Clearance rates drop in Sydney and Melbourne

Sydney and Melbourne have both recorded a drop in their auction clearance rates over the weekend, signalling the spring season may have reached its peak.

Australian Property Monitors (APM) reported that Sydney just hit the 80 per cent mark with an auction clearance rate of 80.1 per cent across 741 auctions. This is the lowest result in five weeks and the second consecutive weekend in which a decrease in clearance rates has been recorded, following last weekend’s result of 80.6 per cent.

RP Data reported a lower result with a preliminary clearance rate of 74.9 per cent across 1,047 auctions.

Senior economist at APM Dr Andrew Wilson said APM’s result was nonetheless an unprecedented 18th weekend out of 20 where clearance rates had been over 80 per cent.

“High clearance rates have been achieved despite a record number of listings,” he said.

“So far over November, 3,062 properties have been listed for auction, well ahead of last year’s 2,148 over the same period. November will clearly break the record for the highest number of auctions ever conducted over a month in Sydney – and the highest ever number of auction sales. Sydney is set to host its highest ever number of weekend auctions next weekend, with 900-plus properties set to go under the hammer. 

“This will present the market with an enormous test, particularly given early indications that Sydney’s 'spring auction market to end all spring auction markets' may have peaked,” Dr Wilson said.

In Melbourne, auction clearance rates fell to their lowest so far this spring.

APM reported a clearance rate of 70.3 per cent across 937 properties, down from 73.3 per cent last week.

RP Data recorded a clearance rate of 66.7 per cent across 1,161 auctions, down from 69 per cent last week.

RP Data Victoria housing market specialist Robert Larocca said “For three consecutive weeks the clearance rate has been below 70 per cent, highlighting the cooling of conditions in the residential auction market.

“With a few more weekends of over 1,000 auctions – including around 1,500 next week – buyers will be able to drive a better bargain.”

Dr Wilson said the next two weekends would present a significant challenge to the Melbourne market with consecutive super Saturdays, with over 2,500 metro properties set to saturate an auction market that appeared to have peaked.

According to APM, the most expensive and affordable properties were in Sydney with a value of $6.45 million and $200,000 respectively.

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