Capital city auction markets are strengthening, with week-on-week increases in auction volumes and Sydney recording its first clearance rate above 60% since last July. There were 521 auctions in Sydney last weekend, with results showing a 61% preliminary clearance rate — a big improvement on the 54% rate from 322 auctions the previous week.

“We are starting to see more positive signs in Sydney,” says REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee. “The market is holding up much better than we thought. Typically, markets are much slower to gain momentum at the start of the year. This time last year Sydney’s market was a lot weaker. So this result is highly unusual, particularly given the negativity we’re hearing about the market in commentary.”

Melbourne continued to be the busiest city market, with 657 auctions last week and a clearance rate of 54% – up from 350 auctions the previous week when a rate of 52% was posted.

Adelaide was the best performing capital city market last week with a clearance rate of 67% across 83 auctions. Canberra held 52 auctions with a clearance rate of 48%.