Sydney auction market still hot, but the real test is ahead

The strong Sydney home auction market re-emerged on Saturday with an unequivocally good result overall for sellers.  

The predictable surge in auction listings, following the clear end to holiday distractions, was pounced on by home buyers who are clearly still hungry. 

Sydney recorded a weekend clearance rate of 78.8 per cent, well ahead of the 65.3 per cent recorded the previous weekend from a smaller number of listings. It was also ahead of the 72.5 per cent recorded over the same weekend last year.

Almost 230 homes were scheduled for auction on Saturday, well ahead of the 55 listed the previous weekend and also higher than the 218 listed over the same weekend last year.

With significantly higher numbers and a more representative spread of activity, Sydney’s regional auction results generally reflected last year’s market with higher-priced inner-suburban regions again the top performers.

The city and east reported the highest clearance rate at 93.3 per cent, followed by the upper north shore and the inner west each with 90 per cent and also each reporting the highest sales at 18. The next highest was the lower north with 88.9 per cent, the north west with 87.5 per cent, the south with 80 per cent, Canterbury Bankstown with 75 per cent, the northern beaches with 72.2 per cent, the south west with 66.7 per cent, the central coast with 63.6 per cent and the west with a weekend clearance rate of 60 per cent.

Notable sales reported at the weekend included:

The most expensive property reported sold at auction was a five-bedroom home at 18 Ulm Street, Lane Cove North, which sold for $2,604,000 by LJ Hooker Lane Cove. The most affordable property reported sold at the weekend was a four-bedroom home at 4 Norah Avenue, Charmhaven sold for $370,000 by Sorensen Real Estate.

For a list of Sydney auction results click here.

Sydney recorded a median auction price of $1.1 million on Saturday, higher than the $907,500 reported the previous weekend and 11 per cent higher than the $991,000 recorded over the same weekend last year. A total of $128.15 million was reported sold at auction in Sydney at the weekend.

Despite a strong early-season result at the weekend, stern tests await the Sydney auction market in coming weeks with significantly higher numbers of listings set to go under the hammer. Well over 500 auctions are set for next weekend.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will meet for the first time in 2017 this week to decide the level of official interest rates for February. Recent economic data remains underwhelming, particularly with the national jobless rate rising to 5.8 per cent over December – the highest result for the year – full-time jobs still falling, and the home building boom fading fast.

Although the RBA is certainly more likely to leave rates on hold for the fifth consecutive month, a pre-emptive early-year cut similar to that of February 2015 can’t be ruled out. Regardless, a cut in rates sooner rather than later must surely remain on the cards unless the economy clearly improves.

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