Property clearance rates rise as buyers shrug off interest rate speculation

The highest price paid was $10.4million for a defunct estate in Sydney’s eastern beach suburb of Bronte, where the suburban record of $25million was set at the end of the last year.

Marketed for the first time since its construction in the 1950s, the house is bought by a young family who will eventually rebuild it. There were four bidders after it went on the market at $10 million.

“Looks very sturdy”

In Canberra, a three-bedroom apartment in Kingston sold for over $1 million above reserve at $2.77 million and there were frantic bidding for a house in Torrens Park, Adelaide, which ultimately sold for $2.9 million – $900,000 above reserve.

Nerida Conisbee, chief economist at Ray White, said the market “still looked very robust” and prices were holding up for the first few weeks of 2022.

“There was a lot of talk late last year that prices were going to come down, but we’re definitely not in that territory at all,” Ms Conisbee said.

Bidding was strongest in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with five active bidders per property against a national average of three, she said, Adelaide and Canberra also outperformed.

“At this point there seems to be a shift in sentiment, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney, as prices have risen so far and a lot more properties have come on the market,” Ms Conisbee said.

CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said the increase in clearance rates has been encouraging and he expects the number of auctioned stocks to increase.

“I think we’re ready for more and more auctions to come into the market, which will really test the depth of demand,” Lawless said.

“We’re likely to start to see auction clearance rates, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, either stabilize or start to drift a bit lower.”

He said price growth had eased in major markets, but “small capitals will still be quite different.”

“We are still seeing relatively strong selling conditions in Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra as well,” Mr Lawless said.

“Even though Canberra has grown quite drastically, it seems that this market is still very strong and seems to be immune to some of the affordability pressures that are holding back markets like Sydney and Melbourne.”

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