Auction clearances remain fully mental

The national auction clearance rate remains stuck in the stratosphere, driven again by super strong demand in Sydney and Melbourne.

The preliminary national clearance rate was 79.2%, up marginally from the weekend before Easter (79.0%), with clearance rates still running at their strongest level in six years in trend terms, from RP Data:

ScreenHunter_7090 Apr. 19 12.18

Sydney’s clearance rate rose 3.5% to 88.3%, whereas Melbourne’s rose by 1.0% to 78.7%. Clearances in Brisbane, which typically only has a small number of auctions, fell to 48.3% from 50.9% in the weekend before Easter. Overall auction volumes (2,541) were also up sharply on the 1,568 auctions recorded last weekend.

ScreenHunter_7091 Apr. 19 12.18

As shown in the next chart, Melbourne has experienced the biggest pick-up in auction clearances over the past year, with the clearance rate up 20.6% on the same week of last year:

ScreenHunter_7092 Apr. 19 12.18

Sydney, too, has experienced explosive growth off a higher base, with the clearance rate up 17.3% over the past year, and recording 10 weeks in a row of clearances above 80%:

ScreenHunter_7093 Apr. 19 12.18

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria reported a preliminary clearance rate of 79% on 1,060 reported auctions, which was up slightly from the 78% clearance rate on 555 auctions reported in the weekend prior to Easter.

For Sydney, Domain (formerly APM) reported a preliminary clearance rate of 88% on 599 reported auctions, which was also up slightly on the 87% clearance rate on 417 auctions reported in the weekend before Easter.


  1. For those that missed this over the weekend an insight into the psyche of the deluded Sydney property investor…..

    My favourite……Investor Jonathan Chee, 27, an accountant, paid “just over a mill” for a south-east facing two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with parking on level 11. He’s hoping for at least $800 a week in rent.

    He says he’s confident about the prospects for Sydney’s property market.

    “Property bubbles do worry me, because I think it’s pretty expensive and we haven’t been in a market like this from my research ever,” he said.

    “So the way I look at it is that I take a look at other economies that have an investment-based property market like Sydney does at the moment – so places like Hong Kong, Singapore – they’re flooded with investors.

    “Prices go up and down but they’re never smashed.

    “So unless something really bad happens here, which I don’t see it happening … we should be relatively stable.”

    F***ing mindboggling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Good to see bean counter Jonathon doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a good punt! Go, go you good thing!

    • No nothing bad will happen. Prices never get smashed in investor based economies like Ireland, Spain, USA or Dubai. This guys seems very astute and outrageously good looking.

      • “Prices never get smashed in investor based economies like Ireland, Spain, USA or Dubai. ”

        He also needs to look just slightly more closely at Hong Kong. 70% fall from 1997-2003 and around 55% from 1981-84 and a few 25% falls in between.

        If you’re going to brag to a newspaper about how much research you’ve done, you probably should actually have done the research.

      • @AB

        My thoughts exactly. If you want to sound smart, you should atleast damn well make sure you’re not saying something completely stupid.

      • @flyingfox I reckon he would have sounded smarter if he’d stuck to “Everyone knows that Australian property prices double every 7-10 years” or “They’re not making anymore land you know”.

    • Fair effort considering he’s only pulling $75K according to this article. Must be an ‘above average’ accountant!

      These quoted average incomes look light to me;
      Chief executive: $143,780
      Childcare centre manager: $60,346
      Accountant: $74,485
      Primary teacher: $66,518
      Motor mechanic: $56,342
      Bricklayer: $62,717
      Carpenter/joiner: $63,955
      Plumber: $67,262
      Electrician: $89,122
      Real estate agent: $66,508
      Dentist: $128,991
      Solicitor: $89,742
      GP: $136,167
      Retail manager $59,483
      Telemarketer: $42,609
      Shelf filler: $24,664
      Service station attendant: $25,366
      Secretary: $41,439
      Check-out operator: $19,562
      Hairdresser: $34,642

      Any one of those professions with cash earning potential is lucky to declare half their take. How many CEOs earn under $150K?

