Confident Sydney auction buyers shrug off election uncertainty

Source: SMH  Dr Andrew Wilson

The Sydney home auction market has strengthened over recent weekends, despite the distractions of the federal election and the continuing uncertainty over the final result.

Sydney recorded a clearance rate of 75.4 per cent, which was higher than the previous weekend’s 73.5 per cent, but well below the boom-time 80 per cent reported on the same weekend last year.

Relatively low auction numbers continue to characterise the Sydney market, with the strong competition amongst buyers for a smaller pool of available properties becoming a significant driver of robust clearance rates.

Just 419 auctions were listed on Saturday, which was well below the 605 auctioned over the same weekend last year. Predictably, it was well ahead of the 200 auctioned over election day the previous weekend.

The central coast reported the highest regional clearance rate at the weekend with 83.3 per cent, followed by Canterbury Bankstown with 81.8 per cent, the lower north with 81.5 per cent, the south with 80 per cent, the upper north shore with 79.6 per cent and the city and the east with 78.6 per cent.

Trailing the pack was the inner west with 78 per cent, the northern beaches with 75 per cent, the north west and the west each with 66.7 per cent, the south west with 57.6 per cent and the Blue Mountains with a clearance rate of 50 per cent.

Sydney recorded a median auction price of $1,045,500 on Saturday, which was lower than the $1.1 million recorded last weekend. Saturday’s median was 7.5 per cent higher than the $972,500 recorded over the same weekend last year. A total of $228.5 million was reported sold at auction in Sydney at the weekend.

The Sydney home auction market continues to record healthy results for sellers with strong buyer competition for scarce listings in most regions and price-ranges. Lower auction numbers will continue to characterise the market over coming weekends, with just over 300 auctions expected next weekend — around half the number auctioned over the same weekend last year.

Low and falling interest rates continue to support buyer and seller confidence with strong competition amongst banks for mortgage customers also driving housing demand. Although the Reserve Bank has decided to leave interest rates on hold over July at the record low 1.75 per cent, the odds have certainly narrowed for a cut sooner rather than later and perhaps as soon as next month.

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