Melbourne has maintained its lead over Sydney as the dominant capital city auction market, posting another weekend of solid clearance rates from high volume numbers.
More than 1000 Melbourne properties were listed for auction last week, according to Domain, with the Victorian capital recording a preliminary clearance rate of 76%. The combined value of auction listings totalled almost half a billion dollars and foreshadows a continuing strong spring auction season for Melbourne.
By contrast, Sydney posted another weekend of sub-70% clearance rates at 68.4%, and from a lower volume than Melbourne of 721 listed auctions. The city's clearance rate was well down on the 80% recorded over the same weekend last year.
Earlier this month, CoreLogic reported monthly and quarterly house price falls in Sydney. CoreLogic's Head of Research, Tim Lawless, cited Melbourne's consistently higher auction clearance rates as one reason why it's currently the more resilient of the two property markets.
One buyer snapped up a rare opportunity to purchase a waterfront home in the prized bayside suburb of Middle Park. The 4br, 480sqm property with triple car garage sold under the hammer for $6.37m, Melbourne's most expensive disclosed auction sale for the week.
Another prestige sale was achieved in Toorak, where a 5br, 1195sqm Edwardian property sold ahead of auction for $6.6m. The house had sold just 10 months ago for $6m, earning the vendor a handy $60,000 per month in capital gains.
At the affordable end of the market, a modern 1br unit in Abbotsford sold prior to auction for $313,000.
Domain reports Melbourne's auction median price hit $844,500. A 4br, 780sqm Frankston house sold for just under this.
Despite currently being the weaker performer of the two largest property markets, Sydney is only coming down from very lofty heights. With its weekly auction median price of $1.247m – almost 50% higher than Melbourne's – the NSW capital is still a long way from becoming broadly affordable anytime soon.
A 4br, 556sqm brick house in Picnic Point in Sydney's south-west sold for the median.
In the beachside suburb of Bronte, a 4br architectually designed house fetched $6.43m prior to auction, Sydney's most expensive sale for the week.
Also on the coast in Avalon, a 1br unit with no parking sold prior to auction for $400,000, the most affordable sale for the greater Sydney area.