Auction volumes rose to their highest level in three months, according to CoreLogic, with Canberra taking the mantle of best-selling capital city as cracks emerged in the traditional auction powerhouse, Melbourne.
The number of homes taken nationally to auction rose to 2000, compared with 1850 over the previous week.
The preliminary auction clearance rate of 70.5 per cent was up on last week’s final 68.2.
Over the corresponding weekend last year, the clearance rate was higher at 75 per cent but on less stock, as just 1471 auctions were held.
Canberra was the weekend’s strongest auction market with an 87 per cent success rate.
Its top sale was a five-bedroom Forrest house sold for $2.875 million.
Located at 27 Tasmania Circle, the home was built in 2012 on its 1367 square metre block opposite historic Collins Park.
Luton Properties also sold the nation capital’s cheapest offering, a two-bedroom MacGregor townhouse for $345,000.
Located at 13/204 Macfarlane Burnet Avenue, the property is currently tenanted at $360 per week.
Across Canberra a total of 57 auctions were held, compared to 69 last weekend.
Canberra’s preliminary clearance rate was well up on the 70 per cent of the previous weekend.
First home buyers have surged into the ACT market in strong numbers, according to Domain’s chief economist Dr Andrew Wilson.
Adelaide had the next best success rate, with 72.9 per cent of the 59 reported results sold.
It was a big improvement over the previous week’s 63 per cent clearance rate and 68.8 per cent one year ago.
Adelaide’s offering ranged between an uninhabitable four-bedroom house at 29 Aranga Avenue, Ingle Farm, sold for $297,000 by the mortgagee and a $1.37 million sale of a four-bedroom Maynard Avenue, Campbelltown house sold for $1.37 million.
With a 72 per cent success rate, Sydney was next strongest narrowly pipping Melbourne’s preliminary clearance rate of 71 per cent.
“Melbourne has remained the stronger performer for many weeks, but it was possible that Melbourne’s final clearance rate could drop below the 70 per cent mark for the first time since July last year,” CoreLogic’s auction analyst Kevin Brogan said.
Domain chief economist Dr Wilson said Melbourne was being “weighed down” by a surge in pre-spring listings after an unusually hot winter market.
The Melbourne clearance rate was down from last week’s final clearance rate of 73.9 per cent.
Melbourne was host to 948 auctions, higher than the 911 held last week, and substantially higher than a year ago when there were 605 auctions held.
Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate was 72 per cent across 625 notified auction results from a total of 782 auctions held across the city.
This time last year, Sydney had 635 auctions at a clearance rate of 78.3 per cent, according to CoreLogic.
An $8 million harbourfront at Longueville was the nation’s most expensive weekend auction sale.
Built in 1970, the five-bedroom property was last sold in 2006 for $5 million.
It features a split level design on its 1277 square metre block at 40A Mary Street.
The offering through McGrath Estate Agents came with pool, jetty, boatshed and deep mooring.
Melbourne’s top two sales were development sites including a Camberwell site sold at $5.01 million.
Located at 5-7 Braeside Avenue, the 1550 square metre site came with townhouse plans by Alta Architecture.
The property, approved for eight homes, sold through Marshall White.
The next top price was at Port Melbourne with a site fetching $4.75 million.
The Chapman Memorial Hall sits on a 711 square metre Ross Street site.
An art deco Prahran house sold for $4.2 million. The Linden Court home sold at $2,535,000 in 2011.
A 1933 six-bedroom Toorak home at 3 Myrnong Crescent was passed in on a vendor bid of $7 million.
Brisbane was host to 100 auctions with the 63 results reported, recording a preliminary clearance rate of 54 per cent.
Last week, auction volumes across the city were higher with 156 auctions held and a 48.7 per cent clearance rate.
Brisbane’s cheapest result was a three-bedroom Darra townhouse at $316,000.
Located at 102/35 Ashridge Road, the property was marketed by Ray White as ideal for savvy investors with its likely rent estimated to be $370 to $390 per week.
In Perth, 32 auctions took place with 10 results reported so far. Perth’s preliminary clearance rate was 40 per cent.
Jonathan Chancellor is editor in chief at Property Observer.