Top strategies for winning at auction
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Top strategies for winning at auction

Buying a property on your 2023 to-do list? Make sure the keys to that dream home are yours with these winning ways

By Sara Mulcahy
Wed, Jan 25, 2023 9:15amGrey Clock 3 min

 Always part of the crowd but never the winning bidder? It can be frustrating  to keep missing out on securing your slice of Sydney. 

When you have your heart set on a property, you’re buying not just a home but a lifestyle that will champion your dreams and ambitions. So no wonder auctions are a nerve-racking affair. Put yourself on the front foot with these winning strategies.

Read more stories like this in the latest issue of Kanebridge Quarterly magazine. Order your copy here.

1 

Put in a pre-auction offer

Actually, there may be no need to go to auction at all. In today’s market, you have a good chance of calmly negotiating a winning deal ahead of time. Of all properties intended for auction, the proportion sold prior has roughly doubled since last year, now accounting for about half of all sales. So if you’ve done your research and don’t want to wait it out, make a solid pre-auction offer that reflects current market values.Conversely, in a strong market, you may be better advised to wait it out. Vendors are unlikely to take an early offer if they know there are other buyers waiting in the wings.  

2 

Own it to win it 

Show up at the auction dressed to impress and stand in a prominent position where you can eyeball other bidders. When people bid against you, respond quickly and decisively. Play your cards right and you’ll give your competitors the impression that you’re not going to stop – which may be enough to convince them to give up. 

3 

Bidding anonymously

Bidding remotely via a live auction app could be the solution to staying calm and clear-headed. The future-forward UrbaneLIVE app enables you to participate in live-streamed auctions from wherever you feel most comfortable. If you’d rather be on site, but feel uneasy about bidding publicly, you could use the app to bid anonymously. The app will also ensure you don’t miss out on the chance to bid if you’re out of town on auction day. 

4 

Use the professionals

Your agent is there to help. They offer advice and support as well as practical information about the auction, so take advantage of their expertise and ask as many questions as you can. Worried you might get caught up in the emotion on the day? Asking a seasoned auction goer to bid on your behalf will make you less vulnerable to auction day pressure. (If you’ve recently sold and have a good relationship with your agent, you could ask them to help you bid for your next home, provided the property is listed with another agency.) Alternatively, a buyer’s agent will bid on your behalf for a fee and help research the market and work with you to determine a reasonable limit. 

 

5 

Top-and-tail approach

Beyond the comical awkwardness, there’s little benefit in holding out on an opening bid. Before the crickets chirp and tumbleweed rolls, make your presence known with a reasonable low-end bid. You can then hang back and get a feel for your competitors, before boldly re-joining the bidding at the pointy end of the auction. If nobody else bids after your opening offer, even better. You’ll be first in line to negotiate a deal. 

6 

Hit them with your best shot 

When bidding slows, hopeful purchasers often settle in for a lengthy back-and-forth of $1000 increments. With amounts this small, it’s tempting for bidders to keep pushing that little bit further. If you still have some room in your budget, try knocking them out with an offer of $15,000 or $20,000 more. In the context of Sydney or Melbourne property, it’s a small price to pay to secure a purchase. There’s no better place to pick up tips than at an auction. Onlookers are always welcome so check out our auction listings and drop by to watch the show.

 



                                

                                


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Hong Kong Takes Drastic Action to Avert Property Slump

The city’s real-estate market has been hurt by high interest rates and mainland China’s economic slowdown

By ELAINE YU
Fri, Mar 1, 2024 3 min

Hong Kong has taken a bold step to ease a real-estate slump, scrapping a series of property taxes in an effort to turn around a market that is often seen as a proxy for the city’s beleaguered economy.

The government has removed longstanding property taxes that were imposed on nonpermanent residents, those buying a second home, or people reselling a property within two years after buying, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in his annual budget speech on Wednesday.

The move is an attempt to revive a property market that is still one of the most expensive in the world, but that has been badly shaken by social unrest, the fallout of the government’s strict approach to containing Covid-19 and the slowdown of China’s economy . Hong Kong’s high interest rates, which track U.S. rates due to its currency peg,  have increased the pressure .

The decision to ease the tax burden could encourage more buying from people in mainland China, who have been a driving force in Hong Kong’s property market for years. Chinese tycoons, squeezed by problems at home, have  in some cases become forced sellers  of Hong Kong real estate—dealing major damage to the luxury segment.

Hong Kong’s super luxury homes  have lost more than a quarter of their value  since the middle of 2022.

The additional taxes were introduced in a series of announcements starting in 2010, when the government was focused on cooling down soaring home prices that had made Hong Kong one of the world’s least affordable property markets. They are all in the form of stamp duty, a tax imposed on property sales.

“The relevant measures are no longer necessary amidst the current economic and market conditions,” Chan said.

The tax cuts will lead to more buying and support prices in the coming months, said Eddie Kwok, senior director of valuation and advisory services at CBRE Hong Kong, a property consultant. But in the longer term, the market will remain sensitive to the level of interest rates and developers may still need to lower their prices to attract demand thanks to a stockpile of new homes, he said.

Hong Kong’s authorities had already relaxed rules last year to help revive the market, allowing home buyers to pay less upfront when buying certain properties, and cutting by half the taxes for those buying a second property and for home purchases by foreigners. By the end of 2023, the price index for private homes reached a seven-year low, according to Hong Kong’s Rating and Valuation Department.

The city’s monetary authority relaxed mortgage rules further on Wednesday, allowing potential buyers to borrow more for homes valued at around $4 million.

The shares of Hong Kong’s property developers jumped after the announcement, defying a selloff in the wider market. New World Development , Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development were higher in afternoon trading, clawing back some of their losses from a slide in their stock prices this year.

The city’s budget deficit will widen to about $13 billion in the coming fiscal year, which starts on April 1. That is larger than expected, Chan said. Revenues from land sales and leases, an important source of government income, will fall to about $2.5 billion, about $8.4 billion lower than the original estimate and far lower than the previous year, according to Chan.

The sweeping property measures are part of broader plans by Hong Kong’s government to prop up the city amid competition from Singapore and elsewhere. Stringent pandemic controls and anxieties about Beijing’s political crackdown led to  an exodus of local residents and foreigners  from the Asian financial centre.

But tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have arrived in the past year, the result of Hong Kong  rolling out new visa rules aimed at luring talent in 2022.

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