction markets and the selling process, agents have had to innovate — migrating auctions to online platforms and turning virtual for property inspections.
As such, online auctions boomed until about December, when live auctions finally regained their footing. And despite the many challenges thrust at agents, by the end of 2020, realestate.com.au recorded the highest level of auction activity it has ever seen.
According to the latest Property Outlook Report by REA Insights, Sydney, despite bearing the brunt of the pandemic early in 2020, clocked its annual auction record in the second week of December.
Moving forward, auction activity is expected to grow in strength through 2021, with clearance rates tipped to rise further, REA Group’s chief economist, Nerida Conisbee, said.
However, pandemic-induced changes are forecast to continue to resonate across the auction market over the next several months.
For one, the chief economist said, auction activity will continue to increase even in areas previously dominated by private sale.
The trend will be particularly apparent in regional beachside areas that are currently attracting very high levels of capital city interest, driven by strong competition and buyers accustomed to the new auction process, Ms Conisbee explained.
A new hybrid way of conducting auctions is also expected to emerge, wherein online auctions will be combined with in-person auctions due to persisting border closures, both international and domestic.
Finally, Ms Conisbee said auctions could break the Saturday-only barrier.
“Already there has been a wider spread of auction activity over the week, which is likely to remain in place,” the chief economist concluded.