Antipodean House Purchase

There is a new satellite channel just started here in the UK dealing with all aspects of house buying and selling. To fill up the time they are showing a series of programmes bought in from Australia and New Zealand . These mostly feature people selling their houses by auction.

My questions are:-

what is the percentage of houses sold this way , compared to using an estate agent ? Also , I see that even after the auction has been completed, there seems to still be room for negotiating the final price , how does that work ?

I might add that some houses are sold by auction over here but that is a tiny minority . Usually properties right at the bottom end and the top end of the price ranges.

I’ve bought houses three times in Australia, one of them by auction. I’ve sold houses in Australia twice, neither by auction.

Yes, selling by auction is quite common in Australia. I don’t know the exact figures, but my guess is that it is more common for inner-city, older houses, which can be harder to price, and which are generally quite popular and highly priced. I suspect that it’s more common in Sydney than in other cities, because the real-estate market is more highly priced there than elsewhere.

(Incidentally, when houses are sold by auction, real estate agents are still involved, and will usually conduct the auctions).

There are in the region of 1000 auctions in England and Wales each year. Many of the properties are unusual ones. They often need complete refurbishment or have some characteristic that makes it unappealing to the normal buyer. Some are being sold by the bank after being repossessed.

On most weekends there would be about 100 auctions in Sydney alone, judging by the statistics published in the real estate sections of the papers.

I don’t think I made myself as clear as I should have. The auctions are not for single houses but many. The auctioneers produce booklets with all the properties listed.
In the UK, house auctions are not as well established as Australia but even so it is a market worth over £600 million, and more than 25000 houses are sold each year.

(I don’t want to hijack the thread but I was responding to a point made in the OP)

That makes a lot more sense Vetch. I thought that 1000 auctions (which I took to mean 1000 properties) for the whole of England and Wales for the year was far too small a number.

No figures, sorry. It varies from state to state, and from city to city, and also depends on the perceived state of the property market - the stronger the market, the more houses go to auction, as opposed to sale by private treaty. It’s the high-end houses that are most likely to be auctioned.

If the house is sold at auction, there’s no room for further negotiation on price. Often, however, the house is not sold at auction because the vendor doesn’t consider the final bid high enough. In that event the auctioneer will generally negotiate afterwards with the highest bidder.