A turbulent week in world politics had little impact on the property markets across the country, with both Sydney and Melbourne continuing their strong run of results.
CoreLogic reports that the preliminary auction clearance rate across the capitals was up to 77.5% last week, increasing from 73.6% the week prior. Combined capital city clearance rates continue to inch back towards the five-year high watermark of about 80% seen around the middle of 2015.
Sydney remains the frontrunner capital with a preliminary auction clearance rate of 84.2% from 1,062 scheduled auctions, well up from 58% in the corresponding week last year when there were 163 more properties listed for auction.
Melbourne wasn’t far behind, with the city's preliminary clearance rate listed by CoreLogic as just over 77% from 1,313 auctions. Like Sydney, this was an improvement from the same week last year when the city saw a clearance rate of 69.8% and hosted 254 more auctions.
Auction activity in the other capitals is steady. Canberra (83.8%) and Adelaide (68.3%) continue to perform reasonably well, while Brisbane (53.5%) remains around the 50% mark.
As spring season draws to a close, sellers are likely to stay confident given the relatively decreased levels of competition and increased interest from buyers stemming in part from historic low interest rates.
Getting a foot in the Sydney property market, particularly closer to the centre of town, remains challenging. Domain reports that the most affordable property sold last week was a 3br, 195sqm townhouse in Ambarvale, about 55kms south-west of the city's CBD, that went for $471,000.
Despite the entry point into the Sydney market creeping higher, the median auction price dropped to $1,227,750 last week from $1.337m the prior week, according to Domain. This amount was enough to secure a freestanding 3br home in Carlton in Sydney’s south. At 487sqm, the unrenovated property also offers a large backyard and entertaining area.
There was serious interest from buyers at the top end of the property market, with three homes selling under the hammer for more than $5m. The most expensive disclosed sale was a 6br house on the water in Greenwich that fetched $6.2m. Complete with a jetty and boatshed, the home sits on 1,075sqm and includes an approved self-contained 2br unit and separate studio.
Melbourne’s high-end market is staying competitive with Sydney’s. The most expensive property sold was a 4br Victorian terrace in South Yarra that went under the hammer for $5.7m. Sitting in one of Melbourne's most iconic districts, the home is only 100m from Toorak Rd and close to some of the most respected schools in the region.
Domain reports that the median auction price in Melbourne was $802,500 – enough to buy a 4br house in Gowanbrae, north of Essendon Airport, as well as a 731sqm vacant block of land in Springvale.
Melbourne continues to offer more affordable entry-evel options for first-time buyers than Sydney. The entry point into the auction market was set at $250,000 last week, netting a 2br villa unit close to the airport in Tullamarine. The home is currently being rented out for $1,174 a month.