Online Auctions

Online auctions really click with bidders

Mari Gibson Domain Sunday Editor
April 11, 2009

THE auction of your dream house starts, an auctioneer works the room – and you sit comfortably at home watching it all on your computer at the online auction, calmly waiting to bid by keystroke.

Welcome to live auction webcasting.

PTY Auctions is the company behind the technology, which managing director Gavin Stuart says is a winner in today’s climate as it gets “every bidder in the room”, even if they are in Melbourne, London or Dubai. Mr Stuart says differs from most online auction sites because of its webcasting, which is used by several of Sydney’s big real estate agencies, including Century 21 and PRDnationwide. It has a database of 100,000 expatriate potential buyers.

Online bidding is another tool buyers can use to research and buy a property without having crossed its threshold. As well as virtually walking through homes via online videos, buyers can look at aerial views with Google Earth and check out the neighbours by going to and clicking on “street view”.

Century 21 Cordeau Marshall director Craig Marshall said online bidding replaced “the old days” of bidding at auction through a third party over the phone, and was convenient for time poor or nervous buyers.

Mr Stuart has held 500 webcast auctions since 2007. Bidders watch the auctioneer, and bids are displayed on their screens.

David Van Es and his wife, Suzie, sold their house in Wahroonga last year when an online buyer in Melbourne made the winning bid of $611,000 for their Havilah Avenue property.

Double Bay

Located in the Eastern suburbs, Double Bay is in the process of a resurgence, and is a suburb that Homesearch Solutions is tipping for relatively high capital growth prospects.

When Westfield opened in nearby Bondi Junction in late 2003, many of the shops subsequently went out of business in Double Bay and brought about a slump for the commercial profitability of the suburb, previously known by it’s nickname “Double Bay – Double Pay”. The closing of the Village Cinema and loss of public car parking areas further contributed to it’s general decline.    

However over the past couple of years Double Bay has re-invented itself, particularly with it’s new unit residential developments such as the Stamford Cosmopolitan Centre in Knox Street, previously the Sir Stamford Hotel, which is due for completion in late 2009. In Cross St, the Ashington Group is proposing to re-develop the Stamford Plaza site with a new luxury residential & retail building.              

On the other side of New South Head Rd, discussions continue between Woollahra Council and Woolworths about a low-rise development on the Kiaora Lands site.

Apart from the new developments, Double Bay is full of quality restaurants, hotels, cafes, shopping & other amenities, with a sophisticated village atmosphere. It sits directly between the two most expensive suburbs of Sydney, being Point Piper & Darling Point. It is linked to the city by ferry from the pier in Bay St,  is on the major bus routes, and also the Eastern suburbs train line at nearby Edgecliff Station.

There are a variety of unit styles, ranging from simple 1970’s and art deco units starting at around $500,000 for a basic 1 or 2 bedroom places, through to over $10M for modern deluxe units with harbour views. Houses start at around $1.5M for a basic cottage or terrace through to very high premium waterfront houses worth tens of millions. Many of the houses are character Victorian & Federation, mixed in with more modern styles, particularly Tuscan.

Release of Deposit clause

A release of deposit clause can be inserted into the sale contract for a property to enable the deposit paid to be released to the vendor after exchange of contracts to the vendor.  This is usually requested by a vendor to enable them to then place their own deposit on a property.

In the past most purchasers sought to delete this clause.  Now days though it is far more commonly accepted as long as some safeguards are put in place to reduce risk.  We recommend that you seek guidance from your solicitor or property conveyancer.


Vendor’s Dummy Bid

Under the current laws the vendor is entitled to only one vendor (dummy) bid and this bid is usually placed by the auctioneer. This bid is often done at a high amount as the venor/agent want a high published passed in figure if there are no further bids.

Therefore it is usually a good idea to make a bid before the vendor’s bid is placed to keep some momentum to the auction, as buyer’s rarely put forward bids after a vendor’s bid.

Government Mortgage Rescue

Government, banks join forces on mortgage rescue plan

The Federal Government has struck a deal with the major banks to help people who have lost their job and are struggling to pay the mortgage. Banks will postpone home loan repayments for up to 12 months for people in hardship

The Australian Bankers Association’s David Bell says the Commonwealth, NAB, Westpac and ANZ banks will postpone home loan repayments for up to 12 months for people in hardship.

“We’ve recently agreed with the Government to a series of expanded options to help our customers if they experience financial hardship through unemployment or other circumstances,” he said.

Mr Bell says other measures which the banks will consider include extending loan contracts, reducing repayments or waiving fees.

“Each will be individually tailored for the particular customer, but they could be extending the period of the contract on the loan,” he said.

“It could be reducing the limits available to customers on credit contracts and it could include repayment holidays, but it’s up to the individual circumstances of the customer.”

Interest-only repayment options may be available on other types of loans.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is expected to release more details about the package at a forum in Melbourne today.

Mr Rudd has arrived back in Australia after a two-week overseas visit to the United States and Britain for the G20 summit.

Source ABC Online


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