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Auction activity up across the capitals

Auction activity up across the capitals

The RBA's decision last week to leave the official cash rate on hold meant there was no holding back from would-be auction buyers across the country.

Sydney and Melbourne have both seen yet another week of healthy auction volumes and clearance rates as sellers across the country look to take advantage of the strong spring markets.

Last week, 2,490 homes went up for auction according to Core Logic. This was up from 2,253 the week before, but well down from 2,947 in the same week last year.

As has been the trend for much of the year, the relative shortage of available properties means we’re still seeing higher auction clearance rates. Core Logic reports Sydney recorded a preliminary auction clearance rate of just over 82% last week, while Melbourne rose to 80.5%.

Across the capitals, the preliminary auction clearance came in at 77.5%, making it the 15th week in a row above 70%. By contrast, this same week last year saw an auction clearance rate of 61.4%. Canberra saw a preliminary clearance rate of close to 80% from 113 reported auctions, while around 68% of Adelaide's 142 auctions successfully cleared. Brisbane recorded a preliminary rate of 54.1% from 183 auctions. 

Buyers continue to be tempted by historically low interest rates, with the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5% last week clearly keeping the momentum up amongst prospective buyers.

Sydney highlights

1,063 homes went under the hammer in Sydney last week, according to Core Logic. This was the second week in a row over the 1,000 mark, and will be encouraging for buyers who may be fearing a shortage of stock.

Homes on the cheaper side remain very competitive in Sydney. The most affordable property reported sold last week was a 2br unit with parking in Harris Park that went for $490,000.

While Sydney's high entry point into the property market is not impacting the auction clearance rate, it does look to be driving the median property price up. Domain reports that the median auction price increased to $1.337m from $1.3m the week prior. This is 9.1% high than the median auction price in the same week last year. A 4br house in Ermington fetched $1.337m at auction last week. Close to the Parramatta River, the home sits on 594sqm and has a recently renovated kitchen and three bathrooms.

At the top end of town, a 4br, 439sqm Glebe home was the most expensive property reported to sell at auction last week, coming in at $4.42m. The Italianate-style property has a mosaic tiled pool and temperature controlled wine storeroom as well as a double lock-up garage.

Melbourne highlights

After a bit of a Melbourne Cup holiday, sellers in Melbourne got back to business last week. Core Logic reports that 929 homes were up for auction, a steep rise from 629 the prior week. But like Sydney, this number is down on the same time last year when Melbourne saw 1,204 auctions.

A 4br house in Surrey Hills was the most expensive Melbourne property reported sold at auction last week, fetching $2.86m. On 779sqm, the home was built only two and a half years ago with close access to a lot of the well-regarded schools in the area.

Melbourne’s median auction price remains significantly lower than Sydney’s; last week it was $735,000, according to Domain. This was down from $816,000 the prior week and $758,750 in the same week last year. Two properties sold for $735,000 last week: a 5br family home in Taylors Lakes, and a 3br Chelsea house.

In line with the lower median than Sydney is the lower entry point into the Melbourne metro market. The most affordable property sold at auction last week was a 1br unit in the popular inner eastern suburb of Hawthorn that went for $292,000. While the median house price in Hawthorn is now more than $2m, the suburb's median unit price is a much more accessible $530,000.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.