Weekend auction results released by Australian Property Monitors (APM) found week-on-week and year-on-year auction activity was down across all major capital cities.
In Sydney, there were 349 reported auctions with a final clearance rate of 50.1 per cent – down 1.4 per cent when compared to the previous week.
Much larger declines were recorded in Melbourne, with weekend auction results showing 237 reported auctions and a clearance rate of 45 per cent. This is far cry from the 684 reported auctions last week, which recorded a final clearance rate of 52 per cent.
The Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW), which reported an auction clearance rate of 56 per cent in Sydney on the weekend, said agents can expect a subdued auction market to the end of January as buyers embrace the festive season.
“In the next few days leading up to Christmas there are around 90 auctions scheduled. This lull in auction activity typically lasts until the end of January while agents, buyers and vendors alike make the best of the festive season, school holidays, and warmer weather,” REINSW chief executive Tim McKibbin said.
“To date the last quarter of 2011 has seen more than 8,500 properties put to auction, with an average of 56 per cent selling.”
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria had a similar sentiment to their NSW peers, with only 40 auctions scheduled before the end of 2011.
“The number of auctions for 2011 looks likely to be just short of 29,000, with a clearance rate of 56 per cent,” REIV chief executive Enzo Raimondo said.
“There have been 482 auctions reported this weekend of which 254 sold and 228 were passed in, 155 of those on a vendor's bid.”
The most expensive property sold this was a five bedroom house in Kangaroo Point NSW, which sold for $2.75 million. While the most affordable home sold for the week, was a $205,000, three bedroom houses in Melton West, Victoria.
Auction activity in Adelaide and Brisbane struggled to top 30 per cent, with both capital cities recording a final clearance rate of just 26.3 per cent and 28.6 per cent, respectively.
Yet APM's Brisbane results were at odds with those reported last week by independent auctioneering firm Jason Andrew Auctioneers.
Based on auctions in the week before last, director Jason Andrew found clearance rates in Brisbane and the Gold Coast topped 60 per cent, with the overall result for the South East Queensland property market yielded a clearance rate of 48 per cent for the second week in a row.
“This has been the best week of the year – while there will still be a smaller volume of properties go to auction this week, the official auction market has ended on a high,” Mr Andrew said.
“Buyers have seen good opportunity at current prices and sellers have accepted the challenging market conditions.”
“Traditionally December is a month where the tug-of-war between buyers and sellers is lessened, with both parties more motivated to finalise a sale. This year, with uncertain terrain ahead in 2012, that sentiment has been stronger than ever.”