Sydney property sales down but prices tipped to rise in 2017

Sydney recorded its lowest auction clearance rate in six-weeks over the weekend, but prices remain high, and are tipped to push even higher in 2017.

The clearance rate for Sydney auctions was 77% this weekend, down from 81.4% the previous weekend, reported. However, prospective sellers needn't panic - this is still an undoubtedly good result and is considerably higher than the 59.2% reported on the same weekend last year.

High auction numbers may be at least partially behind the lowered clearance rate. 831 auctions were held on the weekend, whereas there were 792 listed the weekend before.

Although overall the clearance rate was down, properties in certain areas of Sydney were still selling like hot cakes. Lower north shore homes were a big seller, with a clearance rate of 93.3% followed by the inner west, at 90.1%.

The Blue Mountains also had a remarkable 100% clearance rate - a single auction was held, and recorded a sale.

Continuing high prices may be turning some Sydney buyers off, as the median auction price soared to $1,337,000 on Saturday, up from $1.3 million the weekend before, and 9.1% higher than the same time a year ago.

All up, Sydney auctions reported a total of $558.6 million over the weekend.

Reserve Bank interest rates are an important factor in housing prices, and with predictions that the cash rate will hit or even dip below 1% in 2017, house prices could increase by as much as 18% next year, according to a report from SQM Research.

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The report forecast an increase of 13-18% for the Sydney property market if the RBA cut the official cash rate by 0.25% by mid-year. Melbourne had a similar outlook, with a potential 12-17% rise in prices on the cards.

Even if the RBA doesn’t reduce rates as expected, the report still predicted property prices to rise, by 11-16% in Sydney and 10-15% in Melbourne.

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