The Sydney market reported a remarkable auction result at the weekend, with new data confirming investors are re-entering the market ahead of possible changes to negative gearing.
The city recorded a clearance rate of 80.3 per cent on Saturday, the highest result since the 83.1 per cent recorded on July 18 last year – at the peak of the house prices boom.
Saturday’s year-high clearance rate was significantly above than the 71.6 per cent recorded last weekend and well above 2016’s running average of 73.2 per cent.
The sharp increase is almost unprecedented and follows the cut in mortgage rates announced by most banks over the past week – following the first cut in official rates in nearly a year.
There were 506 homes up for grabs on Saturday, with inner-suburban, higher priced regions producing the strongest results.
The lower north shore was the star performer with a clearance rate of 93.1 per cent, followed by Canterbury Bankstown with a strong result for that region of 90 per cent.
Next was the upper north shore at 89.8 per cent, then the inner west with 85.3 per cent, which also had the highest number of sales at 64.
The most expensive property reported sold at auction was a three-bedroom home at 36 Viret Street in Hunters Hill, which sold for $7,025,000 through McGrath Hunters Hill.
The most affordable property reported sold at the weekend was a two-bedroom unit at 6/103 Castlereagh Street in Liverpool sold for $370,000 through McGrath Estate Agents.
The city recorded a median auction price of $1,120,000 on Saturday, lower than the $1,260,500 recorded last weekend.
Saturday’s median remained 2.23 per cent higher than the $1,095,000 recorded over the same weekend last year.
A total of $305.1m was reported sold at auction.
Signs are emerging that the prospect of changes to negative gearing is activating investors in Sydney’s housing market keen to secure property under existing conditions.
Latest ABS lending finance data revealed a surge in residential investor activity, with loans for this group increasing by 30 per cent in March.
Investors secured $5.5 billion in lending, the highest monthly total since September last year.
The national market share for investor finance allocated to NSW has risen to 45.7 per cent of all lending for this group.
NSW investors account for 55.3 per cent of all residential lending in March in the state, the highest proportion since August last year.
Higher levels of investors have translated into lower levels of first-home buyers with the proportion of overall residential lending to this group falling to an all-time low 7.2 per cent.
The rush to market by investors in March predates the cut in interest rates last week which is certain to increase activity levels further.
Saturday’s auction clearance rate was a remarkable result with underlying market dynamics – surging investors and boom time clearance rates – likely to translate into a revival of price growth.
Again, not good news for first-home buyers.
For a full list of the Sydney auction results Click here