Enthusiasm for property auctions was a little more muted than usual in Melbourne and especially Sydney this weekend, despite the sunny weather in both capitals.
Melbourne was once again the better performer of the two, posting a clearance rate on Saturday of 73% from more than 1,100 listed auctions, according to Domain. While any rate above 70% is generally considered healthy for the country's auction capital, it's among Melbourne weakest results posted so far in FY18.
Sydney's auction market is struggling even more, with a clearance rate just shy of 65% from 867 listed auctions. Rates were down in parts of the city that typically perform well, such as the inner west (65.2% according to CoreLogic) and the city and inner south (60.7%), while further out west in the Parramatta sub-region, fewer than half of all properties slated for auction successfully sold under the hammer.
Ryde posted the highest clearance rate of all Sydney sub-regions at 88.6%.
Despite the weaker-than-normal result, Melbourne still saw plenty of strong individual auction sales. Domain reports a rundown 3br house in Brighton East marketed for its 637sqm block sold under the hammer in just 10 minutes for $1.75m – $325,000 above reserve.
Also spruiked for its land and development potential was a 3br, 606sqm Toorak house that fetched $6.4m, Melbourne's highest reported auction sale for the week. The older house, while liveable, was marketed by the selling agent as a "redevelop, rebuild or renovate" project.
At the other end of the market, Melbourne's cheapest auction sale was a 1br, 113sqm unit with parking in Epping that sold for $273,000.
Melbourne's auction median came in at $802,000 for the weekend, according to Domain. A modern 2br Yarraville townhouse with parking sold under the hammer for this price – notably lower than the suburb's median of $950,000 for 2br properties.
Strong individual results also continue to pepper the Sydney auction market despite the broad overall slowdown.
In the popular city-fringe suburb of Darlinghurst, a small, unliveable studio sold for $125,000 above reserve at $550,000. Seventy bidders registered for the auction of the 32sqm Art Deco apartment, which has city views but also a leaking roof from the laundry above and large cracks in the wall.
In the riverside inner west suburb of Cabarita, a 5br, 550sqm house set a new non-waterfront record price for the suburb when it sold for $4.86m, Sydney's most expensive reported auction sale for the weekend. The property includes its own gym, cinema and underground parking for six cars.
Bexley was the site of Sydney's most affordable auction sale – a 1br semi-detached brick villa that fetched $411,000.
Domain reports Sydney's auction median for Saturday was $1.225m. A 4br, 272sqm modern double-brick terrace in Brighton-le-Sands sold under the hammer for this price.