The under-siege Sydney home auction market held the line at the weekend, despite confronting a record flood of late-spring auctions.
Sydney reported an auction clearance rate of 58.6 per cent on Saturday, just above the previous weekend’s 57.5 per cent result but well below the 74.6 per cent recorded during the same weekend in 2014.
Despite the steady result, Sydney has now recorded consecutive weekend clearance rates below 60 per cent for the first time since November 2012, with the local market clearly looking for a breather over Christmas.
Sydney’s clearance rate averaged 63.4 percent over spring this year, compared with 79.6 per cent over spring 2014, and is the lowest result for the selling season since 2012.
High auction numbers have challenged the market
Although Saturday’s 1065 auction listings just failed to break the all-time spring record of 1088 set a month ago on October 31, it was nonetheless the highest-ever total for a November Saturday and the fourth highest on record.
Despite the lowest spring clearance rates in three years, Sydney has had an all-time record spring for the number of auction sales, reflecting the unprecedented volume of homes going under the hammer over the past three months.
Sydney continues to record a remarkable divergence in results between regions, with higher priced locations closer to the city still reporting reasonable spring results. Buyer activity in outer suburban areas to the west of the city, however, remains at low levels.
The northern beaches produced a strong clearance rate of 80.4 per cent at the weekend, followed by the city and east with 73.2 per cent, the upper north shore 69.1 per cent, the lower north 63.9 per cent, the inner west 61.2 per cent, the south 59.8 per cent, the north-west 53.6 per cent, the central coast 43.5 per cent, the west 35.6 per cent, Canterbury Bankstown 34 per cent and south-west 32.7 per cent.
The sole property for sale in the Blue Mountains failed to sell under the hammer.
Trend weekend auction prices in Sydney increased at the weekend, from the previous weekend’s $1,161,500 to $1,173,000, and remain 19.9 percent higher than the $977,938 trend recorded during the same weekend in 2014.
The Sydney home auction market has finished spring on the slide with clearance rates at the lowest levels in three years.
Record numbers of homes have, nonetheless, been sold under the hammer over the past three months, but the sales peak was clearly earlier in the spring.
Market confidence remains fragile and particularly low in Sydney’s middle and outer western suburbs.
Fewer than 2000 homes will be auctioned over December and, although still a challenging number for the local market, will be well below the auctions conducted over December 2014.
Low and falling interest rates energised the market last autumn, but higher mortgage rates over spring have clearly contributed to sharply falling activity.
This week, the Reserve Bank meets for the final time this year and, reflecting better recent economic data, official rates are likely to remain on hold for eight consecutive months until the bank meets again in February 2016.