Buyers cautious as properties rush the market before Christmas

Saturday’s recorded auction clearance rate of 67 per cent was the lowest recorded for five months.

The weekend was a big test for the property market, with a rush of auction listings before Christmas – 1300 properties were up for grabs in fact. 

The clearance rate was well below the spring average of 74 per cent. 

The figures suggest the spring property market has peaked, with auction activity declining since the Melbourne Cup holiday.

There are another 1316 houses up for auction again this weekend, which is around 500 more than were listed at the same time last year. 

The outer and inner eastern suburbs had the best clearance rates in Melbourne, with 78.8 and 74.2 per cent respectively. 

Despite these strong numbers from the inner and outer east, the Melbourne property market as a whole is showing signs of sluggishness, with its final test for the year this weekend with another high volume of listings. 

The Melbourne property market has, however, had its best year since 2010, with median house prices rising by around 7 per cent. 

Property prices may slow their rate of increase next year if economic activity continues to fall, with there being the possibility of a further interest rate cut when the RBA meets again in February.


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