The Sydney auction market heads into winter on a slightly chillier note than usual, with clearance rates failing to clear 80% for the month of May according to Domain.
But the lower clearance rates are based on higher volume numbers as more sellers look to sell their properties under the hammer. CoreLogic reports 2,850 properties went to auction across the capital cities last week, well up on the 2,480 auctions held in the same week of last year.
And where 811 auctions were held in Sydney in the last week of May 2016, last week saw close to 1,100 properties go under the hammer in the NSW capital.
Melbourne was once again the busiest auction capital city, hosting 1,350 auctions. With a preliminary clearance rate of almost 78% according to CoreLogic, rates in the Victorian capital have yet to fall below 75% this year, pointing to a continuing healthy auction market.
Sydney posted a preliminary clearance rate of just over 76%.
Prime waterfront real estate commands a prime price tag, as one auction sale on Saturday confirmed. A 2br, 253sqm apartment sitting above Circular Quay, with postcard views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, fetched $8.715m, the highest disclosed auction sale price for the week.
Also at the high end of town, a 4br, 1000sqm Rose Bay Federation house sold under the hammer for $6m. The property was offered for the first time in 60 years.
Domain reports Sydney's median auction price for the week was $1.29m, slightly lower than the previous week. A 2br, 196sqm freestanding house in Dulwich Hill sold for this price, as did a 3br Ermington house with study.
At the affordable end of the scale, a 2br Warwick Farm flat with undercover parking sold prior to auction for $340,000 – a rare sub-$350,000 sale for the Sydney metropolitan area.
Melbourne's median auction price fell to $839,000 last week compared to $891,000 the week before. At this price, one auction bidder snapped up a 4br brick Noble Park house marketed for its 692sqm block of land.
South Melbourne posted two strong $4m+ auction sales. A 3br, 292sqm Italianate Victorian property fetched $4.6m, while a 5br, 403sqm Victorian sold for $4.1m.
The most expensive disclosed auction sale was in Canterbury, where a modern 4br, 967sqm home went for $4.75m.
At the other end of town (literally and price-wise), a 1br Sunshine unit with parking sold prior to auction for $245,000. The unit was marketed for its 5.5% rental yield potential – high for Melbourne, where rent increases haven't generally kept pace with strong capital growth.