Auction Market Ends March On A High
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Auction Market Ends March On A High

Sydney’s market bounced back at the end of the month.

By Terry Christodoulou
Mon, Mar 28, 2022 9:17amGrey Clock 2 min

While the month of March has seen the auction markets, especially on the east coast, disturbed with holiday distractions and extreme weather events, the final weekend of the month saw solid results for most sellers generally.

The national auction market reported a clearance rate of 74.0% at the weekend  —similar to the previous weekend’s 75.1% but lower than the 85.2% recorded over the same weekend last year.

National auction numbers were higher again at the weekend with a year-to-date high of 2686 reported listed comparted to the previous weekend’s 2475. This is well below the 3118 reported over the same Saturday last year.

The Sydney market bounced back to end the month higher, posting a clearance rate of 72.7% at the weekend – higher than the 69.6% reported over the previous weekend but lower than the remarkably high 90.4% result reported over the same weekend last year.

Sydney’s higher clearance rate was reported despite a surge in listings with 950 auctions reported compared to the previous weekend’s 866. Both figures sit below the 1227 auction over the same weekend last year.

Sydney recorded a median price of $1,613,000 for houses sold at auction at the weekend which was lower than the $1,757,000 reported over the previous weekend but 2.5% higher than the $1,573,000 recorded over the same weekend last year.

Melbourne reported a year-to-date high of 1353 homes listed for auction at the weekend – higher than the previous weekend’s 1290 but lower than the 1593 auctioned over the same weekend last year.

The Victorian capital recorded a clearance rate of 73.4% this weekend, up on the previous weekend’s 69.9% but well below the 83.7% recorded over the same weekend last year.

Melbourne recorded a median price of $1,100,000 for houses sold at auction at the weekend which was similar to last weekend’s $1,115,000 but 8.4% higher than the $1,015,000 recorded over the same weekend last year.

Data powered by Dr Andrew Wilson, My Housing Market.

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House values continued to fall last month, but the pace of decline has slowed, CoreLogic reports.

In signs that the RBA’s aggressive approach to monetary policy is making an impact, CoreLogic’s Home Value Index reveals national dwelling values fell -1.0 percent in November, marking the smallest monthly decline since June.

The drop represents a -7.0 percent decline – or about $53,400 –  since the peak value recorded in April 2022. Research director at CoreLogic, Tim Lawless, said the Sydney and Melbourne markets are leading the way, with the capital cities experiencing the most significant falls. But it’s not all bad news for homeowners.

“Three months ago, Sydney housing values were falling at the monthly rate of -2.3 percent,” he said. “That has now reduced by a full percentage point to a decline of -1.3 percent in November.  In July, Melbourne home values were down -1.5 percent over the month, with the monthly decline almost halving last month to -0.8%.”

The rate of decline has also slowed in the smaller capitals, he said.  

“Potentially we are seeing the initial uncertainty around buying in a higher interest rate environment wearing off, while persistently low advertised stock levels have likely contributed to this trend towards smaller value falls,” Mr Lawless said. “However, it’s fair to say housing risk remains skewed to the downside while interest rates are still rising and household balance sheets become more thinly stretched.” 

The RBA has raised the cash rate from 0.10 in April  to 2.85 in November. The board is due to meet again next week, with most experts still predicting a further increase in the cash rate of 25 basis points despite the fall in house values.

Mr Lawless said if interest rates continue to increase, there is potential for declines to ‘reaccelerate’.

“Next year will be a particular test of serviceability and housing market stability, as the record-low fixed rate terms secured in 2021 start to expire,” Mr Lawless said.

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week also reveal a slowdown in the rate of inflation last month, as higher mortgage repayments and cost of living pressures bite into household budgets.

However, ABS data reveals ongoing labour shortages and high levels of construction continues to fuel higher prices for new housing, although the rate of price growth eased in September and October. 

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