According to The Australian Financial Review today, the health of Australia's housing market again proved resilient on the weekend with clearance rates holding strong despite record numbers of home auctions in Melbourne and Brisbane.
In Sydney where there were 911 listed auctions, clearance rates remained steady at 75 per cent according to APM PriceFinder, marginally down on last week but generating some big sales, including a seven bedroom house at Strathfield in Sydney's inner west which sold for $5.7 million or about $1.2 million over its reserve.
However in Sydney's outer west, where there have been concerns about house prices falling, the clearance rate was dismal. At 42 per cent of houses being sold at auction, the market is yet to recover from an exodus of investors that began in about Spring last year.
Domain chief economist Andrew Wilson said the inconsistency in the Sydney market was something to watch.
"The lower northern beaches saw a huge clearance rate of 92 per cent, but western Sydney is the other end of the pineapple with clearance rates still at 40 per cent."
In stark contrast, Mr Wilson said Melbourne had shown superb consistency with only 10 per cent difference in clearance rates between the highest and lowest priced homes for sale.
Melbourne had 1600 auctions over the weekend – its second highest level in history – due to the timing of holidays.
The clearance rates achieved a very healthy 74 per cent, down from 76 per cent last week.
Brisbane is a steady market. The city has never had a strong auction culture and usually has a clearance rate of about 50 per cent.
Brisbane has a much higher degree of relative affordability than Sydney and Melbourne – that is the value difference compared to the income of the city's resident.
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