Like the contents of a champagne bottle, the national auction clearance rate has been building pressure, week after week, rising and rising, until last weekend the cork finally popped and records were broken in capital cities across Australia.
Now all eyes will be focused on this weekend’s auction clearance rate, as we wait to see if the month of March will also deliver record-breaking highs.
Last weekend saw preliminary auction clearance rates recorded at 82% across 2,847 capital city auctions - the highest clearance rate on record, according to RP Data.
Sydney led the way with clearance rates reaching a record 87.5% - the highest rate on record for the month of February.
The number of auctions also rose to 1,060, compared to 614 the week before.
Sydney also claimed the highest price paid at auction over the record-breaking weekend, with a first-time offered waterfront penthouse at Kirribilli selling for $4,325,000 - $1.325m above reserve.
The dual-level, two-bedroom apartment offered 180-degree water views, three bathrooms, roof-top terrace and open-plan design.
It is understood the buyer, from Adelaide, didn’t stop there, later purchasing a one-bedroom apartment in the same building for $690,000.
In Melbourne, Australia’s largest auction market, preliminary clearance rates for last weekend also smashed records at 79%, increasing from 69.2% in the week prior.
This was the highest auction clearance rate recorded for Melbourne since the beginning of June 2013.
Bernard Lawry, managing director of Victorian Property Auction Services says Melbourne is seeing a "catch up" in the property market for what was a reasonably depressed market in 2013.
“Low interest rates are stimulating the market particularly the investor segment as well as new developments,” he says.
“2014 has seen a wider choice of quality properties especially in the upper segment in suburbs such as Brighton, South Yarra, Toorak, Ivanhoe, Balwyn and Doncaster and there has also been a strong return in the overseas buyers especially evident in the Chinese segment.
“We expect this trend to continue throughout 2014, although the lower end of the market will start to slow with employment uncertainty - however a further cut in Interest rates by the Reserve Bank which seems likely may ease this pressure in the short term.”
Other capital cities also experienced high clearance rates last weekend with Brisbane, Australia’s third biggest property market, clearing 76.1% of properties from 157 auctions, while Adelaide recorded an incredible 83.3% from 116.
Canberra was also a big mover clearing 84.6% from 61 total auctions, with Perth at 57.1% from 47 and Tasmania recording 80.0% from 10 auctions.