According to The Australian Financial Review, the Sydney action market made a cautious launch into 2016 on the weekend following a month of volatility on global financial markets and expectations that Australian interest rates are on hold.
Volumes were more than half of what they were a year ago in Sydney but Melbourne was the opposite reporting strong volumes and solid clearances.
In Sydney Domain had just 44 properties scheduled to go under the hammer and put the clearance rate at 43 per cent.
Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said though the number of listings was small the results still provided a barometer of the housing market.
"The numbers tell the story. This weekend was another sign of the Sydney market certainly being subdued," Dr Wilson said.
Meanwhile Melbourne hosted more than twice the amount of auctions that Sydney did. The Victorian capital was the complete opposite to Sydney. At 98 auctions, its scheduled listings double what they were the same time last year.
"Melbourne had a solid clearance rate of 74 per cent," Dr Wilson said. "Again as with Sydney the mix was not representative of all price ranges and regions but Melbourne is certainly up on where the market ended last year."
The real test will be the official start to the auction market the first weekend in February. Sydney listings will be around 200, versus more than 300 last year. In Melbourne the amount of auctions will be twice that of the same week in 2015.
Nationally, demand for valuations and inquiries at agencies have increased.
"Appraisals are up by 30 per cent compared to January 2015," Raine & Horne executive chairman Angus Raine said.
Sydney home values ticked up slightly in January, with a 0.5 per cent increase partially offsetting the market's larger decline in December.
Melbourne also performed well. Stock was scarce, which was unusual for this time of the year.
"Anything we've just listed is getting an incredible response online from buyers echoing their frustration they haven't had much to look at," Greg Hocking Real Estate Group's Greg Hocking said.
The third biggest market, Brisbane was quieter however.
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