      • Those salaries are definitely incorrect. They should consult Hayes Salary Guide.
        My only thought is that they must have averaged out all of the different stages of a career, which would provide a grossly inaccurate figure, given that your only a trainee/apprentice once.

        If our friend Jonathan the accountant, started accounting when he was 18 he would have his degree, be CA/CPA qualified, and have 9 years experience. That would likely place him at a manager/senior supervisor level and he would be earning $90,000 – $130,000. (Qualifiers: I’m not from Sydney where you get paid comparatively more and not sure what sort of accountant he is)

      • jimbo, agree that those numbers sound a bit light on. ABS lists the Average FT normal earnings at just under $77,000pa, so the median would be somewhat under that. Still nowhere near enough to even service a million dollar mortgage.

    • Five years ago my next door neighbor bought a 2-bedroom apartment in Green Square for $650k. At the time I thought he was crazy. But now I have to recalibrate my definition of “crazy”!

    • billygoatMEMBER

      OMFG the insanity, wilful ignorance & general stupidity is truly breathtaking – to me the report has tone of incredulity but they don’t, can’t or won’t just come out and ask the interviewee real questions like a real journalist would or should.

      • The question I would have asked is “Where did you get the deposit money from?”

        How many of these purchases are being funded from Chinese residents?

      • @Stomper

        Doable if you are staying with mum and dad or sharing. He only needs 50K i.e 5%.

        Edit: Not to mention bank of mum and dad either via cash or equity.

      • @stomper
        With the CBA giving out 95% LVR loans, you don’t need a lot of deposits. For $1mil home, you are looking at $50k. Also Chinese are notorious for living on a shoe string budget and eating nothing but chicken wings for the next 30 years to save up money. It would probably would take him less than 2 years to save up the required deposit. Also spending 80% of his wage on his ‘investment’ loan repayment would be completely normal to him.

    • It’s obvious his buying is partly funded by his parents, as it probably is with the other buyers

      Friend of mine was working in Payroll, $50k per year, bought two houses in Glen Waverley.. I said how did you manage that?

      Oh my parents have a business in China and sent me $1.1 million as a deposit and I have to pay for the rest.. poor thing

    • …and he can’t see it as an accountant. The fundementals vs the hype.

      sigh… Australia, we’re screwed.

  2. It’s the only get rich quick scheme available, bugger starting a business. Just buy a shitbox, put a bit of lippy on it and onsell the shitbox for double the profit. Get the government and other tax payers to subsidise you at the same time, all the while claiming poor. Best scam on the planet.

    • clone278MEMBER

      And when it turns to sh!t you cry even poorer, simply stop paying your mortgage (like many did in the U.S. for years) and wait for the inevitable government stimulus to propel your portfolio back into the black while your rent paying neighbours start receiving negative interest rates on their deposits on top of the deposit levy which they should be paying because all those savings are contributing massive stress to the financial system….. (breathe out.. rant over)

  3. This is absolutely bonkers! I have RE agents calling me left and right(even sending friend requests on facebook!!!!) in regards to selling my property back in the hills in Sydney and i’m starting to think its time to let it go. I’m thinking that this madness will go on for another year or so though…

    • Hill Billy 55MEMBER

      Get out while the going’s good. When the herd starts, there will be scarlet everywhere.

    • “I’m thinking that this madness will go on for another year or so though…”

      It’s gone on far longer than I expected so I no longer make any predictions about when the madness will end. But I will say that you don’t want to be trying to get out when everyone else is. I have plenty of Irish friends to talk to about that…

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        My Irish friend says Australians are the stupidest people in the world. Even when the history books are open in front of us we get the test answers wrong.

      • @MB I travelled to Ireland three times last year, and yeah, they’re laughing at us (those who know anything about Australia anyway).

      • I lived in Ireland and watched it unravel. The thing is it’s easy to look at other countries and ignore that and think it won’t happen here. The media as much as anyone are to blame, they have been talking up the housing market since I got back end of 2012, when I got back I thought prices were crazy then!

        It’s gone on for so long you almost accept it as normal and start to think you’re missing out and should invest in something as great in terms of returns etc.. As my manager (who is also Irish) says the 1 thing we learn about bubbles is that we don’t learn anything.

