Auction activity bounces back post Easter

Auction activity bounces back post Easter
Auction activity bounces back post Easter

Estate agents were back posting "sold" stickers on their best weekend auction offerings - from a $235,000 Elwood flat to a $5.18 million Mosman trophy home - following the break from sales over Easter. 

Melbourne's St Albans with 15 listings was the nation's busiest weekend auction suburb, ahead of Sydney's Epping with 13, then Reservoir in Melbourne, with 12 offerings.

Auction activity across all the capital cities bounced back after the Easter break, but the national clearance rate dipped to 67 percent from the 1500 offerings, down on the 70.9 prior weekly result, according to CoreLogic RP Data.

There were some 530 homes put to weekend Sydney auction - and a total of 650 homes over the past week - with an overall 70 percent clearance rate.

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Auction activity bounces back post Easter

Auction clearance rates ranged across Sydney from as high as 94 percent in the city and east to as low as 28 percent in Parramatta.

With 100 plus auctions, the North Sydney and Hornsby region was the busiest followed by the inner south west with 84 auctions.

The Sydney weekend's top under the hammer sale was a five bedroom home at 19 Lower Almora Street, Mosman. It was bought by a Singapore based expatriate. There where five registered parties, but just the two bidders after McGrath agent Anthony Zakos took the opening $4.8 million bid. There had been $4.8 million to $5 million price guidance.

Adelaide was the best performing capital with a 75 percent success rate, but like all capitals, excepting Brisbane, the clearance rate sat lower than one year ago when it was 83 percent. 

There were 567 Melbourne auctions this week, making it the second busiest after Sydney, with around 68 percent of offerings successfully finding buyers this week.

House prices in St Albans ranged from $416,000 to $845,000, for a 613 sqm apartment development site, subject to planning approval at 18 Collins Street. There was a $466,000 St Albans sale to a Sydney investor.

Melbourne's highest sale was $2.415 million at 5 Closeburn Avenue, Prahran, a four bedroom 1905 Edwardian brick home that sold through Kay & Burton.

It had sold the same time last year at $2.155 million - so 12 percent annual price growth - when it was sold through the Marshall White agency who had given a $1.7 million price guidance.

The Prahran sale edged out a $2.25 million Altona sale for the top spot. The 123 Esplanade, Altona sale was a two storey home opposite the beach, two blocks from the pier.

The $235,000 Elwood flat at 6/6 Cyril Street had last sold in 2008 at $195,000 and $220,000 in 2001. It had been a $230 weekly rental when advertised earlier this year, reflecting a five percent rental yield. Woodards Real Estate had been quoting $195,000 to $210,000 for the 1970s one bedder.

There have been 11 suburbs with clearance rates above 90 per cent this year, including Collingwood, Dingley Village and Seddon, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

The strongest performing weekend Melbourne sub-region was the inner east with 74 percent success, with the regions showing no where near the broad success range witnessed in disparate Sydney's regions.

But both capitals bounced back in activity after the Easter break, though not as much in Melbourne with school holidays underway in Victoria.

School holidays always put a dampener on activity. Auction activity will be next interrupted by the Anzac Day long weekend, then the Queen’s Birthday holiday break in June, which will signal the beginning of the quieter winter auction market.

Generally, the first two weekends in July ranks as the mid-year low point of the national auction market, brought about by cooler weather and the school holidays which combine to create the mid-year market lull. 

Accordingly the prospect of a federal election in early July would be the least disruptive to the real estate industry, agents suggest.

Though agents expect the election to provide a bigger than normal distraction given that negative gearing policy will be one of the key election issues along with capital gains tax policy.

Agents expect some prospective vendors to bring forward their sales campaigns to May and June, but then closer to the election date the prospective sellers will postpone their sales campaigns until later in the year.

CoreLogic RP Data analysis of recent elections showed that there was around a 20 percent preceding drop in the volume of listings, while the clearance rate is usually unaffected. 

Historically when there is no change of government the housing market tends to respond better post-election than when there is a change.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Auctions Clearance Rates

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