'Off to a sizzling start': economist

The Melbourne and Sydney housing markets are “off to a sizzling start”, according to a leading economist.

Senior economist at Australian Property Monitors Andrew Wilson has said the housing market has not failed to deliver results for both buyers and sellers in the first two months of 2014, and he is tipping this weekend’s auction clearance rate to continue above 70 per cent.

“Last weekend’s clearance rate of 84.4 per cent reflects continued high underlying levels of buyer activity. Seller activity is also intensifying with auction listings continuing to surge into the marketplace to take advantage of record levels of homebuyer competition,” Mr Wilson said of the Sydney property market.

“The solid result last weekend in [Melbourne] was achieved from significantly higher auction numbers, with 260 listings compared to the previous weekend’s 71. Listings were 17 per cent higher compared to the same time a year ago, with a surge in auction numbers set to continue over the coming weekends leading up to the Labour Day long weekend.”

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) is expecting around 700 auctions across 247 suburbs this weekend.

REIV CEO Enzo Raimondo said that the auction market is continuing from the end of last year, with clearance rates in the high 60s and very high numbers of auctions.

“There are a lot of auctions scheduled for February and we are expecting super Saturdays for both of the weekends before the Labour Day weekend,” he said.

“If all the auctions scheduled go ahead, we are looking at around 2,500 auctions in total for February, which is almost on a par with the 2,510 auctions held in the same month four years ago – at a time when the market was also relatively strong.”

One auction to note this weekend is the Friday evening sale of industry personality and auctioneer Damien Cooley’s home. Mr Cooley’s Naremburn home will go under the hammer on Valentine’s Day at 6:30pm.

John McManus of LJ Hooker Artarmon/Willoughby is the selling agent and Andrew Cooley of Cooley Auctions will be auctioning the property.


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