It was the biggest February weekend on record for Melbourne and Sydney’s property markets, with the most number of auctions selling a record number of homes as sellers took advantage of consistently high clearance rates since the summer holidays.
Sydney cleared 81.5 per cent — the third consecutive weekend above 80 — after 80.6 last week, while the Victorian capital had a clearance rate of 80.1 per cent, up from 75.7 per cent last week, CoreLogic figures showed.
“The market is super strong. We had 23 auctions this weekend, and sold 21 out of 23. Last week we had 17 and sold 17. The previous week we sold six out of six. It’s as good as we could possibly ask for.”
Sydney had 1169 auctions last week, up from 856 the previous week, and 640 the week before that. This week last year there had been 919.
In Melbourne, auction numbers leapt up from 1347 for the week last year to 1613 this week.
A positive economic outlook and heartened buyers has led to the surge, CoreLogic’s Kevin Brogan said.
“We’ve seen the normal trend to higher volumes that occurs after the summer break, but this week we’ve seen the volumes take off over the normal seasonal trend,” he said.
“We’ve been reporting high clearance rates in end of 2016, and again in the 2017 auction season. That is something people have been aware of.”
Melbourne had its strongest month since October, according to Andrew Wilson from Australian Property Monitors.
“Maybe buyers who were sitting on their hands last year have decided to take the plunge,” he said.
Canberra and Adelaide also recorded positive results. There were 100 auctions in the nation’s capital, which recorded a clearance rate of 77.3 per cent, while Adelaide had a rate of 76.3 per cent from 121 listed properties.
In Brisbane, Australia’s third largest market, 63.6 per cent of homes sold from 174 auctions. Perth had a clearance rate of 21.4 per cent from 46 properties, while Tasmania had 50 per cent from nine.
Mr Kingston believed there were three key drivers contributing to the boom.
“Low interest rates — though people are expecting a rate rise — low unemployment, followed by Australia’s reasonable economic growth,” he said.
“With those three drivers intact, we’re in positive territory.”