Melbourne continues to post consistent clearance rates at 73.8 per cent last May 21 – almost identical to the 73.6 per cent posted last May 14. However, there are emerging signs of a decline in the number of homes scheduled to go under the hammer.

A total of 744 homes were listed last May 21, down from 759 the previous week and well below the 995 auctioned homes over the same weekend last year. Melbourne's inner and outer eastern regions have emerged as underperformers in recent months due to high price growth and affordability barriers on the part of bidders. Meanwhile, the city's budget and mid-priced suburbs produced the strongest regional results, with the north recording the highest clearance rate at 82.5 per cent.

Melbourne's median auction price was at $760,000, lower than the $804,000 recorded over the same weekend last year. A total of $305.6 million was sold at auction.

It appears that lower interest rates this month have failed to produce a significant increase in auction activity. Similarly, the prospect of a post-election change to negative gearing for investors also seems to have a small impact on the property market.

The latest vacancy rate for houses in Melbourne is at 1.6 per cent this April, indicating an upward pressure on rents and making it desirable for property investors. However, the figure still remains well below the 3.1 per cent recorded over the same time last year despite record apartment construction in the inner city.

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