Sydney’s early spring home auction market continues to strengthen recording a stunning 83.9 percent clearance rate at the weekend. This result was the highest recorded since last February and was achieved despite a surge in auction listings.

621 properties were listed to go under the hammer on Saturday which was well ahead of the 570 auctioned the weekend before and the 565 auctioned over the same weekend a year ago.

Sydney is set to host over 2400 auctions this September which will be an all-time record for the month and considerably higher than last September when 2003 homes went under the hammer.

This weekend’s auction clearance rate was the seventh consecutive weekend with rates above 80 percent. Sydney’s four-weekend average clearance rate now stands at 83.0 percent compared to 81.3 percent over the previous four-weekend period.

The upper north shore again reported the highest clearance rate of all the suburban regions at the weekend with a 90.1 percent result from 71 reported auctions. This was closely followed by the west with a clearance rate of 89.7 percent, the north west with 89.5 percent, the city and east at 88.6 percent, the northern beaches 83.9 percent, the inner west 81.5 percent with the most number of sales at 66, the south 80.8 percent and Canterbury Bankstown with a clearance rate of 80 percent.

Prestige auction sales tracked back at the weekend with 21 sales reported above $2 million - behind the 28 reported last weekend.

Standout auction sales results on the upper north shore at the weekend included a  5  bedroom home at 51 Merrivale  Road Pymble sold by Burns and Burns Real Estate for  $2,300,000, another  5  bedroom home at 75 Eastwood  Avenue Eastwood sold for  $2,130,000 by First National Epping Central, a  3  bedroom home at 28 Bent  Street Lindfield sold by McConnell Bourn Lindfield for  $1,800,000 and a  5  bedroom home at 11 Kalang  Avenue Killara sold for  $1,750,000 by Curran Property.

The most expensive property reported sold at auction at the weekend was a 3 bedroom home at 5 Glencarron Avenue Mosman sold for $4,941,000 by McGrath Mosman. The most affordable property reported sold at the weekend was a 3 bedroom home at 10 Finisterre Avenue Whalan sold for $310,000 by Richardson and Wrench Rooty Hill.

Sydney’s weekend auction market continues to strengthen with record activity set to be reported for the month of September. Strong competition for properties will result in price increases although not at the same level as a year ago. Rising house prices are however problematic for first home buyers struggling to get into the Sydney market despite historically low interest rates.

Latest ABS data reports that first home buyers are trickling back into the market with 1190 home loans approved to this group over July in New South Wales. Although first home buyer numbers have increased by 10.5 percent over the first 7 months of this year compared to the same period a year ago, the proportion of first home buyers in the market remain near record levels at just 4.3 percent of all housing finance activity.

Dr Andrew Wilson is senior economist for the Domain Group

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