Sydney auction market losing steam

The Sydney auction market reported another year-low result at the weekend, with buyer and seller activity now fading fast in almost every region.

With two weekends until the season ends, the market is limping to the line after a year of extraordinary results.Sydney map NSW new south wales location

Higher interest rates – first for investors and then owner-occupiers – have crash-tackled the market since autumn, particularly in lower-priced, interest-rate-sensitive regions to the west of the city.

A record number of homes being put under the hammer in spring has accentuated the Sydney market slowdown, but auction numbers have fallen away over the past few weekends and will end the year well below December 2014’s offerings, as sellers abandon the market and await an autumn revival.

Saturday’s 57.5 per cent clearance rate equalled the rate recorded two weekends earlier, but was below the previous weekend’s 58.6 per cent and well below the 70.5 per cent recorded during the same weekend in 2014.

The local market is now tracking at its lowest point since the winter of 2012

There were 885 homes listed to go under the hammer on Saturday, compared with the previous weekend’s November record of 1066 and also well below the 1028 auctioned during the same weekend in 2014.

All of Sydney’s regions are now recording lower and falling clearance rates, with middle and outer suburban areas remaining the under-performers.

Inner-city properties, however, continue to produce solid results, with the lower north shore leading the way with a clearance rate of 71.9 per cent at the weekend.

The next best was the city and eastern suburbs, followed by the inner west and the northern beaches.

Sydney’s trend weekend auction price fell at the weekend, from the previous weekend’s $1,173,000 to $1,144,250.

However, it is still 21.4 per cent higher than the $942,313 trend recorded during the same weekend in 2014.

The city and eastern suburbs recorded the highest median auction price for houses at the weekend at $1.8 million, followed by the upper north shore with $1,577,500, the lower north shore with $1,462,000, the northern beaches with $1.46 million, the inner west with $1,455,000, the south with $1,190,000, the north-west with $1,180,000, Canterbury Bankstown with $1,005,000, the south-west with $850,000, the west with $765,000 and the central coast with $650,000.

The Reserve Bank has decided to leave official rates on hold again until it meets again in February, although more hikes in mortgage rates from banks remain a possibility over coming months.

For a list of weekend auction results in Sydney, click here.

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Andrew Wilson


Dr Andrew Wilson is Australia’s leading housing market expert. As senior economist for Fairfax-owned Domain Group, Dr Wilson is one of the nation’s most respected real estate analysts and Australia’s highest profile housing market commentator. Visit his blog at Domain

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