Coronavirus: Millions in home sales as virtual reality auctions kick off

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This post-war home at 43 Sydney Avenue, Camp Hill, sold for $1.062m to a phone bidder hours before the coronavirus inroom auction deadline.

Millions exchanged hands this week as agents, buyers and sellers raced to beat the COVID-19 crackdown on inroom property auctions, while others embraced the start of livestreaming sales.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Tuesday that all inroom auctions and group open homes would cease from midnight Wednesday, leading the industry to take the events fully digital, with bidding done online or over the phone.

This week was on course to be the biggest of the year for auctions, with Brisbane volumes up 52.2 per cent, compared with the same time last year, with 172 homes listed to go under the hammer, according to the CoreLogic Auction Market Preview.

“After the weekend, we should have a better idea on how this is going to impact the auction market going forward,” a CoreLogic spokesperson said.

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This is the living room of Brisbane’s latest million-dollar property, with 43 Sydney Avenue, Camp Hill, selling for $1.062m mid-week.

Among the virtual sales last night (Thursday) were 10 conducted through Ray White Queensland chief auctioneer Mitch Peereboom on the Gold Coast.

“These are online private auctions. Buyers register to bid, they are able to watch the auction live and bid via our platform. We are really excited about this creative solution because we know buyers want to buy and sellers want to sell. The property market is performing strongly and we welcome this new opportunity to deliver our clients the same outcomes (they would have achieved).”

Stuart McCrea of Place Estate Agency in Coorparoo said the industry could work around the safety measures introduced to protect buyers and sellers from coronavirus.

“The use of video walk-throughs, all these things, allow people to bid with confidence. When your dream home comes up you shouldn’t be worried about coronavirus.”

In the final hours before the Wednesday midnight inroom deadline, a renovator home in inner Brisbane sold for $1.062m, with more than half of potential buyers bidding over the phone.

Bidding opened at $650,000 for the post-war home at 43 Sydney Ave, Camp Hill, and continued for more than 50 minutes, sometimes rising in $1,000s and $5,000 lots before finally selling for $1.062m to a phone bidder.

“It sold well above the reserve and the fact that we had seven bidders shows the fundamentals of real estate are still really strong, and with limited properties on the market there are opportunities for sellers because there are genuine buyers out there at the moment looking. We’re still listing and selling property,” Mr McCrea said.

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210 Long Street East, Graceville, sold for $855,000

Ray White Sherwood and Graceville principal Cameron Crouch achieved almost $4m in property sales that were set to go to auction midweek, using virtual technology “with great success”.

“We have set up a virtual auction theatre on our new rooftop auction space because it is central for our auctioneer Mitch Peereboom. Wednesday night we sold four from five properties and we have some 28 auctions on the board to be auctioned in coming weeks,” he said.

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207 Long Street East, Graceville, sold for $705,000

“We had 13 registered bidders last night. The first lot was a cracker at 210 Long St East, Graceville, which sold for $855,000. It went so crazy with a tonne of bids flying in. The elderly vendor was a bit nervous but still comfortable in the process and were committed to selling. We have technology processes in place to remain ‘business as usual’ in this new environment of private inspections, virtual inspections and weekly auctions.”

Two of the properties sold under the hammer – 210 Long Street East, Graceville, for $855,000 and 207 Long Street East, Graceville, for $705,000. Two sold before auction and a fifth property was passed in.

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