The first few days of spring may not have produced the dramatic increase in the number of homes for sale in Sydney and Melbourne that some have hoped for, but they have seen both markets continue their run of strong auction results.
In Sydney, 715 homes went under the hammer last week according to data from Core Logic, which is significantly lower than the same week last year when 1,023 homes were available for auction. Domain reports the Sydney market has reported almost 5,000 fewer weekend auctions so far this year compared to the same period last year.
It was a similar story in Melbourne, with the number of properties dropping from 992 last year to 826 in the same week this year.
The good news for sellers is that lower stock combined with lower interest rates appear to be fuelling a surge in median home prices. This is particularly true in Sydney, where Domain reports the median auction price rose to $1.27m – up from $1.2m the prior week and $1.15m over the same week last year.
It was another week with a percentage clearance rate in the eighties for Sydney, coming in at just under 84% according to preliminary Core Logic figures. This is a bump up from the prior weekend of 81% and well above the same weekend last year at 76.9%.
A 4br, 778sqm home in Drummoyne in Sydney's inner west sold under the hammer for $8.05m, taking the title of most expensive reported property sold at auction. The home has Harbour Bridge views as well as its own jetty and boat mooring facility.
On the other side of the market, in the north-east of greater Sydney, a 2br villa sold for $369,000 in Woy Woy. The property has potential to earn a rental return of $350 a week, according to agent estimates.
Sydney's $1.27m median was enough to buy a 2br apartment in Wollstonecraft with city skyline views, as well as a 3br, 556sqm freestanding house in Carlton.
While Sydney may be the main driver of property price increases across the capitals, Melbourne is doing its bit too. Domain reports that the city's weekly median auction price rose to $860,000 – up from $822,500 the previous week and $802,000 this time last year. A 2br semi-detached Edwardian corner block brick house in Flemington sold under the hammer for around this price at $865,500.
Like Sydney, Melbourne’s auction clearance rate increased from the previous week, albeit only slightly from 79% to 79.3%. The inner south was the hottest area in the city, with a clearance rate of 90.1% according to Core Logic. Just beyond the outskirts, the Mornington Peninsula broke through the nineties barrier as well, recording a clearance rate of 93.3%.
The most affordable property sold at auction was a 1br unit close to the CBD in Prahan which fetched $342,000. A couple of kilometres east in Kew, a 5br house sold for $6.42m, the most expensive disclosed auction. The 1930s home sits on 1,580sqm and includes a floodlit tennis court and salt-water pool.
Kew saw a second strong sale in the same weekend. A 1960s knockdown home sitting on 709 square metres and marketed for its development potential smashed its reserve by $1.7m when it sold under the hammer for $4.8m.