Sydney’s winter auction market has finished on a high recording a clearance rate above 80 percent for the fourth consecutive weekend. The 81.9 percent reported was despite a 33 percent jump in listings from last weekend with 583 properties going under the hammer well ahead of the 440 auctioned the previous weekend.

The Sydney auction market is clearly rising with the four-weekend average clearance increasing to 81.8 percent compared to 77.8 percent over the previous four-weekend period.

Next weekend the market moves definitely into spring with confidence on high for sellers. Higher numbers of auctions will continue to test the market through to the end of the year but signs remain positive that clearance rates will remain at solid to strong levels. Although clearance rates are set to continue at encouraging levels for sellers, prices growth will be unlikely to match the boom-time results recorded over last spring.

The northern beaches produced a stunning result over the weekend with 33 from 34 properties listed reported sold at auction for a clearance rate of 97.1 percent. This was clearly the best result of all the suburban regions with the next best Canterbury Bankstown with 88.2 percent, the upper north shore with 88.1 percent, the south west with another strong result this weekend with 85.2 percent, followed the west with 84.8 percent and the central coast 80 percent.

No surprise with spring on the doorstep Sydney recorded a big rise in auction sales above $2millon at the weekend with 22 - up strongly from the previous weekends 14 sales.

Standout auction sales results in the northern beaches at the weekend included a  4  bedroom home at 9 Hansford  Parade Bilgola sold by Andrew Blake Real Estate for  $2,700,000, a  5  bedroom home at 71 Lauderdale  Avenue Fairlight sold for  $2,607,500 by Clarke and Humel Property a  3  bedroom home at 75 Kangaroo  Street Manly sold for  $2,000,000 by RED Property and a  5  bedroom home at 78a Idaline  Street Collaroy sold for  $1,735,000 by Belle Property Dee Why.

The most expensive property reported sold at auction at the weekend was a 4 bedroom home at 46 Boundary Street Bronte sold for $3,300,000 by McGrath Coogee. The most affordable property reported sold at the weekend was a 2 bedroom home at 4/25-27 Ocean View Road Gorokan sold for $240,000 by Raine Horne Charmhaven.

Sydney has recorded its highest ever August for auction listings this year with nearly 2,700 properties going under the hammer. Auction sales numbers were also at record records levels for the month of August with the market clearly on the rise over recent weeks.

Next weekend is the first test for the spring market with listings set to rise significantly through to the end of the year. An exceptional market performance over winter ensures a confident start to spring with the prospect of continuing strong results.

The Reserve Bank meets this week for its regular monthly meeting and although economic indicators remain mixed the bank is likely to leave rates on hold for the 13th consecutive month – the longest steady sequence since 1998.  Although rates are set to remain on hold over the near-term a weakening economy - particularly rising unemployment – together with a stubbornly high dollar will continue to put downward pressure on potential interest rate outcomes.

Dr Andrew Wilson is senior economist for the Domain Group

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