Sydney’s auctions clearance rates have hit new highs this weekend, as 78.6% of houses sold at auction, the strongest result since early 2010.
Australia Property Monitors figures show this weekend’s clearance rate exceeded its yearly high set two weeks ago and clearance rates have remained high all year, edging steadily higher again since Easter.
APM senior economist Andrew Wilson told SmartCompany the Sydney property market is at its third strongest rate in 20 years, but he said it could improve even further.
“The average weekend rate is 75% in Sydney over the past few weeks. It’s reaching levels not recorded since early 2010, but it’s only at ¾ capacity because the prestige market has been slow to pick up,” he says.
Wilson says over the weekend eight properties above $2 million sold in Sydney and this was “one of the better results of the year”.
“We’re starting to see some early signs the prestige market may be moving in the right direction, but the real energy is in the $1 million to $1.5 million price bracket.
“The inner west, upper north shore and Canterbury-Bankstown, areas all posted clearance rates of 80%,” he says.
Despite the strong results, Wilson says the listing numbers are still down and this is impacting upon the high clearance rates.
“Listing numbers are still lowish. They are still around where they were a year ago and it’s just supply and demand. The lower numbers of houses on the market has increased competition and this is a factor in the Sydney market contributing to the higher clearance rates.
“But, most buyers are also sellers, so the number of listings will increase eventually,” he says
In Sydney this week there were 378 properties listed with APM, with the most expensive property listed with APM an apartment which sold for $3.3 million in Darlinghurst. The cheapest was a unit in Mount Druitt which went for $230,500.
The Victorian property market also performed strongly this weekend, with Real Estate Institute of Victoria figures indicating a clearance rate of 73%, with 617 properties listed.
Wilson says Victoria has witnessed clearance rates above 70% for the past three weeks.
“This is the highest recorded clearance rate in Victoria since the first weekend of February for the year. It’s a high rate and the Melbourne market is on the march.
“Three weekends in a row it’s been 70% plus and that’s the first time this has happened in three years,” he says.
The Melbourne market is “more even”, says Wilson, but the inner city areas are still the most attractive for buyers.
Wilson says the buoyed market in Victoria in the past three weeks could be a result of more first home-buyers looking to enter the market before the first home buyers grant for established homes is scrapped on July 1.
“We need to look out for the impact first home buyers are likely having in Melbourne. A cut to the first home owners grant for established homes usually corresponds with a boost in the market,” he says.
The most expensive property sold listed with the REIV went for $2.575 million in Brighton East and APM had the biggest bargain as a unit in Noble Park selling for $187,500.