Sydney’s weekend auction market continues to track backwards with falling clearance rates recorded over the past three weekends. Last weekend’s 73.5 percent result was the lowest recorded for 4 months and the third consecutive result below 80 percent for the first time this spring.
This weekend over 1000 auctions are listed in Sydney which will be the highest ever number of homes to go under the hammer on a spring Saturday. Record numbers of auctions will continue to test a fading market through December to the Xmas break.
The upper north shore will host the most number of auctions this weekend with 146 closely followed by the inner west with 123, the south 134, the city and east 124, the lower north 107, the west 88, Canterbury Bankstown 81 and the northern beaches with 66 auctions scheduled.
The most popular suburb for auctions this weekend in Sydney is Hunters Hill on the lower north shore with 15, followed by Mosman also on the lower north shore, St Ives on the upper north shore, Blacktown in the west, and Castle Hill in the north west each with 12 and Strathfield in the inner west and Epping on the upper north shore each with 11 auctions scheduled at the weekend.
Sydney commenced the spring selling season this year with 9 consecutive clearance rates above 80 percent. The market has clearly lost that early energy with 5 out of the last 7 weekends below the 80 percent benchmark.
The current four-weekend average clearance rate has fallen to 76.4 percent which is now well down on the 80.6 percent average recorded over the previous four-weekend period.
Sydney’s northern beached reported the highest clearance rate last weekend with 82.6 percent. Next best region was the city and east with 82.4 percent followed by the north west 79.3 percent, the lower north 76.9 percent, the upper north shore 76.1 percent and the inner west with a relatively low 74.5 percent from the most number of sales at 79.
Next week the Reserve Bank meets for the final time this year to determine the direction of official interest rates until it meets again in February next year. Rates are likely to remain at the current 60 year low of 2.5 percent for the 16th consecutive month – equalling the longest steady sequence since 1997-98.
Although rates are likely to remain on hold current economic conditions continue to point to a downward bias next year if a sustained improvement doesn’t materialise. Unemployment is at decade high levels, building approvals are flattening, and the dollar remains relatively high. And housing market activity is also flattening with Sydney clearly the only state capital city market generating any notable prices growth.
Dr Andrew Wilson is senior economist for the Domain Group Follow @DocAndrewWilson
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