Property sellers and buyers are remaining confident as the year draws to a close, with Melbourne and Sydney markets both recording yet another week of high auction numbers and clearance rates.
In the same week the Reserve Bank of Australia chose to leave the official cash rate on hold in its final meeting of the year, CoreLogic reports last week was the busiest since March for property auction listings and the second highest for 2016. The preliminary auction clearance rate across the combined capitals came in at 74.6% over 3,411 auctions.
For the second week in a row, Melbourne was the leader of the capital pack with a preliminary auction clearance rate of more than 80% from 1,683 auctions. Sydney was next in line with a preliminary auction clearance rate of 77.4% and 1,157 auctions.
Adelaide and Canberra saw clearance rates of around 65% from 151 and 118 auctions respectively, while fewer than half of Brisbane's 203 auction successfully cleared.
Auction numbers and clearance rates were noticeably lower this time last year, when across the capitals there was a combined clearance rate of 58.2% from 2,989 auctions, according to CoreLogic. It’s been a strong end to the year in the auction market, with this week marking the 20th in a row that the combined capital clearance rate finished above 70% – something that hasn't happened since 2009.
For those looking for a property on the cheaper side in one of the major property markets, Melbourne remains a more attractive option than Sydney. The most affordable property reported sold at auction in the greater Melbourne region was a 4br, 558sqm "renovator's dream" in Melton West that went for $265,000.
That said, there are plenty of dearer options in the Melbourne market too. Domain reports the city's median auction price was $800,000 last week – up from $750,000 in the same week last year. A 4br Oak Park house sold for this amount, as did a 3br house in nearby Glenroy marketed for the development potential of its 572sqm corner block allotment.
The most expensive property sold at auction last week was a 5br Victorian-era terrace in Albert Park that went under the hammer for $5.1m. The circa-1870 home has a rear courtyard and also a garage converted from classical stables.
Despite having a lower clearance rate and fewer homes up for auction than Melbourne, Sydney’s median auction price saw a very significant increase when comparing with the same week last year.
Domain reports the city's auction median last week was $1.25m, this was up from $1,031,500 12 months ago. A 3br, 299sqmduplex in Caringbah with outside entertaining areas sold for $1.25m, as did a recently built 5br, 313sqm duplex in Dundas Valley and a brand new 5br house in Telopea.
The most expensive Sydney property reported sold at auction was a 3br house in Russell Lea that went for $5.61m. Sitting on 708sqm, the home has unobstructed views of the Parramatta River as well as the city skyline.
At the other end of the market, a 2br Lakemba brick unit with lock-up garage sold prior to auction for $385,000.