Australia’s property market had a solid weekend at auction, despite the clearance rate taking a slight dip from last week.
The national market achieved a 66.7% clearance rate on the 1675 auctions held across the county at the weekend, down from 68.4% of 1544 auctions the week before, according to RP Data.
Sydney again outshone the other capital cities with a robust 76.2% clearance as 632 homes went under the hammer.
RP Data Victorian housing market specialist Robert Larocca told SmartCompany Sydney is continuing to be a strong market in more ways than one.
“Sydney is continuing to set a whole range of records,” says Larocca.
Larocca says Sydney has seen the biggest rise in the number of homes sold at auction compared to the same time last year, at 63%.
But he notes this trend towards auction is true of all the capital cities, with particularly strong results also recorded in Tasmania, with a 56% rise in auction volumes, and Adelaide, with a 48% lift in homes sold at auction.
Larocca says although Tasmania’s relatively lower figures should be taken into account, vendors are still trending strongly towards the auction sales method in the state and finding good results.
This week, Melbourne had a solid clearance of 64.1% off 749 auctions, while Brisbane continued to struggle with a 52.1% off 134 auctions.
Larocca shrugged off comments made by Jeremy Lawson, a former senior economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia, this week that suggested the housing market was overvalued by at least 30%.
Larocca says, in Melbourne, values still haven’t reached the peaks of 2010 and transactions numbers overall were down from figures seen in 2007.
However, he says the points Lawson makes about the impact of the economy on the property market are sound.
“Australia is an island geographically, not economically,” he says.
“Employment figures and the economy as a whole has to have an impact on prices.”
Yet Larocca says evidence currently points to the market’s strength.
“On the eve of spring, the market is looking very sound,” says Larocca.