Auction activity across Australia’s capital cities at the weekend had a clearance rate of 69.1%, with a total of 1,963 auctions, up from 1,490 last week, but down on the 2,291 homes auctioned the same week last year, when a clearance rate of 74.9% was achieved.
In Sydney and Melbourne, clearance rates and the number of properties sold were lower than at the same time last year, according to CoreLogic.
Home values have also decreased across combined data for the five major capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, down 0.8% since the start of the year, CoreLogic said.
CommBank's economics team notes that previous house price falls in Australia have been relatively short‑lived.
"Australia’s housing prices are very cyclical and usually driven by mortgage rate changes," the team said in a note. "This cycle is slightly different. The correction in the current cycle is driven via the combined dampening effects of a strong credit squeeze on new lending, sharp rises in State Government stamp duties, large supplies of new apartments and waning overseas investor interest."
CommBank is forecasting that interest rates are likely to rise over 2018 and 2019.
More than $245m worth of residential property was sold at auction across Sydney, with a median price of $1.27m according to real estate classifieds and services business Domain. The number of properties at auction was down more than 130 on the same weekend last year, according to CoreLogic. The clearance rate of 74.3% decreased from 80.6% last year.
The North Sydney and Hornsby region was the most active, with 125 auctions resulting in 90 sales. The Inner West had the highest clearance rate of 85.7%, while the South West was the slowest, down to 50%.
In Strathfield, a two-storey, five-bedroom house sold for $5.39m, while in Rushcutters Bay, a second-floor, open-plan studio apartment was Sydney’s cheapest auction sale at $481,000, according to Domain.
Sydney’s median property price bought a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Winston Hills, in the western suburbs, a four-bedroom house in Jannali, in the Sutherland Shire, or a two-bedroom unit in Drummoyne, in the inner west, Domain data showed.
More than $320m worth of residential property was sold at auction across Melbourne at the weekend, where the median price was $784,000, according to Domain. The weekly clearance rate was 70.7%, compared with 75.7% at the same time last year, CoreLogic said.
North West Melbourne recorded the strongest clearance rate of 74.8%, while Inner Melbourne had the highest number of auctions with 168 properties auctioned and 146 cleared, CoreLogic data showed.
Melbourne’s most expensive property was a $3.03m four-bedroom house in South Yarra. At the lower end of the price range for the week, a three-bedroom home in Wodonga sold for $231,000.
Melbourne’s median property price bought a three-bedroom home in Avondale Heights.