Sydney set for biggest auction week ever

A record number of properties are set to go under the hammer this weekend and the flood of sales has pushed the success rate of sales to a year-low.

Sydney has been flooded with new property listings since social restrictions were lifted in October and the city is now bracing for its biggest week of auction activity on record.

Just over 1650 auctions were scheduled for the week, with more than 1100 properties set to go under the hammer on Saturday, CoreLogic reported.

It’s a reversal of the period during lockdown when few vendors were taking their homes to market and strong buyer demand meant the scattering of properties that were listed sold quickly.

Auctioneers reported that the increased supply of available properties, coupled with growing hesitancy from buyers, has helped moderate prices.

Ray White chief auctioneer Alex Pattaro said it was a totally different market from a few weeks ago when many auctions attracted more than 10 registered bidders.

“It’s a noticeable shift,” he said. “Prices are still holding and sellers are getting decent results, buyers just aren’t paying that extra premium they were before.”

Inflated price expectations from sellers were one of the reasons more homes were beginning to pass in, Mr Pattaro added.

CoreLogic data showed the success rate of auctions, once as high as 90 per cent earlier this year, has been falling over recent weeks.

Last week it was 68.7 per cent, the lowest weekly clearance rate recorded this year and the first time the rate has slipped under 70 per cent since 2020.

The long-term average for clearance rates is about 65 per cent. That’s also the mark of a balanced market between buyers and sellers. Clearance rates below 50 per cent signal a weak market.

Auctioneer Michael Garofolo of Cooley Auctions said the slowdown was more apparent in pricier regions such as the inner west and less obvious in Western Sydney.

“The cheaper seats go first, the expensive ones take a bit longer to sell,” he said, adding that Western Sydney lacked the affordability barriers prevalent in other regions.

“Many of the properties are still affordable and they get more affordable the further west you go,” he said.

LumbyHampson director and auctioneer Will Hampson said there was a similar trend in the Hills district: more affordable prices relative to the rest of Sydney were helping to keep the market ticking along.

“We got a lot of growth in prices, but it was not the same staggering growth there was in other places. Areas like Baulkham Hills are still attracting lots of families,” Mr Hampson said.

CoreLogic data confirmed the Hills district was Sydney’s strongest major auction market last week, with 78 per cent of auctions clearing.

Originally published as Daily Telegraph Real Estate auction blog: live updates from the property market

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