McGrath Estate Agent principal Todd Brandon carrying out the virtual house auction on Saturday for a Wandal residence.
McGrath Estate Agent principal Todd Brandon carrying out the virtual house auction on Saturday for a Wandal residence.

CQ watches first COVID-19 virtual house auction

CENTRAL Queensland’s first virtual house auction held due to social distancing regulations because of coronavirus was a success.

McGrath Estate Agents held the auction online on Saturday.

Principal Todd Brandon said the house – 12 Oakley Street in Wandal – sold for $120,000 above the opening bid with five registered bidders.

“They were from the east coast of Australia. Sydney, Brisbane, and three Central Queensland bidders (one from the west),” he said.

Mr Brandon said the bidding started low at $50,000 but it reached reserve and the house sold for $170,000.

12 Oakley St is going under the virtual hammer this weekend as McGrath Estate Agents run the first virtual house auction in Central Queensland due to coronavirus social distancing restrictions resulting in gatherings such as auctions being banned.
12 Oakley St is going under the virtual hammer this weekend as McGrath Estate Agents run the first virtual house auction in Central Queensland due to coronavirus social distancing restrictions resulting in gatherings such as auctions being banned.

“Given it was our first auction on line, and we had a Sydney buyer want to register just prior to the commencement of the auction, it took a little longer than expected but everyone was patient and we were happy to see an outcome for the buyer and seller,” he said.

“In addition to the five bidders there was also about 70 other onlookers as the auction took place.

“This just goes to show that property is still top of mind for Australians and now there is a new platform for transactions to happen in a safe, fair, transparent and now comfortable process where buyers can literally see what’s happening from the comfort of their own homes.”

The local success was only a smidgen of the McGrath Estate Agents nationwide success on the weekend.

Chief executive officer Geoff Lucas posted on Facebook the company had a 41 per cent clearance rate of the 100 auctions that took place on the weekend.

“Sydney metro was the strongest with 50 per cent clearance rate,” he said.

“More telling was our total weekly sales with 172 properties selling … with a total value of $166 million.

“This is slightly down (four per cent) on the same period last year, which is not unexpected given the current environment.”

McGrath Estate Agent principal Todd Brandon, with staff member, carrying out the virtual house auction on Saturday for a Wandal residence.
McGrath Estate Agent principal Todd Brandon, with staff member, carrying out the virtual house auction on Saturday for a Wandal residence.

Mr Brandon said he predicted there would be a hybrid auction model when COVID restrictions were lifted that would include buyers bidding from home using online platforms such as Auction Now.