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Home Auction Markets Re-Focus

The auction markets remain clearly in favour of sellers.

By Terry Christodoulou
Mon, Apr 19, 2021 11:20amGrey Clock < 1 min

The weekend produced strong home auction results for sellers across the country with all capitals recording auction clearance rates well above 80% on Saturday, April 17, with the exception of Melbourne at 79.7%.

The number of listings nationally followed on from last week’s strong outing and was well ahead of last year’s auctions over the same Saturday.

The Sydney market rebounded reporting a rate of 86.2%, well above the 82.4% recorded the previous weekend and significantly higher than the COVID impacted 35.2% recorded over the same weekend last year. Despite the results, the weekend’s figure was lower than the 90.1% monthly average.

Saturday auction numbers in Sydney were strong with 785 homes listed for sale, above the 692 listed over the same Saturday last year.

Sydney recorded a median price for houses sold at auction on the weekend of $1,560,000 which was 1.0% higher than the $1,550,000 reported over the previous Saturday.

Melbourne reported a weekend clearance rate of 79.7%, which was just above the season-low of 79.1%, but well above the 28.7% COVID-related result of the same weekend last year.

1062 homes were reported listed for auction on Saturday which was well above the 905 auctioned over the previous weekend and higher than the 834 auctioned over the same Saturday last year.

Melbourne recorded a median price of $999,900 for houses sold at auction on the weekend which was 5.7% higher than the $945,750 recorded over the previous weekend.

Data powered by Dr Andrew Wilson of MyHousingMarket.com.au

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Mortgage holders should brace themselves for more pain as the Reserve Bank of Australia board prepares to meet tomorrow for the first time this year.

Most economists and the major banks are predicting a rise of 25 basis points will be announced, although the Commonwealth Bank suggests that the RBA may take the unusual step of a 40 basis point rise to bring the interest rate up to a more conventional 3.5 percent. This would allow the RBA to step back from further rate rises for the next few months as it assesses the impact of tightening monetary policy on the economy.

The decision by the RBA board to make consecutive rate rises since April last year is an attempt to wrestle inflation down to a more manageable 3 or 4 percent. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that the inflation rate rose to 7.8 percent over the December quarter, the highest it has been since 1990, reflected in higher prices for food, fuel and construction.

Higher interest rates have coincided with falling home values, which Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee says are down 6.1 percent in capital cities since peaking in March 2022. The pain has been greatest in Sydney, where prices have dropped 10.8 percent since February last year. Melbourne and Canberra recorded similar, albeit smaller falls, while capitals like Adelaide, which saw property prices fall 1.8 percent, are less affected.

Although prices may continue to decline, Ms Conisbee (below) said there are signs the pace is slowing and that inflation has peaked.

“December inflation came in at 7.8 per cent with construction, travel and electricity costs being the biggest drivers. It is likely that we are now at peak,” Ms Conisbee said. 

“Many of the drivers of high prices are starting to be resolved. Shipping costs are now down almost 90 per cent from their October 2021 peak (as measured by the Baltic Dry Index), while crude oil prices have almost halved from March 2022. China is back open and international migration has started up again. 

“Even construction costs look like they are close to plateau. Importantly, US inflation has pulled back from its peak of 9.1 per cent in June to 6.5 per cent in December, with many of the drivers of inflation in this country similar to Australia.”

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