Auctions – the most favoured method of sale or the favourite method of sale by agents?

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Just a month ago I reported with what I described as a mix of disbelief and surprise that auctions had become such a popular method of sale for property in Auckland.

Based on the data at the time, the proportion of all property sales represented by auctions had risen steadily through the final months of last year to represent 39% of Auckland sales in November and 37% in December. Auckland being the nucleus of auctions, accounting for fully 3 out of every 4 auctions in the country.

So you can imagine my surprise to see this new report by released by REINZ showing that in January, Auckland auctions totaled just 330 from a total sales of 1,757 – just 19% - effectively halving the representation of this method of sale in the space of one month.

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So has the real estate industry gone from advocating this form of marketing to rejecting it?  Is that we are to take away from this data. There are many encouraging online articles eloquently advocating auctions as the most preferred method of sale written by agents, yet somehow right before our eyes, auctions seem to have fallen out of favour?

Or could there be another reason?

January is of course a holiday month, blessed with good weather and public holidays-a-plenty. As a function of this there are less agents actively working, less auctioneers available to call auctions, and as a consequence less auctions scheduled.

What is so compelling though is that despite this reduced capacity to facilitate this most recommended method of property sale by auction, property sales did not stop or in any way stumble in the first month of the New Year. In fact despite the lack of auctions in January, total property sales in January in Auckland were up 24% as compared to January last year, this was higher than the 21% year-on-year increase seen in December.

I guess the concrete proof of this hypothesis or the rejection of it; will best be judged in the February stats when released in a month’s time to see if the proportion of auctions in Auckland remains below 20% or powers back up to 40%?