The Melbourne weekend auction market recorded another moderate result on Saturday with growing indications of a weakening in buyer activity.

The weekend result of 72.1 percent was just above last weekend’s 71.6 percent which was the lowest clearance rate recorded by the Melbourne market since the first weekend in July.

High levels of auctions are impacting market activity as sellers surge into the late spring market to close off sales before the end of the year shut-down.

This weekend 1,153 properties were listed for auction, well up on the previous weekend’s 977 and ahead of the 1,068 auctions conducted over the same weekend last year.

Record numbers of auctions will continue to test the Melbourne market right through until Christmas. 

The Melbourne market has resumed after the break for the Cup long weekend with lower clearance rates over the past two weekends. Melbourne’s four weekend average clearance rate now stands at 73.9 percent well down on the previous four weekend average result of 77.9 percent.  Trend auction activity is clearly declining.

Melbourne’s inner east suburban auction market remains resilient recording the highest clearance rate of all the regions at the weekend with 80.4 percent from the highest number of sales at 111.  Next highest was the north east with a rate of 76.7 percent followed by the outer east 76.3 percent, the inner south 73.8 percent and the west with a clearance rate of 70.2 percent.

Notable sales in the inner east reported at the weekend included a  4  bedroom home at 19 Bourne  Road Glen Iris sold for  $2,800,000 by Marshall White, a 3 bedroom home at 1a John  Street Kew sold by Jellis Craig for  $2,700,000, a  5  bedroom home at 30-34 Aquila  Street Balwyn North sold for  $2,550,000 by Fletchers and a  4  bedroom home at 35 Range  Street Camberwell sold by Marshall White for  $2,545,000.

The most expensive property reported sold at auction at the weekend was a 5 bedroom house at 6 Dickens Street Elwood sold by Abercrombie’s Real Estate for $6,550,000. The most affordable property reported sold at the weekend was a 1 bedroom unit at 9/1 Acland Street St Kilda sold by MAP Real Estate for $217,000.

Latest ABS data reflects moderating buyer activity in Melbourne. September quarter established houses prices increased by just 1.1 percent which was the lowest rate of growth recorded in the series since the March quarter last year. Melbourne established house prices have increased by just 3.6 percent this year. Recent reports of booming house prices in Melbourne certainly appear to be misguided based on the ABS data.

Other ABS data points to weakening housing market activity in Melbourne. ABS owner-occupied seasonally adjusted home loans approved in Victoria over September were down by 3 percent over the month – the worst performance of all the states.

Dr Andrew Wilson is Domain Group Senior Economist 

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