Residential auction volumes jumped by 14.2 per cent over the week to 2190 nationwide, the highest level since late June, as vendors sought a faster way to sell, data from CoreLogic shows.
Preliminary clearance rates also rose slightly to 62.5 per cent, up from 61.7 per cent in the previous week, amid early signs the auction market may be stabilising.
This property at 47 Moree Street in Gordon, on Sydney’s upper north shore, sold for $800,000 above the reserve price. 
Melbourne hosted 996 auctions, up by 17.6 per cent from the week before, while Sydney’s rose by 10.5 per cent to 771.
Of the reported results, 64.4 per cent were successful in Melbourne, 1.2 percentage points higher than the previous week, while Sydney cleared 60.2 per cent, a slight drop from the last week’s 60.6 per cent preliminary numbers.
Tim Lawless, CoreLogic research director, said more vendors were choosing to go to auction to ensure a faster sale and were now more willing to meet the market’s expectations.
The time it takes to sell a home via private treaty has blown out by 12 days to 31 since last November. The amount of discounting has also risen to 4.1 per cent, up from 2.8 per cent during the same period.
“Vendors are probably choosing to go to auction because you generally have a shorter time on market,” Mr Lawless said.
“Even if you’re not getting the sort of prices you might have seen a year ago, there’s a stronger chance that you’ll sell the property either at auction or before or after the auction event, rather than potentially languishing on the market.”
Auction clearance rates picked up substantially since bottoming in late July at 52 per cent across the combined capital cities.
Since then, clearance rates have trended higher and are now stabilising around the low 60 per cent range.
“I don’t think this really reflects an improvement in the housing market as such because we’re still seeing values falling, but it probably suggests that vendors are very much more aligned with the market, and we’ve seen vendors adjusting their pricing expectations lower in order to meet buyer pricing expectations and to ensure that they can offload the property in a timely manner,” Mr Lawless said.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said the stronger clearance results indicated the interest rate shock could be dissipating.
“The data is increasingly showing less panic in the market. I just don’t see the concern in the market that I saw back in May and June when interest rates started rising,” Mr Christopher said.
“We need more evidence of this, but I think we’re seeing the bottom in terms of the number of buyers, although not necessarily in terms of prices.
“I think potentially the opening up of immigration could have added more buyers, and renters who are struggling to find a rental property could be reconsidering buying a home.”
Alex Pattaro, Ray White NSW chief auctioneer, said the number of active bidders had also risen to 2.8 since the low point of 1.9 in July.
“Buyers have sensed that the market has probably reached the bottom, so they are now starting to return,” Mr Pattaro said.
“Vendors’ expectations have also dropped to meet the market or risk potentially have their properties sit on the market for a long time.”
But while buyers remained cautious, some properties continued to attract strong bidding, such as the 1059-square-metre, three-dwelling property in Moree Street, Gordon, on Sydney’s upper north shore.
Clarence White, auctioneer with Menck White auctioneers who sold the property under the hammer on Sunday, said the result was exceptional in the current weak market.
The property sold for $3.8 million, which was $800,000 above the reserve.
“We haven’t seen an auction result like that for a long time. Buyers have been generally very cautious,” he said.
Selling agent Michael Doran at Belle Property Pymble said there were seven active bidders until the reserve was reached, and two buyers battled until the property was sold.
“This is the highest price above reserve that I’ve achieved in 20 years of selling real estate,” he said. “I think it proves that in today’s market, buyers are willing to push themselves if they see a potential in the property.”
Across the smaller capital cities, Brisbane was the busiest auction market this week with 168 homes taken to auction across the city, followed by Adelaide with 132 and Canberra 102.
Of the collected results, Brisbane cleared 52.8 per cent, Adelaide 75.6 per cent, Canberra 65.8 per cent and Perth 30 per cent.
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