Money Property Tide is turning: Sydney clearance rates hit 80 per cent
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Tide is turning: Sydney clearance rates hit 80 per cent

weekend auction wrap August 10
This Bellevue Hill house was passed in on a vendor's bid at $6.5 million. Photo: The Agency
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The Hawthorn trophy home of Melbourne sports star manager Ralph Carr was passed in at its private weekend auction.

Carr was seeking $10 million-plus for the five-bedroom Victorian home on Shakespeare Grove through Abercromby’s agent Jock Langley.

The nation’s priciest weekend auction offering had actually been initially listed with $12 million-plus expectations during the auction selling season.

weekend auction wrap August 10
The property had initially been marketed at $12 million-plus. Photo: Abercrombys

No bidding details have emerged, but Mr Langley told The Herald Sun buying interest had come from local, national and expatriate buyers, particularly from Hong Kong.

Carr had paid $7.55 million for the 1318-square-metre property in 2013.

With just three Saturdays before the spring selling season kicks off, Melbourne returned an improved initial auction clearance rate of 73.2 per cent, up on last week’s final clearance rate of 70.9 per cent, as volumes remained steady across the city at 500 auctions.

Last year the Melbourne clearance rate was 58 per cent from 721 auctions.

Melbourne’s top sale was at Malvern, where $3.82 million was paid for 19 Chesterfield Avenue. It was marketed by RT Edgar as suitable to “renovate, rebuild or redevelop”.

weekend auction wrap Aug 10
The property was ripe for renovation. Photo: RT Edgar

There were five bidders after the $3.5 million opening bid, with further bidding after it had been declared on the market at $3.66 million.

Melbourne buyer’s agent Mal James noted the Melbourne prestige market had a “buzz about, admittedly on very low stock and, admittedly, it’s early days”.

He detected the positivity of June had “trickled” into August.

But Mr James advised the market was “not on a rise – it’s just that right now the falling seems to have eased and buyers, sellers and agents seem to have a sense of relief”.

It might only be temporary, he warned.

Saturday saw 303 auctions in Sydney, with the priciest listing failing to find a buyer at Bellevue Hill.

The 57 Bundarra Road property was passed in at $6.5 million on a vendor bid by agent Ben Collier, who had given a $6.5 million price guide.

weekend auction wrap Aug 10
There had been just one bidder who offered $6 million for the five-bedroom, four-bathroom house. Photo: The Agency

There were 365 homes auctioned across Sydney during the week, slightly lower than the 386 auctions held in the prior week.

The lower Sydney volumes returned a preliminary auction clearance rate of 81.2 per cent, well up on the 72 per cent final clearance last week.

This time last year there were 458 auctions with a much lower clearance rate of 53.8 per cent.

Although emerging in early 2019, Sydney’s strengthening auction clearance rate really gained momentum just after the May federal election.

Sydney’s top sale was when 21 Wakeford Road, Strathfield fetched $5.686 million.

weekend auction wrap August 10
The custom-built home has 640 square metres of internal living space over its three levels. Photo: Belle Property

The house was also situated on one of the highest vantage points at Strathfield.

weekend auction wrap Aug 10
The outdoor entertaining area featured an in-built barbecue and pizza oven. Photo: Belle Property

Canberra returned a preliminary auction clearance rate of 63.8 per cent, making it the best performing of the smaller auction markets.

Adelaide followed with 58.6 per cent of homes selling, while Brisbane and Perth both returned clearance rates below 40 per cent.

A $2.25 million sale was achieved at The Gap in Brisbane when a modern, four-bedroom home with city views was sold.

weekend auction wrap August 10
The house had 412 square metres of internal space along with 118 square metres of balconies. Photo: Ray White

Ray White agent Angela Mastrapostolos sold 26 Moyry Street with four active bidders.

“The buyers were a local family from Ashgrove who wanted a bigger yard for their kids – and they had stiff competition with groups coming back for third, fourth and fifth inspections,” Ms Mastrapostolos said.

The house had 412 square metres of internal space, along with 118 square metres of balconies.

weekend auction wrap August 10
The home was on an elevated and secluded 3239-square-metre block. Photo: Ray White

There were 1107 capital city homes taken to auction, unchanged from last week when final results saw 1108 auctions held.

The steady week-on-week activity returned a preliminary auction clearance rate just at 70.4 per cent, coming in higher than last week’s preliminary figure of 68.3 per cent, which later revised down to 66.4 per cent at final figures.

CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan noted the strengthening results over recent weeks was “mostly attributed to Melbourne and Sydney”, where both cities have consistently reported clearances rates above 70 per cent.

“The consistent trend where final clearance rates hold above the 70 per cent mark imply the market is responding to the stimulus of lower mortgage rates, improved sentiment following the federal election and lower serviceability tests for borrowers, as well as low advertised stock levels,” Mr Brogan said.

The Ray White Group, which had 188 scheduled auctions across Australia on Saturday, saw an average of four registered bidders per auction and three active bidders.

Across NSW there were six registered bidders per auction.

“You can feel the positivity on the ground and you get the sense the tide is really beginning to turn,” Ray White NSW auctioneer Jason Andrew said.

Melbourne had the nation’s cheapest sale, which was $232,500 paid in Footscray through Meallin Real Estate.

weekend auction wrap August 10
The unit last sold for $41,000 in 1988. Photo: Meallin Real Estate

The one-bedroom 4/3 Gordon Street unit had been listed with a $200,000 to $220,000 price guidance.

Jonathan Chancellor is editor at large with Property Observer

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