This weekend saw the unofficial opening of spring season in the major property markets of Sydney and Melbourne, with both cities continuing their run of strong auction clearance rates.
As expected, the number of properties going under the hammer in both cities jumped; CoreLogic's preliminary results show that Sydney increased to 762 auctions from 650 the previous weekend. Melbourne had an even bigger move, going from 657 homes up for auction to 877.
But despite both markets heating up in the lead-up to the warmer months, both are still well behind the same weekend last year for auction volumes, when Sydney held 1,106 auctions and Melbourne had 1,188.
With auction numbers lower compared to last year, it can be expected that Melbourne’s clearance rate will hold strong over the spring. Preliminary results from CoreLogic have the clearance rate at 79% last week, which is up from 76.1% the prior week and 76.7% at this time last year.
The median auction price took a slight hit, dropping from $835,000 the previous weekend to $822,500 according to Domain. This amount was enough to buy a 2br Federation house in Moonee Ponds in Melbourne's north west.
A buyer with a little more cash up their sleeve secured a 4br home in Malvern with a temperature-controlled wine room for $4.94m - the most expensive reported auction sale in Melbourne for the week.
At the other end of the market, the most affordable home reported sold was a 1br apartment in Prahan, a short commute from the CBD, that went for $240,000.
Sydney recorded a clearance rate of 81% according to CoreLogic’s preliminary results, down from 86% the previous week. Sellers are unlikely to feel too alarmed, however, with 81% well above the 75% clearance rate at the same weekend last year. This is the third week in a row that Sydney has held a clearance rate above 80%.
Domain reports that the Northern Beaches was the top-performing sub-region for auctions, with a clearance rate of 91.9%. The news wasn’t so good further north, with the Central Coast recording a clearance rate of just 25%.
The median auction price continues to rise, with Domain putting it at $1.2m over the week. A 4br, 796sqm brick house in Wentworthville sold for this price, as did a 3br, 562sqm Gymea Bay property in need of updating.
Those looking for the ever-elusive affordable entry point into the Sydney real estate could have purchsed a townhouse in Lurnea in the city's south-west for $470,000, the most affordable reported auction sale.
For top-end buyers, a landmark 5br residence in Cremorne Point took the prize for most expensive disclosed auction sale at $6.4m. The circa 1895, 597sqm harbourside home is configured over three titles and able to be split into three separate residences.