According to Australian Property Monitors (APM), both capitals recorded their lowest result in five months, a sign the market was feeling the strain of strong pre-Christmas listings.
In Sydney, the auction clearance rate was 78.2 per cent across 835 auctions, according to APM. This was well ahead of the 628 listed on the same weekend last year. RP Data recorded a result of 75.6 per cent across 1,112 auctions.
Senior economist at APM Dr Andrew Wilson said the Sydney result was still a solid outcome for sellers, given the unprecedented number of auctions conducted over the weekend.
“Sydney’s pre-Christmas rush to the market by sellers is set to continue right to the end of the year with next Saturday set to break the all-time record for auctions – set just two weekends ago,” he said. “And next weekend’s 950 auctions will be followed now by an extraordinary 250 properties scheduled to be auctioned just four days before Christmas Day.”
“The mad end of year rush to market clearly indicates the enthusiasm of sellers to take advantage of Sydney’s strongest-ever spring auction selling season, with the market unlikely to be fully focused again until mid-February and into March next year after the long holiday pause.”
In Melbourne, APM reported an auction clearance rate of 66.7 per cent across 1,319 auctions. RP Data reported a similar result of 64.1 per cent across 1,315 auctions.
RP Data Victoria housing market specialist Robert Larocca said: “After an unprecedented five consecutive 1,000-plus weekends, it is not a surprise the clearance rate has continued to cool.
“This is especially as the current rise in auction listings is outstripping the broader rise in transactions in the residential market.
This was also having an impact on prices, with the more expensive segment of the market now performing worse than the most affordable one, in contrast to the equal growth over the past year.
“There are only two weekends for auctions left this year, and buyers will continue to have the upper hand,” he said.
According to APM, the most expensive and affordable properties were in Melbourne with a value of $5.76 million and $160,000 respectively.