Auction clearance rates across Australia topped 80% last week

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Australia’s property market is showing few signs of slowing down with capital city auction clearance rates topping 80% last week, led once again by the nation’s southeastern capitals.

According to preliminary data released by CoreLogic, clearance rates rose to 80.8% across the capitals last week, the highest level since mid-2015.

Source: CoreLogic

That was up on the already uncomfortably high 74.6% final reading last week, and was well above the 64.9% level in the same week a year earlier.

This table from CoreLogic breaks the weekly performance down by state capital.

Source: CoreLogic

While Sydney and Melbourne — the hottest housing markets in the country — continued their recent form, logging amazing preliminary clearance rates of 84.3% and 83.1% for the week, Adelaide’s market topped the national scoreboard with a remarkable 87% of auctions resulting in a sale.

Canberra also performed strongly, registering a preliminary clearance rate of 83.3%.

“This week 1,402 auctions were held across the combined capital cities, significantly lower than the 2,907 held last week and lower than
one year ago,” said CoreLogic.

“Four out of the eight states and territories have a public holiday this coming Monday which has been a key factor in the fall in auction volumes.”

In Sydney, the group said that the regions with the highest preliminary clearance rates included Ryde, the Northern Beaches and North Sydney and Hornsby at 94.6%, 90.9% and 90.2% respectively.

Those white-hot results were mirrored by the inner south and inner eastern regions of Melbourne which recorded clearance rates of 92.9% and 92.5% apiece.

CoreLogic will release final clearance rates for the week on Thursday, March 16. These have a tendency to be revised down from the preliminary figures as unsuccessful auction results trickle in.

Still, even if that does occur, it’s still likely to show that demand remains far stronger than usual right now.

The continued strength in auction clearance rates mirrors other alternative housing market indicators released in recent weeks.

On Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released housing finance data for January, revealing another sharp increase in investor housing finance during the month.

According to the ABS, the value of investor lending surged by 4.2% to $13.784 billion in seasonally adjusted terms, leaving it at the highest level since May 2015.

It has now risen in seven of the past nine months, taking the year-on-year increase to a giddying 27.5%.

The outstanding balance of investor housing loans now stands at $549.6 billion, having increased by $346 billion over the past decade.

Combined with owner-occupier lending, the total value of housing finance increased by 1.5% to $33.911 billion in January, leaving it up 11% on the levels of a year earlier

It was the highest monthly total on record, surpassing the previous record set only a month earlier.

It’s little wonder that auction clearance rates have been so firm in early 2017.

That has no doubt contributed to continued strength in house price growth in Sydney and Melbourne in recent months.

According to separate data released by CoreLogic, the median dwelling price in both cities rose by 2.6% and 1.5% in February, leaving the increase from a year earlier at 18.4% and 13.1% respectively.

From January 2009, the median price in Sydney has soared by 104.5%, narrowly edging out Melbourne which as seen prices lit by 87.7% over the same period.

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