High listings test Sydney, Melbourne cooling

Sydney will host another strong Saturday of auctions this weekend despite the market showing signs of weakening.

A total of 882 homes are scheduled to go under the hammer, which is down on last weekend’s 943 but higher than the 767 conducted over the same weekend a year ago.

Sydney is set to clearly smash the all-time monthly record for auctions this November with over 5,000 properties listed; and sellers are set to continue to test the market in unprecedented numbers all the way up until the Christmas break.

The Sydney weekend auction market dropped sharply last Saturday, recording the lowest clearance rate since the first weekend of July. The 75.5 per cent result was well down on the previous weekend’s strong 82.4 per cent rate and also below the 83.7 per cent recorded over the same weekend last year.

High auction numbers over the past month, however, may be impacting the local market with three out of the last five weekends below the 80 per cent weekend benchmark. The four-weekend average clearance rate now stands at 79.5 per cent compared to 82 per cent over the previous four-weekend period. This is the first time this spring the Sydney four-weekend average has dipped below 80 per cent.

Sydney’s west was the leading suburban region last weekend with a strong 85.7 per cent clearance rate. The south was next best with 82.3 per cent, with all other regions below 80 per cent, led by the inner west with 79.8 per cent and Canterbury Bankstown and the northern beaches each with 75.7 per cent. The city and east reported the lowest regional clearance rate at the weekend with 69.8 per cent.

The inner west will again clearly host the greatest number of auctions this weekend with 139, followed by the upper north shore with 115, the south with 114, the lower north with 106, the city and east with 100, the west with 73, the northern beaches with 54, and Canterbury Bankstown with 53 auctions scheduled.

The most popular suburb for auctions this weekend in Sydney is again Mosman on the lower north shore with 18 auctions listed. Next highest is Castle Hill in the north west with 14, followed by St Ives on the upper north shore with 12, Leichhardt in the inner west with 10, Paddington in the city and east with 9, and a number of suburbs with 8 auctions including Cremorne on the lower north shore, Dulwich Hill in the inner west, Hunters Hill on the lower north shore, Manly on the northern beaches and Killara on the upper north shore.

The strength of the local housing market was confirmed this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS), which reported established house prices increased by 3.2 per cent – clearly the best of all the capitals and well head of the next best mainland capital Melbourne, at 1.1 per cent.

Sydney’s median established house price increased by 15.4 per cent over the year ending September – more than double the Melbourne result of 7.5 per cent.

Signs are emerging that buyer activity in Melbourne’s spring housing market is moderating as the end of the year fast approaches.

The Melbourne weekend auction market resumed last Saturday after the previous weekend’s pause for the Melbourne Cup holiday long weekend.

High auction numbers impacted on the market with the clearance rate falling sharply to 71.6 per cent. This was the lowest weekend rate reported by the Melbourne market since the first weekend of July, over four months ago.

Auction numbers will surge again this weekend, with 1,155 homes listed to go under the hammer in the metro area. This is well ahead of last weekend’s 977 and higher than the 1,068 auctions conducted over the same weekend last year.

Melbourne’s four-weekend average clearance rate now stands at 74.3 per cent compared to 78.8 per cent over the previous four-weekend period.

Melbourne’s south east reported the highest regional clearance rate last weekend with a strong 84 per cent result.

Next best, however, were well below, led by the outer east with 76.5 per cent, the north east with 75.2 per cent, the inner south with 71.9 per cent, the inner east with 70.9 per cent and the inner city with a clearance rate of 69.5 per cent.

Melbourne’s inner city will host the greatest number of auctions this weekend with 187, closely followed by the inner south with 183, the inner east with 167, the west with 166, the north east with 150, the outer east with 148, the north with 89 and the south east with 65.

The most popular suburb for auction listings this weekend in metro Melbourne is East Bentleigh in the inner south with 20, followed by St Kilda in the inner city with 18, and a number of suburbs with 17 auctions listed including Mount Waverley in the outer east, Reservoir in the north east, South Yarra in the inner city, Richmond also in the inner city, and Port Melbourne again in the inner city.

Latest ABS data reflects moderating buyer activity in Melbourne. September quarter established house prices increased by just 1.1 per cent, which was the lowest rate of growth recorded in the series since the March quarter last year. Melbourne established house prices have increased by just 3.6 per cent this year. Recent reports of booming house prices in Melbourne certainly appear to be misguided, based on the ABS data.

Other ABS data points to weakening housing market activity in Melbourne. ABS owner-occupied seasonally adjusted home loans approved in Victoria over September were down by three per cent over the month – the worst performance of all the states.

 

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