Ballarat auctions off the boil

A BALLARAT real estate agent says Ballarat’s auction market is performing poorly compared to its Melbourne counterparts.

After a day when an inner city property on Ascot Street South failed to receive one bid on Saturday, estate agent Gerard Cosgrave said Ballarat’s auction market had gone quiet.

Although the real estate market as a whole remains strong, he says Ballarat home buyers are increasingly choosing to keep their hands in their pockets when it comes to auctions.

Real Institute of Victoria Ballarat president John McMahon said it had always been the case where auctions in Ballarat were not as strong or as successful the metropolitan ones.

However, he said with Melbourne having a record number of homes go under the hammer at the weekend, compared with just two houses in Ballarat, it highlighted the difference between the two.

“Ballarat’s not a strong auction area. It never has been,” Mr McMahon said.

“Generally speaking, Ballarat people aren’t accustomed to the auction market. It seems to work better for vendor and the buyer to undergo private negotiations.”

Mr Cosgrave admitted he was disappointed not to receive even one bid for the Ascot Street home, but said it did not come as a surprise.

The veteran estate agent said there were some busier weeks earlier in the year, but auctions had been fairly quiet lately.

Fewer than 20 people attended Saturday’s auction, with nobody prepared to make a bid.

“Auctions have been quieter in Ballarat of late, while they have been strong in Melbourne,” Mr Cosgrave said.

“People in Ballarat seem to be more conservative. A lot of them might just be looking on to gauge the market. 

“The market itself is still very strong. There just isn’t a lot of action when it comes to auctions at the moment.”

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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