The Sydney home auction market bounced back at the weekend following last weekend’s year-low result.
Sydney reported a clearance rate of 79.7 percent on Saturday – an increase from the 75.4 percent recorded the previous weekend but still below the 82.1 percent recorded over the same weekend last year.
Although Saturdays result was a clear improvement, it was nonetheless the fourth consecutive weekend with clearance rates below 80 percent. Record numbers of auctions over the past month have been a contributor to lower clearance rates with supply catching up with strong underlying demand and offering buyers more choice of properties.
Lower listings this weekend however may have influenced a pick-up in the clearance rate. 724 homes were auctioned on Saturday, well down on the all-time August record of 848 auctions set last weekend. Although auction numbers were down, Saturday was the second highest August auction day on record and significantly above the 433 reported over the same weekend last year.
The Blue Mountains reported the highest regional clearance rate with a 100 percent result - two sales from two listings. Next best was a group of higher-priced regions led by the northern beaches with 91.3 percent, the lower north 89.8 percent, the city and east 88.9 percent and the inner west 86.5 percent. Canterbury Bankstown recorded a clearance rate of 80 percent at the weekend followed by west with 76.9 percent, the south 75 percent, the south west 72.7 percent, the upper north shore quite again with 72.3 percent, the north west 70 percent and the central coast with a clearance rate of 65 percent.
Notable sales reported at the weekend included a 3 bedroom home at 37-39 Crane Road Castle Hill sold by McGrath Castle Hill for $3,700,000, a 6 bedroom home at 139 Wentworth Road Strathfield sold for $3,600,000 by Elders Inner West, a 3 bedroom home at 1/9 George Street Dover Heights sold for $3,210,000 by Phillips Pantzer Donnelley, a 5 bedroom home at 64 Pymble Avenue Pymble sold by McConnell Bourn Pty Ltd for $3,200,000 and another 5 bedroom home at 23-25 Shaw Street Petersham sold by Pilcher Residential for $3,102,000.
The most expensive property reported sold at auction at the weekend was a 5 bedroom home at 25 Turner Avenue Haberfield sold for $4,230,000 by McGrath Inner West. The most affordable property reported sold at the weekend was a 2 bedroom unit at 1/105 Ocean Parade Blue Bay sold for $310,000 by First National The Entrance.
For a list of weekend auction results in Sydney click here Sydney auction results Saturday August 15
A higher clearance rate this weekend in Sydney may also reflect a sense of a fading market from sellers acting to lower price expectations as indicated by moderating recent auction market price growth. The monthly trend median home auction price in Sydney fell marginally from $1,035,000 last weekend to Saturdays $1,030,125 but remains 14.7 percent above the $898,438 recorded over the same weekend last year.
Investor activity has been a key component of Sydney’s recent strong housing market activity. The ABS reports that investor activity continues to rise, with the value of NSW ASB investor finance surging to a new monthly record of $7.1bn over June – $600 million higher than last month’s then record result and an increase of 32 percent over the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. Investors now account for a record 62.4 percent of all residential lending in NSW.
A strong local economy has also been a key driver of increased overall housing market activity in Sydney this year. Latest ABS data however reports that the Sydney July jobless rate increased sharply from 4.7 percent to 5.5 percent over the month and is now higher than the 5.1 reported over July last year. Despite the rise in the jobless rate, the number of Sydney employed has increased by 57,700 over the past year.
Dr Andrew Wilson is Domain Group Senior Economist Twitter@DocAndrewWilson The Property Show expert 2UE Saturdays 12.30-1pm