|Posted on 25 May, 2015 at 0:30|
Melbourne's hot weekend home auction market reported another year-high result on Saturday, and now it's no longer just the eastern suburbs feeling the heat.
The 83.3 per cent clearance rate eclipsed the previous non-holiday peak of 82.1 per cent, recorded just three weekends ago. Clearance rates of more than 80 per cent on have been recorded on five of the last six weekends, and only just failed to reach that benchmark on May 9, when a rate of 79.7 per cent was recorded. This weekend's result was well ahead of the 74.3 per cent recorded over the same weekend last year, reflecting the rise of the market over the past year.
Healthy late-autumn auction numbers were recorded on Saturday, when 995 homes were listed to go under the hammer - well ahead of last weekend's 837. Auction numbers are expected to rise sharply next weekend as sellers avoid the Queen's Birthday holiday weekend in a fortnight.
The strengthening housing market has been largely concentrated in the eastern suburbs this year, with the outer-east region typically performing well compared to other areas. Last Saturday was no exception, but other regional results were much closer to the leader, suggesting that strong market activity is now spreading throughout the Melbourne market.
Although the outer east recorded a strong 89.4 per cent result, it was down on recent performances. The next highest rate was the inner south with 88.1 per cent, followed by the inner east 86.6 per cent, the north east 84.3 per cent, the west 84.2 per cent, the south east 80.8 per cent, the inner city 80.2 per cent and the north with 67.3 per cent (the only region that failed to record a clearance rate above 80 per cent at the weekend).
Home buyer confidence and enthusiasm are clearly on the rise throughout the suburbs. The lowest mortgage rates since the mid 1960s have been a key catalyst for rising housing market activity this year, with the full impact of this month's cut yet to take effect.
Notable sales reported at the weekend included a four-bedroom home at 1 Russell Street, Toorak, sold for $3.96 million by Abercromby's Real Estate, a six-bedroom home at 27 Donna Buang Street, Camberwell, sold by Jellis Craig for $3.37 million, a three-bedroom home at 82 Maud Street, Balwyn North, sold for $3,083,000 by Hocking Stuart, another three-bedroom home at 1 Grieve Street, Balwyn North, sold for $2,805,000 also by Hocking Stuart and a three-bedroom home at 1 Chesterville Road, Glen Waverley, sold by Woodards Mount Waverley for $2.72 million.
The most expensive property reported sold at auction at the weekend was a four-bedroom home at 46 Canberra Grove, Brighton East, sold for $4,010,000 by Hocking Stuart. The most affordable property reported sold at the weekend was a one-bedroom unit at 3/117 Anderson Road, Albion, sold for $146,500 by Douglas Kay Sunshine.
Latest ABS home loan data shows the number of first home buyers to gain approvals increased by 10.9 per cent in March, to 2369. First home buyer numbers have increased by a healthy 16.7 per cent over the first three months of this year compared to the same period last year. The average loan for a Victorian first home buyer approved in March was $319,100, 4.3 per cent higher than March last year.
The Reserve Bank is due to meet next week to decide on official interest rate settings for June. Following this month's surprising cut in rates, the Bank has indicated it may continue to trim rates to revive an underperforming economy.
Low and falling interest rates will certainly bolster the rising Melbourne housing market, which is set for one of its strongest Mays on record.