Another Saturday, another record for Sydney. The city chalked up its highest clearance rate on record during the pre-Easter weekend, one of the biggest auction days of the year.
The NSW election and repeated warnings from the Reserve Bank of Australia of growing risks in housing, failed to deter buyers. Domain Group put the clearance rate at 87.5 per cent for more than 1100 auctions scheduled for Saturday.
“There are no ifs, buts or whats, this is a strong market and we have never seen these sorts of numbers in Sydney before,” Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson said. “The previous weekend broke a record but the real test was this weekend, with a more than 50 per cent increase in listings.”
Strong results were recorded nation-wide. According to preliminary figures from RP Data the hot real estate market resulted in a preliminary weighted average clearance rate of 77.5 per across capital cities compared to 67.7 per cent this time last year.
The weekend before Easter normally sees a surge in listings before the school holidays. This year the early Easter, coupled with Anzac Day and school holidays later in April means it was the last big auction weekend for at least a month.
Cooley Auctions had 129 properties go to auction in Sydney and 107, or more than 80 per cent, sold.
STRONGEST MARKET FOR 15 YEARS
“It’s the strongest market I have seen in my 15 years in real estate,” auctioneer Damien Cooley said. “If you are not selling in this market, then you are over-priced. It is that simple.”
A key auction was a three-bedroom home in Marrickville, he said. The classic Victorian house sold for $2.4 million, $600,000 over reserve. There were 18 registered bidders for the 41 Garners Avenue home, which was listed through Raine & Horne Marrickville.
About 160 people attended an auction in Waverton. The two-bedroom dwelling at 40 Euroka Street had 21 registered bidders and sold for $1.675 million. The reserve was $1.4 million. Selling agents Tom Scarpignato and Jane Garwood of Belle Property Neutral Bay said it was bought by a local couple looking to upgrade.
Elsewhere, the first-stage release for Shearwater Landing, Breen Property’s master-planned development about 40 minutes from central Sydney in Cronulla, sold out. After the success earlier this month of the six auction lots which ranged in prices from $2.2 million to $2.65 million, the remaining 44 hillside lots of stage one sold at launch on Saturday, said Nigel Napoli of Savills Residential Projects.
In Melbourne, where 1600 homes were scheduled to go under the hammer, a preliminary clearance rate of 78.5 per cent was recorded. The most expensive home to sell was in Fitzroy. The three-bedroom home at 191 Gore Street sold for $3.58 million. The reserve was thought to be $2.7 to $2.8 million. The selling agency was Nelson Alexander.
Buyer’s advocate David Morell, who bid for the Gore Street property for a client, said there is no logic in the market.
“In Melbourne the market has moved so quickly in terms of price rises just in the last four weeks, and I just can’t explain why,” Mr Morell said. “Of all the auctions we were bidding at yesterday in Melbourne, only one was passed in. Our advice is have a panadol and sit in the corner.”
Melbourne also saw the launch of Lend Lease’s near $500 million Armadale development near Toorak Park, which comprises 448 apartments and 18 townhouse. Nearly 60 per cent of the dwellings had sold by Sunday afternoon at an average price of more than $1 million each. The number sold so far would suggest a sales figure in the $250 million range.
Toorak Park developer Lend Lease’s managing director of urban regeneration, Jonathan Emery, said it was a great result for an opening weekend.
“The results speak for themselves – our buyers are looking for high quality options to downsize, get started in blue chip suburbs or simply purchase a standout investment property,” he said.