For those who do not reside in Queensland, or at least, in Brisbane, today is a public holiday.
And the reason for the holiday is as confusing as its name. It’s “Show Day”, folks, and for the non-natives, that’s the Royal Queensland Show….but we never call it that; it used to be called the Brisbane Exhibition; but now it’s called The Ekka; and the holiday itself – that’s “People’s Day.” Still with me or zzzzzzzzzz?
The first ‘show’ was held in 1876 and the idea behind it was to show off the country to the city. Nice idea back then, but now, we can kind of get there ourselves. And a public holiday? What a bloody joke. I’m at work; what about you?
Anyway, the annual Ekka event means that Spring is just around the corner, and that, according to conventional wisdom, is the best time to sell a house.
Spring means good weather….more people venturing outdoors…. gardens looking great….plenty of leeway to coordinate a move that will minimise disruption to the school year and Christmas holidays etc.
And then there’s the nitty-gritty to be worked out when selling a property: choice of agent, sales method, asking price, marketing budget, and, of course, timing.
If considering listing your house for sale by auction, a study by Brisbane-based JA group suggests that the weather can have a substantial influence over the outcome for auctions being held on-site.
JA did a sample across 364 auctions, cross referencing numbers attending with outcomes, clearance rates, and the type of weather.
The study found that as the weather deteriorated, not only did the numbers of attendees drop, as might be expected, but the auction clearance rates also fell.
An auction clearance rate is the most commonly cited benchmark for the relative heath of a residential property market. The rate reflects the reported percentage of auctions that were successful.
On just over half of the occasions, when the weather was deemed to be “great”, an average of 31 people were recorded at each of the auctions; leading to an average of 1.64 bidder registrations and a property clearance rate of 48%.
On 27% of the occasions with “good” weather, attendees dropped to an average of 22, with bidder registrations at 1.2. The auction clearance rate also dropped to 36%.
A further 11% of auctions occurred in weather that was deemed to be “ordinary” and saw attendees dwindle to 16 with bidder registrations averaging 1.5. The clearance rate hovered at 38%.
“Very ordinary” weather occurred for the remaining auction sample. And here, I do have to interject that in spite of our recent rains, “very ordinary” might well mean “spectacular” to those folks in the southern parts of the land, and yes, we are spoiled up here in the Sunshine State.
The average crowd size and bidder registrations remained about the same, but the gloomy weather saw the clearance rate plummet to 18% – a full 30% drop from the auction results recorded on great weather days.
So, there’s no solid scientific data to back up any conclusions here, but hey, I’ve seen heavier bets placed on far less credible data. And I must admit it makes sense. One thing agents do agree on is that optimal weather conditions are conducive to optimal sales results, though this doesn’t mean that a good sales result is doomed due to overcast weather conditions.
This study suggests that for auctions, agents may want to consider creative ways to ensure healthy attendance numbers and buyer activity; and sellers may wish to re-evaluate the time of year to sell, and whether to consider an in-room rather than on-site auction.
Parts of this Missive first appeared in “INSIDER”, Courier Mail Property Section, 28 July 2012.
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