The housing market has slumped again with preliminary figures suggesting a soft start to March.
While the previous auction results in late February had been hailed a “super Saturday”, AMP Capital Chief economist Shane Oliver said that spike in auction clearance rates was just a “temporary boost”.
At the weekend 2890 homes went under the hammer, slightly lower than 2907 on the corresponding week last year.
But figures were down from the previous weekend’s 3313 homes.
Mr Oliver said that while Melbourne’s housing market has “held up a bit stronger” than Sydney, auction clearance rates have “slackened off again” in both cities.
Melbourne had a preliminary auction clearance rate of 67.3 per cent across 1523 auctions, down from 70.6 per cent across 1606 the previous week. A year ago, results were much stronger with 78.4 per cent across 1459 auctions.
In Sydney, 1044 homes went under the hammer with 536 auctions cleared.
Mr Oliver said these figures were consistent with a continued softness in the market, as prices fell nationwide for the fourth month in a row.
CoreLogic’s Kevin Brogan agreed, saying the previous weekend’s strong result has been “scaled back a bit”. He said auction clearance rates were testing the depth of demand in the market.
Looking at regions outside capital cities, Mr Brogan said Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong, was a star. “Geelong has been performing very strongly for quite some time now,” with its 78.3 per cent auction clearance rate the “highest of any of the regions”.
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