The stop-start nature of over-the-phone house auctions may be a thing of the past thanks to an app that live-streams auctions in real-time to potential buyers across the globe.
Australian start-up Gavl is behind the technology, which will allow buyers to browse listings, shortlist properties and watch auctions on their smartphones.
The founders are seeking $6.5m from investors to enable the launch of real-time bidding of live-streamed auctions from anywhere in the world.
House-hunters can select an auction from a map and then watch the bidding, which is recorded on a smartphone on site and streamed back to the user. The founders hope to enable digital contract signing, deposit transfer facilitation between buyer and seller via the agent and 360-degree camera and artificial intelligence integration in the next year.
In New Zealand, Gavl has partnered with Ray White and Harcourts to start streaming auctions in Auckland.
Ray White’s head of agency operations Graeme Fraser said it would be interesting to see the differences the app would make to the auction process.
“There’s a lot of processes and verifications to go through even for our on-the-phone bidders, so it will be interesting to see how something like this goes.”
Gavl founder Joel Smith said the idea was borne out of consumer need.
“I was with a group of friends and we were discussing how you should be able to sign contracts digitally.
“You can’t be in two places at one time and we live our lives through the phone now,” he said.
“There will still be a need for agents and auctioneers, the only difference will be in how they communicate with vendors and purchasers; it will be more digitalised.”
Real Estate Institute statistics found the number of houses going to auction has more than halved in the last year.
There were just 956 properties sold by auction in May, down from 1982 in May 2016, according to Real Estate Institute.
Auctions made up 13 per cent of total property sales, from 22 per cent in the same time last year.
Last year, a property in Tauranga was sold online through the website PropFi.auction with a $1 reserve.