        He sold 1 of his properties recently, it should be interesting to see where prices return to when the dust settles. I think it will take 10 years before we see property come back as an investment and credit being funneled back into the banks.

        It seems to me that in the last 10-15 years banks have changed the rules to bring on the cycle faster thank before, probably because it’s immensely profitable for them.

    • Cheers guys. Yeah i’m starting to think time to get out is now. Better be a bit early than too late

  4. reusachtigeMEMBER

    LOL at youse still thinking there will be a crash when a massive boom sits right under your noses. In another five years time you will be even more p1ssed off you missed out and you will still be saying the crash is coming. LOLOLOL

    • The worst part is I fear you’re actually right, reusachtige! Mind you I doubt few will actually enjoy living in these overcrowded and overpriced cities. I’ve lived in Melbourne all my life and have never hated living here as much as I do right now. Unfortunately all my friends and family are here, not to mention work, but once I’ve finished my degree I’m out of here! I’d rather be poor(er) and friendless than live in this cesspool much longer..

      • @RobW – I had exactly the same conversation with my wife last week – the same applies in Sydney.
        After spending the last 4 weeks navigating gridlocked roads, looking at overpriced family rental accommodation and being greeted at each 15min open for inspection by smug BMW / Mercedes / Audi driving real estate agents I can’t wait to get out of the s*** hole.

      • Know IdeaMEMBER

        Yep. I have lived in Sydney for more than 30 years, and soon I will be leaving. (Although not soon enough!)

        Those that remain are welcome to it, and deserve all that it has to offer.

      • I lived in Melbourne for two years between 1999 to 2001. It was a great lifestyle. There was hardly any traffic and you could almost always park for free within 5 mins walk of any place you wanted to visit. Ramping up the population made a small number of people very rich and basically screwed it for everyone else.

      • This.
        This is what the residents of Sydney and Melbourne think of their rapidly increasing populations….
        …and our leaders of both political colours (+ some academics and all FIRE brigaders) want to add another few million to each city because they say mega-cities will “improve” our amenity. lol
        Lies. Unsubstantiated, unsustainable, population-boosting, future-eating lies.

      • “It was a great lifestyle. There was hardly any traffic and you could almost always park for free within 5 mins walk of any place you wanted to visit. ”

        Completely agree with this. As a long-time Melbourne resident, I used to say that Sydney was a great place to visit but I’d never want to live there. The joke is on me now given what’s happened to Melbourne over the last 15 years or so.

      • Yes Melb has changed, you could park most places for free back in 2000 that’s true

        You could get an average 3 bedder in the middle suburbs (Mount Waverley/Blackburn) for $350k

        You could get away with managing a mortgage on one income.. and at auctions you’d probably be competing against people just like you.. not 21 year old international students will mommy and daddy’s millions to spend

    • Sad but true Reusa,

      I’ve been wrong for ten years now. This bubble is going the full Hubba Bubba.
      It’s so large now that when it pops, its not just going to blow over peoples mouths and shut them up for a while, its going to stick in their hair and eyebrows and take a lot of work to get it all unstuck.
      It might even need the equivalent of an economic haircut.

  5. PaulF
    Unless you need to sell your place in the Hills for personal reasons, why sell now. For each auction currently selling a 4 bed 2 bath 2 garage home in Baulkham Hills for $1.3 mill (price 3 years ago was $750,000) there are at least 10 Asian (Chinese or Indian) families missing out who are all wanting to buy in. So prices are only going one way.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Yep! Always a good idea to buy up in areas adjacent to where the aliens want to live because as more miss out they move into those areas. So you could always sell and buy up next door then sell again in a couple of years to the expanded alien populations at massive profits!

      • Spot on Reus..

        I bought in Glen Wave.. before the flood as it had been on the cards, I could see more buyers of a certain mainland appearing at auctions.. but even then I had no idea of the amount of money that was about to flood in

        Now that Glen Waverley has been conquered it is time to look further a field.. Forest Hill, Vermont South

    • Thanks for that Tian,
      “price 3 years ago was $750,000” That’s exactly why i’m considering it. How much can prices climb up? I prefer to get out a little bit short on profit than try to get out when everyone else is and risk it all.