If you were expecting property auction markets to slow or at least take a while to warm up in 2017, it appears buyers and sellers around the country have other ideas.
Last week a total of 2,280 auctions were held across the capital cities, with a combined preliminary auction clearance rate of 77%, according to Core Logic. This was a big jump from the 1,591 auctions held the week before, although down slightly on the 2,347 held in the same week of 2016.
Sydney was the leader of the pack with a preliminary auction clearance rate of 83.5% across 661 auction results recorded so far. Melbourne wasn’t too far behind at 76.7%, albeit with a higher volume number (958 so far recorded).
All signs seem to be pointing to another busy autumn in 2017 for the two major auction markets. Next week Domain forecasts Sydney will see 950 homes go under the hammer, while Melbourne is expected to host 1,400 auctions.
A 5br federation house in Chatswood was the most expensive property reported sold at auction in Sydney last week, going for $4.955m. Sitting on 925sqm, the home is not in a conservation area and was advertised as perfect for an update or redevelopment.
House prices in Chatswood have been super-charged, with median value growth of more than 45% over 2015 and 2016 to hit $2.3m, according to CoreLogic numbers.
Sydney’s median auction price continues to sit well above the $1m mark. Domain reports that last week’s median auction price was $1,227,500 – just below the $1.24m recorded in the same week last year. On Saturday, one auction bidder snapped up an unrenovated, 702sqm brick house in Mortdale for $1.225m.
The most affordable property reported sold under the hammer was a 2br unit in Cabramatta that went for $476,500. The unit has new timber floors and a recently renovated kitchen, and was advertised as having potential rental return of $370 a week.
As the only weekend auction sale in the Sydney area below $500,000, this highlights the increasing challenges first home buyers face to get a foot into the Harbour City property market.
Melbourne remains Australia's auction capital in terms of volume. Of the almost 1,000 auctions last week reported on so far, the most affordable sold property was a 1br unit with parking in Maribyrnong that fetched $270,500.
This was a fair bit lower than the weekly median auction price of $830,500, according to Domain. There were quite a few options at this price point for buyers, including a 2br unit with parking in Port Melbourne, a 2br semi in Malvern East and 4br, 649sqm brick house in Reservoir.
For those with a bit more in their pocket to spend, Melbourne's most expensive property reported sold at auction was a 3br, 719sqm house in Brighton's prized 'Golden Mile' enclave that went for $5.68m - $580,000 above reserve.
A 4br, 935sqm Victorian residence in Canterbury and a 4br modern Brighton house with a six-car basement were among Melbourne's other $4m+ auction sales on Saturday.