According to Australian Property Monitors, Sydney recorded an auction clearance rate of 60.9 per cent this weekend – down from the 71.8 per cent achieved this time last year.
Of the 515 properties listed for sale, just 286 sold under the hammer at the weekend.
However, the drop in sales activity this weekend can be largely attributed to the NSW state election. Many real estate agents were expecting auction activity to fall as potential home buyers used their Saturday to vote rather than buy property.
Melbourne on the other hand, does not have the same excuse.
The capital city recorded a clearance rate of just 59.2 per cent – significantly down on the 77.6 per cent achieved last year.
But despite the capital city's less than stellar auction efforts, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s chief executive Enzo Raimondo said auction clearance rates seem to have found their average level for the year.
“Since early February, each weekend – regardless of whether the volume of auctions is 189 or 994 – has been returned a clearance rate of between 60 and 66 per cent,” he said.
“As a result, the year-to-date clearance rate is 63 per cent; this time last year it was 86 per cent; and this time in 2009 it was 74 per cent. There is no doubt that substantially different conditions exist in the residential auction market this year.
“Conditions will continue to be favourable for buyers ‘til Easter, with around 925 auctions this weekend, 855 the weekend after and 960 on the 9th and 10th of April.”