Auction clearance rates fell slightly in both Melbourne and Sydney last week compared to the previous week, according to preliminary results from CoreLogic.
While 720 homes went under the hammer in Sydney, 978 were up for sale in Melbourne. These numbers were up from 715 in Sydney the week before, and more significantly, up from 826 in Melbourne.
But both cities have seen slower starts to spring this year compared to 2015, when close to 1,200 auctions were held in Melbourne over the same week last year and 1,075 in Sydney.
Both markets also lost a little ground in the auction clearance rate race. Melbourne dropped from 79.3% the prior week to 78.7%, while Sydney dropped from 83.9% to 80%. But these rates were nevertheless up several percentage points in both cities on the same week 12 months ago.
Melbourne’s median auction home price continues to creep up. Domain reports that last week’s median was $870,000, $10,000 more than the prior week and almost $60,000 dearer than the same week last year.
The northern parts of Melbourne were the strongest-performing sub-regions for auction activity, with both the north-east and north-west recording clearance rates of over 80% according to CoreLogic. Beyond the outskirts of the city, the Mornington Peninsula recorded a perfect clearance rate of 100% from 34 slated auctions. No Melbourne sub-region reported a clearance rate below 70%.
A 4br home on 1,234sqm in Brighton was the most expensive property reported sold at auction, coming in at $6.5m. The property was advertised as ideal for re-development, given its prime waterfront location.
For mid-range buyers, the $870,000 median secured a 4br, 697sqm renovated house in Eltham North as well as a 2br apartment with parking in St Kilda East.
Further down south in Frankston, a 2br unit with parking fetched $228,500, the most affordable disclosed auction sale for the week.
Sydney’s median property price took a small hit along with its clearance rate, with Domain reporting a slight drop from the previous week to $1.26m. This is still higher than $1.13m reported in the same week last year.
Although numbers are down, results can be seen as generally very healthy for sellers. Increased competition amongst buyers is being fed by fewer listings and historically low interest rates.
If you had the median $1.26m to spend, it would have bagged you a harbourside 2br unit in Drummoyne or a 4br, 942sqm home in Greenacre ($1.255m).
The most affordable home sold was a 1br studio in Auburn that went for $208,000 - an increasingly rare example of a property sale anywhere in the Sydney metro region for less than $300,000 - and is currently rented out for $265 a week.
At the other end of the spectrum was a 5br, 582sqm home in Rose Bay that sold under the hammer for $5.15m. Sydney’s most expensive auction sale for the week came complete with an in-ground heated pool and self-contained cabana.