Sydney home values drop again in February and more falls predicted

89 Market St, Randwick, passed in with no bids at last Saturday’s auction.

SYDNEY property values fell again in February — the sixth monthly drop in a row — and analysts CoreLogic can’t see an end to the slow but steady slide.

The fall for dwellings — houses and apartments combined — was 0.6 per cent over the month and 2.4 per cent over the quarter. House values were down 0.8 per cent to $1,041,791 with apartments flat at $760,814.

“We expect further falls in the market in Sydney — not the magnitude of the 0.9 per cent we saw in December and January, but we don’t see any trigger to change its fortunes at the moment,” CoreLogic’s senior research analyst, Cameron Kusher, said.

The best homes in top locations such as the eastern beaches — or those considered bargains across the city — are being snapped up quickly either before or at heated auctions.

Reported auction clearance rates on Saturday were up over 70 per cent on Saturday — the first big test of the Sydney market when almost 1000 homes went under the hammer across the city.

The house at 89 Market St, Randwick, is in a top position but buyers didn’t love the back yard — though those windows are tiny kitchen windows.

The initial Saturday clearance rate was apparently a vast improvement on December figures as low as 58 per cent.

But some agents and auctioneers say many are slow to admit to their passed-in results. “If an agent’s got some good news on Saturday afternoon they’re much more likely to let the media or CoreLogic know about it,” Belle Property’s Shane Vincent said.

That appears now confirmed, with CoreLogic’s latest figures for Saturday, as of today, with 850 of the 973 results in, showing a Sydneywide clearance rate just 62.35 per cent.

“The market’s very inconsistent — it’s definitely transitioning, I’m getting some good results and some not good results,” Mr Vincent said.

One of the not-so good results on Saturday was for a four-bedroom home at 89 Market St, Randwick — which passed in, with no-one registering to bid. The price guide was $2.3 million to $2.4 million. It’s now for sale at $2.5 million.

The house has a big family kitchen but could do with a tweak.

It had a block of flats looking down onto its small triangular back lawn. Mr Vincent admits this was a turn-off for buyers, though said the windows were small kitchen windows.

Auctioneer Damien Cooley says: “If a property doesn’t tick a box, it’s much harder to sell.”

Mr Cooley, who declared results for his firm’s 107 auctions on social media, had a clearance rate of 59 per cent. “Many of the non reported auction results are properties that haven’t sold,” he said.

The reason given by Mr Kusher for Sydney’s continuing fall in Sydney dwelling values is: “We’re seeing more people migrate away from NSW.

“Investors are pulling out.

“Affordability is an issue.

“Sydney’s had a very strong run of value growth over the years, and that’s now coming to an end.”

The February figures were the first to show dwelling values slipping into negative annual change for the first time since 2012. They’re down 0.5 per cent over the 12 months.

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