A definitive number of private sales

A review of the suburbs that showed the most sales by auction and most by private sale can tell you a lot about the Melbourne property market.

Five of the suburbs that recorded more than three out of five sales by auction last year – Northcote, Camberwell, Richmond, Windsor and Alphington – share a few common factors.

All within 15 km of the CBD, they show that auctions dominate in the inner city.

From the perspective of price, they are all more expensive than the median price in Melbourne, a simple sign that the more expensive a home is the more likely it is to be offered at auction. Indeed, in the most recent June quarter, the median price of houses sold at auction was $730,000 and for those at private sale it was $500,000.

While these rules do not apply in every case, they do help to show how the market operates.

At the other end of the scale, five suburbs that recorded 95 per cent of sales by private sale –  Pakenham, Point Cook, Werribee, Cranbourne and Melton – have two factors in common: they are growth suburbs and they are affordable.

A longer list of suburbs classified by the proportion of sales by auction is available at the REIV website and makes for interesting reading for all buyers and sellers this spring selling season.

This data should serve as a reminder to buyers that while the week-by-week clearance rate is an interesting barometer of the market, it won’t tell you a lot about demand in the more affordable or outer suburbs.

A review of the REIV website will, however, help do that for you, as sales results in all suburbs are added every Saturday night.