Sydney has posted one of its weakest results for auctions in the final full winter week of the year as its clearance rate once again fell below 70%.
Around 68% of 675 listed Sydney auctions successfully cleared last week, according to preliminary figures from Domain. This was the lowest result for the Harbour City in more than four months, and well down on the 80.7% clearance rate posted in the same week of last year.
Melbourne, meanwhile, posted a preliminary clearance rate of 75% from 936 auctions, one of which included a multi-million dollar tennis court (see below).
Domain did note that Sydney's lower rate is based on higher volume numbers. In fact, a total of 7795 auctions were held there over the winter, well up on the 5785 auctions held in the winter of 2016.
Although the official cash rate has remained steady and low over the past 12 months, several lenders raised their interest rates independently of the RBA in that time.
Despite a weaker auction clearance result, Sydney continues to post plenty of million and multi-million dollar sales, particularly around the inner city. Domain notes that while clearance rates remain above 70% in the lower north, city, east and inner west sub-regions, they've fallen to as low as 50% in the south-west.
Buyers certainly can't get much more inner city than Macquarie Street in the CBD, where a 3br, 242sqm penthouse sold under the hammer for $7.11m, Sydney's most expensive auction sale for the week. The apartment features spectacular views of the city, harbour and harbour bridge, as well as a lock-up double garage, 24hr concierge and in-house dining and room service.
Water views also commanded a price premium in the beachside suburb of Clovelly, where a rundown 5br, 3-level house sold for almost $500,000 above reserve at $3.4m. The property includes a rooftop terrace with 270-degree views of the district and ocean.
At the other end of the market, a 1br Hunters Hill unit with car space fetched $470,000, Sydney's most affordable disclosed auction sale.
Domain reports the city's auction median price was $1.2m. A 3br split-level brick house in Girraween marketed for the redevelopment potential of its 702sqm land sold for this amount, as did a 3br, 949sqm 1970s-era Carlingford home.
The star of the Melbourne auction show this week has to be the Toorak tennis court that sold under the hammer for $7.8m – almost $2m above reserve.
Domain reports the 773sqm grass court was the site of a former house that was knocked down by neighbours on the eastern side when they bought the property more than 20 years ago for just $710,000.
Also at the top end of town, in Glen Iris, a few suburbs south-east of Toorak, a 5br, 1003sqm property sold for $5.77m, the highest disclosed, non-tennis court auction sale for Melbourne. The house contains a self-cleaning swimming pool and wine room, but sadly no tennis court.
Buyers looking for something a little more affordable could have snapped up a 1br ground floor brick apartment in Essendon that fetched $277,000 at auction, Melbourne's most affordable disclosed sale for the week. The unit is in a block of six and includes off-street parking.
Melbourne's weekly auction median price came in at $880,000 for the week, according to Domain. A 2br Art Deco apartment in St Kilda with lock-up garage sold under the hammer for this price, as did a 4br, 628sqm brick house in Airport West.