Heavy rains didn't appear to dampen the enthusiasm of Sydney auction hunters on Saturday, with 952 properties slated to go under the hammer according to Domain, a 17% increase on the same weekend of last year.
But the Harbour City once again posted a relatively subdued preliminary clearance rate of 66%.
In the same week, CoreLogic reported Sydney had joined Perth and Darwin as the only capital cities to post both monthly and quarterly value falls in their property markets. CoreLogic's head of research, Tim Lawless, has pointed to lower auction clearance rates as one sign of a market that is finally slowing after years of supercharged price growth.
Despite the broad slowdown across the Sydney metro area, the capital's top end market is still producing some eye-watering results.
Last Monday, a 4br, 525sqm semi perched literally right on Watsons Bay smashed its reserve by $4.45m when it sold under the hammer for $14.2m. Offered for the first time in 90 years, the cottage has direct access to Camp Cove beach as well as its own boatshed. Domain reports the successful bidder was Westfield co-chairman, Steven Lowy, who already owns four blocks along that beachfront.
The result was Sydney's highest reported auction sale for the week.
Also selling at the top end of town was an original Federation house in Randwick that fetched $6.205m at auction. The 110-year-old, 4br, 836sqm property was offered to the market for the first time since 1954, and has previously been a boarding house.
Sydney posted a couple of rare sub-$400,000 auction sales last week, but this week it was back to business as usual for the city's challenging affordable market end. A freestanding 3br, 442sqm brick house with parking in Rosemeadow, near Campbelltown, solder under the hammer for $470,000, Sydney's least expensive auction sale.
Domain reports Sydney's weekend auction median was $1.28m, down from the previous weekend's $1.31m. A 4br, 556sqm house in Kareela in the city's south sold at auction for $1.28m, while a renovated 2br, 70sqm Erskineville terrace sold prior to auction for this price.
With the spring racing carnival taking place, Australia's auction capital saw far fewer auctions than usual over the weekend. Melbourne posted a healthy clearance rate of 77% according to Domain, but only from 182 listed auctions.
The lower listing volume significantly brought down the auction median to $710,000. No property sold for this price, but a single-level 3br townhouse in Reservoir with double lock-up garage fetched $720,000.
At the top end of town, a 5br, tri-level Wheelers Hill house sitting on 1,599sqm sold for $2.82m.
Melbourne's most affordable auction sale was 1br villa unit in Pascoe Vale with parking that sold under the hammer for $289,000.