Listings match Super Saturday hype

The Sydney weekend auction market passed its biggest ever Saturday in September, recording another exceptional clearance rate at the weekend.

Despite hosting 723 auctions – a new record for a September Saturday – the Sydney market reported its eighth consecutive weekend clearance rate above 80 per cent, with an 81.9 per cent result.

Sydney has produced the best start to a spring selling season in its history with historically high levels of auction sales for this time of the year. The weekend’s record early spring auction numbers were well ahead of the previous weekend’s 621 auctions and the 593 listed over the same weekend a year ago.

This weekend’s auction clearance rate was the eighth consecutive weekend with rates above 80 per cent. Sydney’s four-weekend average clearance rate now stands at 82.9 per cent compared to 82.0 per cent over the previous four-weekend period.

The inner west reported the highest clearance rate of all the suburban regions at the weekend with a 92.5 per cent result from 93 reported auctions. This was closely followed by the upper north shore with a clearance rate of 89.3 per cent, the city and east with 85.1 per cent, the northern beaches at 84.1 per cent, the south at 84.0 per cent, the lower north at 80.4 per cent, the west at 78.7 per cent and the north west with a clearance rate of 76.2 per cent.

Prestige auction sales bounced back at the weekend with 26 sales reported above $2 million – up on the 21 reported the previous weekend.

Underlying demand for housing in Sydney continues to rise, offsetting to some degree the strong activity from investors currently providing record levels of new rental supply into the local market. Latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data reports that the NSW population increased by 1.6 per cent, or 114,500 persons, over the 12 months ending March this year. Of this increase, 76,274 were overseas migrants – 24,494 over the March quarter alone, the highest quarterly total since September 2008 – and all of them needing somewhere to live.

The Sydney auction market now heads into October following a record performance over both August and September. Next weekend activity levels will wind back temporarily due to the Labour Day long weekend, with the prospects, however, following the break of strong market conditions to continue all the way to Christmas.

Melbourne’s weekend auction market produced a strong result on Saturday, although heavily qualified by low numbers as a consequence of the ultimate local distraction of the AFL grand final. Just 44 auctions were scheduled to be conducted on Saturday, which is predictably well below the record September weekend of 1,008 homes that went under the hammer the previous weekend.

Melbourne recorded a clearance rate of 84.4 per cent at the weekend, which was well ahead of the same grand final last weekend when a rate of 70.7 per cent was reported, also from 44 listings

A total of 2,609 homes were listed for auction in metro Melbourne over the four weekends of September this year, which is an all-time record weekend rate for the month of September in Melbourne. September auction numbers were 19.5 per cent higher, or nearly 500 greater, than last year’s 2,183 conducted over the same month.

Underlying demand for housing in Melbourne continues to rise strongly and support the solid housing market activity of the past 12 months. Latest ABS data reports the Victorian population increased by 1.9 per cent, or 108,757 persons, over the 12 months ending March this year – the highest rate of growth of all the states except Western Australia.

Of this increase, 61,923 were overseas migrants, with 19,514 arriving over the March quarter alone. Migrants from interstate accounted for 8,367 over the year ending March, with the March quarter total of 2,468 the highest quarterly total ever recorded by Victoria in the ABS series. And all of these new arrivals naturally require somewhere to live.

With the grand final distraction behind it, the Melbourne auction market now heads into October following a record listing performance over both August and September. Next weekend activity levels will unsurprisingly rise sharply, with the next punctuation in the local market’s spring calendar the Pre-Melbourne Cup Super Saturday due on October 25.

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