The first big auction weekend of the year got off to a surprising start, with Sydney recording the fewest sales of the east coast markets.

Sydney recorded only 16 sales last weekend, according to property data group APM PriceFinder, which was a 76.8 per cent reduction on the corresponding weekend last year.

The clearance rate also fell, from 71.1 per cent last year to 43.2 per cent, although the median price for house sales rose 7.3 per cent to $885,000.

Melbourne had the weekend’s busiest auction market, with sales jumping 34.4 per cent to 43.

The city’s clearance rate increased from 65.3 per cent to 74.1 per cent, with the median price for house sales up 2.9 per cent to $595,000.

Adelaide vendors sold 24 homes at a median price of $455,000 and a clearance rate of 77.4 per cent.

Brisbane achieved 22 sales at a median price of $528,000 and a clearance rate of 48.9 per cent.

In Canberra, there were 18 sales at a median price of $610,000 and a clearance rate of 75.0 per cent.

Across Australia, sales volumes fell 25.0 per cent to 123, while the clearance rate increased from 62.8 per cent to 63.1 per cent.

There were falls in median prices, with house prices down 9.2 per cent to $601,000 and unit prices down 13.3 per cent to $505,000.

[Related: Auction market takes big hit from Sydney slump]

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