The tail-end of March saw a record week of 3,967 scheduled auctions in line with a fall in the clearance rate for both Sydney and Melbourne – but that doesn’t mean it’s a buyer’s market just yet.
Although a slowdown in prices has hit the mid-range of the Sydney and Melbourne markets, signs are pointing to a comeback for both investors and buyers.
CoreLogic’s spokesman Kevin Brogan told the Australian Financial Review that there is light at the end of the home auctions tunnel.
"It's not really the doom and gloom picture people were painting," Brogan said.
"Given the significant proportion of investors still active in the Sydney market, that's going to have an impact, making it a soft landing. There are some signs of resilience."
Likewise, top-end Melbourne buyers’ agent David Morrell said that things are looking up.
"In the last four weeks, there's been a real change," said Morrell. "It really has hit the go button. It has surprised everybody."
Much of the spike in auctions and fall in clearance rates last month can likely be attributed to Easter falling at the end of March.
The week before Easter is usually a big one for auctions as sellers try to push through sales ahead of the long weekend and start of the school holidays.
So it’s not surprising that the week leading up to Easter saw the highest number of auctions ever recorded by CoreLogic. The 3,967 scheduled auctions shattered the previous record of 3,908 held in the final week of November 2014 and was above the equivalent week last year, which saw 3,517 scheduled auctions.
During the penultimate week in March, Melbourne’s preliminary clearance rate was 67% based on the results of 1,700 reported auctions. In Sydney, the initial recorded clearance rate was 66.2% based on 1,037 reported auction results.
In the last four weeks, there's been a real change. It's really hit the go button. It has surprised everybody.
The Easter long weekend saw clearance rates for both cities bounce back up, according to CoreLogic’s clearance rate figures – alleviating vendor and investor concerns over less-than-stellar results the week prior.
Preliminary results for Sydney showed that 77.8% of reported auctions were successful, the strongest clearance rate for the city this year. In Melbourne, traditionally the country’s largest auction market, the preliminary clearance rate had risen to 69.9%.
What’s in store for the coming weeks and months remains to be seen, but signs are pointing to a favourable market for both buyers and sellers – especially at the top end of the market.