Monday, 29 October 2012

Super Saturday delivers strong clearance rates

THE national housing market went into overdrive on Saturday with the highest volume of auctions on a single day since 2010.

The biggest auction day of the year, known in the industry as Super Saturday, typically falls between the football grand finals and the Melbourne Cup.

More than 2400 properties went under the hammer over the weekend, resulting in high clearance rates and signalling a return of confidence to the market.

While the spring season normally generates higher sales, national president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia Pamela Bennett told The Australian that the results were evidence of underlying improvements in the market.

"This weekend is one of the best indicators that confidence is gaining momentum." Ms Bennett said the strong sales were driven by improving affordability and confidence after the Reserve Bank this month cut the cash rate to 3.25 per cent.

The clearance rate in Melbourne pressed up to 63.7 per cent from 48 per cent on the same week last year, according to Australian Property Monitors.

In Sydney, the rate was 67.4 per cent, up more than 12 per cent from the same week last year and about 6 per cent higher than the week before. Similarly, Adelaide gained strongly to 57.1 per cent from 40 per cent on the same week last year, although Brisbane dropped to 23.3 per cent against 30.4 per cent this time last year.

In Melbourne it was the fifth-consecutive week with clearances above 60 per cent and was described as "very strong" by Real Estate Institute of Victoria spokesman Robert Larocca.

"Since June, there has been an improving trend in the market and today shows that it is a very strong trend and wasn't simply a result of a lower volume of auctions compared to last year," Mr Larocca said.

"It shows that both vendors and buyers are clearly both more confident, and the market has been able to absorb this significant increase in homes."

Melbourne has always dominated Sydney in auction numbers but this year the gap has widened with the owners of upper-end properties in Sydney sitting on their hands.

In Sydney Super Saturday isn't as super as it used to be. Not only is the number of listings the lowest since the same day in 2008, it is also less than half of the number in the auction capital.


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