Any thoughts that the Sydney property market might be cooling off were brushed aside last week as the city soared to an auction clearance rate of just over 85%, according to preliminary results from Core Logic.
Melbourne real estate also saw another good week, with its clearance rate dropping slightly from 78.7% the prior week to 78% last week. More than 1,000 auctions were slated to be held in both cities.
Across the capitals, the number of houses up for auction remains down. Core Logic reports there were 2,093 auctions last week – significantly down from 2,565 in the same week last year.
As has been the case for the past few months, the low number of properties available combined with historically low interest rates is creating competition amongst buyers and driving clearance rates up, especially in Melbourne and Sydney.
The auction clearance rate across the combined capitals was just shy of 78%, up from 69.9% this time last year. This increase was largely due to strong results in Sydney and Melbourne, although Adelaide and Canberra also both recorded clearance rates above 70% for the week.
What happened in Sydney?
Although Sydney recorded another strong week overall for successful auctions, clearance rates varied noticeably across sub-regions. More than 90% of auctions successfully cleared in the Ryde, North Sydney, Hornsby, city, inner south and eastern suburb areas, but in Parramatta the clearance rate was below 66%.
Despite record low interest rates, finding an affordable home in Sydney remains tough. The most affordable disclosed auction sale last week was a 2br unit in Fairfield in the city's west that still fetched $465,000.
Domain recorded the median auction price for last week at $1.221m. Buyers with that kind of money in their wallets netted a 2br, 221sqm brick semi in Burwood at auction last week, as well as a 3br villa in a block of two in Caringbah South.
As usual there were plenty of more expensive options on the Sydney auction market, with two homes fetching more than $7m each. Sitting on 2,665sqm and complete with a marble staircase and sandstone terrace, an 8br home in Strathfield went for $7.3m.
Not far behind was a 5br home in Neutral Bay that sold under the hammer for $7.25m. At 582sqm, the beachfront property is on a far smaller plot of land but has Harbour Bridge views and direct beach access.
What happened in Melbourne?
CoreLogic reports 1,113 properties were slated to go to auction in the Victorian capital last week, slightly more than the 1,004 scheduled for Sydney.
The most expensive property sold was a 6br 1930s Art Deco-style home in Armadale that went for $5.525m. On 1,490sqm of land, the home also includes a tennis court and heated swimming pool.
Melbourne once again showed that despite high-end sales and good capital growth, its lower-end market is still far more accessible than Sydney's. The most affordable auction sale reported was a 1br ground floor apartment in Ormond that went for $296,000. The unit is currently returning $300 a week in rent.
Melbourne's median auction price was $865,000, according to Domain. A 3br, 693sqm Oakleigh property marketed for its subdivision potential sold for this price, while a 4br house in Wantirna South fetched $867,000.