Weekend Auction Wrap: Sydney and Melbourne continue to see strong clearance rates

It was another huge weekend of auctions in Australia’s two largest property markets as the spring selling season closed out with strong demand from buyers.

Again it was Sydney that led the field, finishing the weekend with a preliminary clearance rate of 84.7 per cent, according to CoreLogic. In total there were 1,131 auctions held in Sydney, making it the busiest weekend this year.

Meanwhile, Melbourne also had a very strong weekend, finishing with a 78.3 per cent clearance rate across 1,497 auctions.

With the recent uptick in house prices and consistently strong auction clearance rates, there were 3,000 homes taken to auction across the country, making it the busiest of the year on a national level as well.

Source: Corelogic

The combined capitals clearance rate finished at 78.9 per cent, which was up from last week’s final clearance rate of 68.5 per cent.

In the smaller markets, results were mixed, with Adelaide and Canberra showing a preliminary clearance rate above 70 per cent, while Perth and Brisbane finished at 50.0 per cent and 54.8 per cent respectively.

Across the country, Australia’s leading auctioneers saw another very strong weekend of auction results, with Sydney and Melbourne seeing increased interest.

Justin Nickerson (Queensland)
Justin Nickerson has been enjoyed a number of weeks of strong results in the lead-up to the holiday period.

“It was a busy weekend which is always good. It was very strong again, which it has been for the last few weeks, which is good and it looks to be a promising run home into Christmas.

“One of the things we’re seeing at the moment are slightly shorter campaigns being run. People are more willing to run with shorter campaigns at the moment of three or even two-and-a-half weeks. You see that happen when a few people have some success and then others jump on board with it.”

Alec Brown (Canberra)
Alec Brown oversaw another busy week in Canberra with a number of properties selling prior to auction.

“We had 18 auctions scheduled with a clearance rate of 75 per cent. This was a little bit above the Canberra average which was sitting around the 71 per cent reported.

“The interesting stat, which I would suggest is due to the timing and people wanting some certainly prior to Christmas, was that we had 25 per cent sell prior. This is a far greater number than we would normally experience. So that’s double if not triple the average.

“We are sort of seeing that many buyers want certainty and are putting in compelling offers to avoid running it through.

“I think we’ll sit at least 15-20 per cent for the rest of the year selling prior as its seasonally influenced. We also have a fairly busy run with plenty of activity to try and clear that stock prior to the break.”

David Holmes (Canberra/QLD)
David Holmes had a good weekend of auctions in Canberra while Brisbane remains business as usual.

“We ran around a 50 per cent clearance rate with the results being pretty steady. There were a good number of auctions and the ones in Canberra had some good results, so there’s clearly some buoyancy there. 

“For Brisbane, it was probably just business as usual, despite it being the busiest weekend of the year.

“In Canberra, we’re quite successful running two-and-a-half and three-week campaigns. We’re seeing big crowds and plenty of registered bidders. Not so much in Brisbane, where it’s still three to four-week campaigns.”

Josh Larsen (Sydney)
Josh Larsen oversaw a strong weekend and strong month in some of the wealthier suburbs of Sydney.

“We sold 13 from 15 over the weekend. There was some good bidding on the ones that went ahead. So it was another good week and for the month of November, we had 57 auctions and 50 sold, which was 87.7 per cent, with the highest price of $7.32 million.

“There were also brilliant numbers in terms of people attending auctions on the weekend.

“There are also now going to be a few more shorter campaigns and some people changing their off-market early next year to on-market.”

Stu Benson (NSW)
Stu Benson is remaining positive on what this recent uptick in prices and auction results means for the Sydney market.

“I’m still hearing people call this market a ‘dead cat bounce’.

“For the unfamiliar, the phrase originated on Wall Street and is used to describe a temporary recovery in share prices after a substantial fall, caused by speculators buying in order to cover their positions. ‘Even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great height’, the saying goes.

“When it comes to the Sydney property market, I think they’re wrong.

“We’re now 28 weeks post-Federal election, and Sydney’s auction clearance rate has risen, or remained marginally solid, for each of those 28 weeks.

“The median price in most suburbs continues to steadily increase, and stock is still low, so competition remains.

“With low interest rate returns from banks, an investment in bricks and mortar continues to be the safe bet over the long term, and it’s feeling like 2020 is going to start right where 2019 is about to leave off.”

Matt Condon (Victoria)
Ray White Victoria Tasmania Chief Auctioneer Matt Condon has overseen another strong weekend across Victoria.

“This week has seen another big week for auctions for Ray White Victoria.

“Preliminary data from the RW Group is showing an increase in the average crowd size attending each auction as well as a healthy number of active bidders per auction.

“On the ground, the first home buyers market was performing very well, with buyers competing and bidding, even when a property was announced ‘on the market’ and ‘selling’.

“Overall, RW Victoria is expecting a very healthy auction day clearance rate.”

Gavin Croft (Sydney)
Gavin Croft had another solid week in Sydney with the clearance rate again above 80 per cent.

“There were 21 BresicWhitney auctions this week, 17 sold, giving a weekly auction clearance rate of 81 per cent with an average of three registered bidders per auction.

“So far this year, BW have conducted 587 auctions, 481 have sold on or before auction giving a YTD auction clearance rate of 82 per cent.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.