Uncertainty over auction dummy bid ban

Real estate agents have mixed reactions to the Victorian Government's proposed legislation to make auctions more transparent, with some saying that banning dummy bids will test the housing market when it softens.

Some agents said the changes would favour buyers and that vendors will stop using auctions and go for private sales instead. Others believe that the auction system is entrenched and will weather the changes. REIV's CEO Enzo Raimondo thinks the legislation will help to deflect criticism of the auction system and vendors will be encouraged to use it.

Peter Hawkins, head of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, said agents would have to find “new ways of operating” if the legislation is passed. The auction system will be tested to its fullest when the market tightens up, he said.

Both Philippe Batters and Carmichael & Webber were critical of the proposed legislation. Mr Batters claimed the changes are “an attack on the system that has served Melbourne well for 162 years”, while Ian Carmichael said buyers would be favoured and a negative impact on the industry would be the result.

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