Slight drop but auction market still strong

Sydney's auction market pulled back slightly over the weekend, with buyers nervous about stoking a new boom, while Melbourne maintained its buoyant position.

Sydney's auction market pulled back slightly over the weekend, with buyers nervous about stoking a new boom, while Melbourne maintained its buoyant position.

Sydney's auction clearance rate fell two points to 82 per cent, according to data from Australia Property Monitors, while Melbourne posted 75 per cent, up one point from last weekend.

Sydney's inner west continued to perform strongly. The most expensive house sold at the weekend was 97 Newton Road in Strathfield, which fetched $3.22 million through Devine Real Estate.

Reece Theedam, from Haus Real Estate, sold 7 Myrna Road in Strathfield for $2 million.

Strathfield's good private and public schools and university attract strong buyer demand, he said.

"Doctors have kept Strathfield alive," he said. "My last few transactions were all to doctors.

"What's happened out here is the market's been very hot, but some buyers are starting to back off because they think it's too hot."

And the more expensive the properties, the fewer the bidders.

Jake Rowe from McGrath Manly did not get a single bid for a harbour front property at 99 Stuart Street, Manly. It passed in at $3.4 million.

"We're in negotiations with three buyers," Mr Rowe said. "It's much harder to get people to put their hands up at that level."

In Melbourne, Chinese buyers keen to pursue the lucky symbols associated with a property in the city's eastern suburbs helped push its price $150,000 past the reserve over the weekend.

There were 10 bidders for 98 Shafer Road, Blackburn North - which is on 588 square metres - many of them attracted by the auspicious number eights in its address.

Fletchers director Tim Heavyside said the price was a record for Shafer Road and while Blackburn is very popular, this house "attracted huge Chinese interest because it featured so many number eights".

Also in Melbourne, the Elsternwick mansion owned by nightclub owner Nick Zampelis passed in on a vendor bid of $6 million. The eight-bedroom house at 30 Elizabeth Street is on a 2947 square metre block. Biggin & Scott agent Bill Stavrakis said the property had a reserve of $5.95 million. He is in negotiations with three parties who had all expressed interest before the auction.