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Sydney, Melbourne auction markets running hot into summer

Sydney, Melbourne auction markets running hot into summer

No sign of heat fatigue for real estate buyers, especially those in the major markets, as auction clearance rate rises across the capitals.

In a good week for property sellers across the country, Melbourne took position as leader of the capital city pack with the largest number of auctions held and the highest clearance rate.

Across the city, 1,193 properties were listed for auction, with Core Logic reporting a preliminary auction clearance rate of 79.3%.

Sydney wasn’t too far behind, with a preliminary auction clearance rate of 77.7% from 906 properties up for auction.

The combined capital city preliminary auction clearance rate rose to 75% from 73% the week prior. According to CoreLogic, "this week’s auction market results indicate that clearance rates are maintaining strength coming into summer, a trend that is very different compared with last year’s performance when auctions clearance rates were tracking in the high 50 per cent to low 60 per cent range".

Both Melbourne and Sydney saw a decrease in auction numbers last week compared to the week prior. It’s expected that the rest of December will see auction numbers drop further, but consequently auction clearance rates will stay strong for the rest of the year, especially with the Reserve Bank of Australia board expected to leave the official cash rate on hold tomorrow in its final meeting of the year.

Melbourne highlights

A Hawthorn house promoted as a potential renovation opportunity was the most expensive property reported sold at auction. Sitting on 1,038sqm, the 3br double brick home went for $5.1m.

Even though one buyer was prepared to pay more than $5m for a home that may still need a bit of fixing up, Domain reports Melbourne's median auction price dropped slightly to $851,000 last week from $856,000 the week before. Several properties sold under the hammer at this price, including a newly built 3br house in Yarraville and a 2br Bentleigh townhouse.

At $851,000, Melbourne's median auction price was 10.5% higher than in the same week last year. But as usual the Victorian capital's property market remains more accessible when compared to Sydney. The most affordable property reported sold at auction was a 1br villa in Braybrook that fetched $268,000.

Sydney highlights

Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee sold his 4br, 765sqm waterfront home in Seaforth for $4.91m, but was outpaced by a 5br home in Mosman that went for $6.48m – making it Sydney’s most expensive property reported sold at auction. Like its Hawthorn counterpart in Melbourne, the Mosman home was advertised as a potential renovation opportunity. On a block of 1,619sqm it also could be subdivided. 

Another place advertised in need of attention was a 2br unit in Wiley Park. It was the most affordable property reported sold at auction in Sydney, fetching $370,000 and "in need of a total makeover", according to the marketing copy. The unit is on the top floor and has a balcony with district views.

Like Melbourne, Sydney’s median auction price took a small hit last week, dropping from $1.27m the week prior to $1.2m. Despite the fall, it is still 8.1% higher than in the same week last year. A 2br Darling Point unit with parking sold for the median, as did a 5br, 695sqm Yagoona house.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.