Auction numbers were up last week but this had little impact on clearance rates, with the weighted average preliminary clearance rate at 76% across the capitals, according to CoreLogic. This was up from a final clearance rate of 74.4% last week, even though there were almost 400 more properties for sale.
Melbourne had the most properties up for auction with 1,618 going under the hammer last week, a fair bit higher than Sydney’s 1,236.
With fewer options and a dearer market, Sydney continued its hold on top spot for auction clearance rates. CoreLogic reports the NSW capital had a preliminary rate of 81.9% last week, while Melbourne’s was just shy of 77%.
The strongest-performing sub-region within both cities was the inner west of Sydney, which recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 90.7% from more than 100 auctions.
Every capital city recorded a higher auction clearance rate compared to the same week last year. This could be due both to fewer properties going to auction (there were 3,729 auction across the capitals in the equivalent week of 2015, compared to 3,367 last week) as well as a lower interest rate environment as a result of the RBA's two cash rate cuts so far in 2016.
With higher auction numbers there was a bit of a reprieve for buyers looking to enter the property market in Sydney. Two auction sales were recorded under $400,000, which has been a rare occurrence this year. A 1br unit with parking in Guilford went for $337,000, while a 2br 86sqm unit in Liverpool fetched $363,000.
Despite some more affordable sales, the median auction price in Sydney rose last week to $1.27m according to Domain. This is 5.8% higher than the same week last year. For $1.27m you could have picked up a 4br duplex in Earlwood or a 2br Manly Vale unit just a short drive from the beach.
Also on the coastline but at the other side of town, a 4br house is Cronulla was the most expensive property reported sold at auction last week. Sitting on 601sqm, the home went under the hammer for $5.505m. So close to the beach you could step on it from the property, the home also offers views of Gunnamatta Bay and its own boatshed.
Like Sydney, Melbourne’s increased activity did little to harm the strength of the auction clearance rate. The most expensive property reported sold was a $4.011m 4br house in Fitzroy. The Victorian property is recently renovated and built for entertainment with a wine cellar, deck and side courtyard.
Melbourne's median auction price took a slight hit last week, dropping $4000 to $856,000 from the week prior according to Domain. This was enough to secure a 3br townhouse in Brunswick and also a 3br Reservoir house marketed for its 826sqm block. Even with the slight drop, the median auction price was 13.4% higher than the same week last year.
The most affordable property sold at auction was a 1br house in St Albans that went for $275,000. The home comes complete with a garden shed on the 259sqm block of land.