The Melbourne weekend auction market ended the year once again with strong results for sellers, despite an unprecedented end-of-year “deluge of listings”.

Melbourne recorded a clearance rate of 77.3% on Saturday, Dec. 17. Although this figure was lower than the previous weekend’s 80.1%, last Saturday’s clearance rate was higher than the 68.9% recorded over the same weekend last year.

“Saturday’s strong result was particularly noteworthy given the record number of final weekend auctions conducted and reflects a confident market that has met every challenge this year,” said Dr Andrew Wilson, senior economist for the Domain Group.

A jaw-dropping 1058 homes were listed for auction last Saturday. This was a significant increase from the previous record final weekend total of 717 (recorded last year on Dec. 17).

December 2016 also had the highest number of weekend auctions ever recorded for that month, with 3603 compared to last year’s previous record of 3558. “Melbourne’s record December auction activity has reversed this year’s trend of fewer auctions compared to the same period last year,” said Wilson.

Median auction prices

Melbourne recorded a median auction price of $707,500 on Saturday, Dec. 17, which was lower than the $800,000 reported over the previous weekend. However, this was 5.4% higher than the $671,000 recorded over the same weekend in 2015. A total of $432.6 million was reportedly sold at auction in Melbourne over the weekend.

“The Melbourne housing market has recorded another strong result for sellers this year and is set to remain a leading performer again next year although growth rates are likely to be significantly lower.”

The Melbourne median house price surged over the spring, increasing by 5% over the November quarter compared to the previous quarter to a new record high of $796,367—an increase of 9.8% over the year.

Melbourne’s median unit price also increased over the spring, rising by 6% to a new record median of $472,667—an annual increase of 6.5%.

Melbourne’s house prices can be expected to increase by 5% in 2017, with the increasingly likely stimulatory impact of lower official interest rates offset by the higher mortgage rates set by banks.

Unit prices can also be expected to continue to rise, although at a lower annual rate than houses at 3%, reflecting the higher levels of new apartment stock entering the market.