Aussie auction clearance rates boom

Real Estate

Auction clearance rates across Australia boomed over the weekend just gone with more than three-quarters of properties up for auction sold. Property confidence continued to climb with capital city markets clearing 82 per cent of the total 2,847 auctions listed, according to RP Data figures. The property data provider shows the gains were led by Sydney where clearance rates rose above 80 per cent for each of the four weekends in February. 
Australian auction results
Sydney recorded an 86 per cent clearance rate from 792 properties for auction, Australia’s second largest auction market Melbourne cleared 77 per cent from 1,143 properties, Brisbane had a 69 per cent clearance rate from 81 properties listed and Adelaide cleared 39 per cent from 75 reported auctions over the weekend gone. 
Despite the buyers coming out in force the gains did not translate into capital growth with combined home values dipping 0.4 per cent over last week, according to RP Data. However capital city home values are still 9.7 per cent stronger over the year led by a 14 per cent gain in Sydney.  
FNN asks Bill Evans, Chief Economist at Australia’s second-largest mortgage lender Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC), who is driving demand for Australian property:
The outstanding driver is the investor. Investment lending around the country is up about 35 per cent but in Sydney is up by 55 per cent. We’ve also seen strong growth from owner occupiers – these are people who already own a place and are typically upgrading. Where we haven’t seen much growth is been first home buyers who appear to have been crowded out of the market. The first home buyers grant is only available for new construction. We’re finding international investors are very much dominating that particular sector at the moment. It looks pretty clear that the owner occupiers may start to ease as we go through next year. Our survey indicates that confidence around buying a dwelling has fallen by about 10 per cent, but it is very hard to tell what might dissuade the investors. Eventually it will be affordability but I think the investor momentum can continue for some time.   
To watch more of the interview click here:
Commercial property sector
National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) says mortgage growth and falling bad debts helped to lift its quarterly cash profit in the last three months of 2013.  
Property developer Stockland (ASX:SGP) has sold a 50 per cent stake in Sydney’s Piccadilly Centre to Investa Office Fund (ASX:IOF) for $194.25 million
Property group Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) has lifted its first half profit and dividend in the same period it reached a record $1.5 billion in residential pre-sales.
Property investor Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) has revealed a slight fall in its first half profit but boosted its full-year guidance and unveiled a capital raising. 
Real estate management company Aspen Group Limited (ASX:APZ) has widened its first half loss to $70.2 million but affirmed its progress in transitioning to a focused accommodation provider. 

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