Cup Day pause no barrier to auctions

The Melbourne home auction market paused at the weekend, distracted by the holiday break that revolves around the race that stops a nation.

Despite relatively low auction numbers the local market recorded a strong clearance rate of 80 per cent, ahead of last weekend’s 75.4 per cent and the 74.7 per cent recorded over the same weekend a year ago. A total of 134 homes were listed to go under the hammer on Saturday, which was unsurprisingly below the all-time record of the previous weekend when an astonishing 1,558 properties were auctioned.

This weekend’s auction numbers were, however, well ahead of the 118 listed over the same Melbourne Cup long weekend a year ago and reflect the increased seller activity characteristic of the Melbourne spring market this year.

Melbourne’s four-weekend average clearance rate now stands at 76.4 per cent compared to 78.8 per cent over the previous four-weekend period. Strongly rising auction listings will continue to test the market through the remainder of November.

Melbourne’s inner east reported a perfect auction score at the weekend with 12 homes selling from 12 reported listings for a 100 per cent auction clearance rate. Next best was the ever-popular outer east with 92 per cent and the highest reported sales, at 23. This was followed by the north east with 85.7 per cent, the north with 83.3 per cent, the inner city with 72.7 per cent and the south east with a weekend auction clearance rate of 71.4 per cent.

Notable sales in the inner east reported at the weekend included a three-bedroom home at 35 Frater Street Kew East, which sold for $1,310,000 by Hockingstuart; a four-bedroom home at 58 Timber Ridge Doncaster, which sold for $922,000 by Ray White Mitcham; a three-bedroom home at 3 Sierra Place Doncaster East, which sold for $915,000 by Fletchers; and a four-bedroom home at 55 Rocklea Road Bulleen, which was also sold by Fletchers for $832,000.

The most expensive property sold at auction at the weekend was a three-bedroom home at 294 Cecil Street South Melbourne, which sold for $2,320,000 by Greg Hocking Holdsworth. The most affordable property sold at auction at the weekend was a one-bedroom unit at 4/11 Epstein Street Reservoir, which sold for $287,000 by Barry Plant.

Although prices growth is generally moderating in Melbourne, the local auction market remains largely in favour of sellers despite a surge in listings to record levels over the past month.

Low interest rates have been a key driver of house prices over the past two years, with the Reserve Bank meeting for its regular Melbourne Cup Day meeting tomorrow to determine monthly official interest rate settings. Rates have been at the current 60-year low settings of 2.5 per cent for 14 consecutive months, since August last year - the longest steady sequence since 2002.

Although rates are set to remain at the current level over the remainder of 2014, increased concerns about the current performance of the national economy, particularly the state of the jobs market, are now raising the prospect of a rate cut in early 2015. 

The Sydney home auction market steamed into November at record pace at the weekend despite an unprecedented surge in auction numbers for this time of the year.

Sydney recorded a boom-time 82.4 per cent clearance rate, which was well ahead of last weekend’s 78.9 per cent result and also above the 81.2 per cent recorded over the same weekend last year.

Rising listing number over the past month have dragged the clearance rate down below the 80 per cent threshold for the first time in three months. Sydney buyers, however, remain hungry for property with the market bouncing back with vengeance at the weekend. A total of 883 homes were listed to go under the hammer, which was well ahead of the 753 conducted last weekend and the 739 auctions listed over the same weekend a year ago.

Auction numbers will continue to surge over the remainder of the year with Sydney set to break the November record for auction activity following record breaking performances over August, September and October. Sellers are rushing into the market to take advantage of high competition for property amongst buyers.

Despite the lift in this weekend’s clearance rate the current four-weekend average clearance rate at 80.4 per cent remains below the 83.0 per cent recorded over the previous four-weekend period.

Sydney’s lower north was the leading suburban region this weekend with a strong 89.0 per cent clearance rate, with 65 sales from 73 reported results. The northern beaches also reported a strong result with 86.5 per cent, closely followed by the inner west at 85.8 per cent with the highest number of sales at 103. Next best was the upper north shore with 84.1 per cent, the south with 80.7 per cent, Canterbury Bankstown with 80.0 per cent and the city and east with a clearance rate at the weekend of 79.8 per cent.

Standout auction sales results on the lower north at the weekend included a five-bedroom home at 20 Ryries Parade Cremorne that sold for $3,675,000 by Belle Property Mosman, another five-bedroom home at 26 Hamilton Street Riverview that was sold by Ray White Lower North Shore for $2,240,000, a four-bedroom home at 6 Morotai Crescent Castlecrag that was sold by Victoria Freeman Real Estate for $2,025,000, and another four-bedroom home at 4 North Avenue Cammeray that sold for $2,015,000 by McGrath Property.

The most expensive property reported sold at auction at the weekend was a four-bedroom home at 5 Simmons Street Balmain East, which sold for $6,560,000 by McGrath Balmain. The most affordable property reported sold at the weekend was a one-bedroom unit at 18/8 Hope Street Rosehill, which sold for $181,000 by Ray White Parramatta.

The Sydney auction market has started off November at record pace, with low interest rates a key ingredient of continued strong buyer activity in the local market.


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