The combined capital clearance rate dipped as Sydney and Melbourne hosted the busiest auction week since Easter

By Kaytlin Ezzy, Economist, CoreLogic

Capital city auction activity continued to trend higher for the third week in a row, with this week overtaking the previous week as the busiest since before Easter. With 2,275 homes auctioned across the combined capitals, this week’s auction activity was 11.7% higher than last week (2,037) and 13.4% above the 2,006 auctions held this time last year.

After inching higher for three consecutive weeks, the combined capitals preliminary clearance rate dropped -2.0 percentage points this week, with 72.0% of the 1,766 results collected so far returning a successful result. The decline was driven by an increase in the withdrawal rate, from 7.3% to 9.9%, suggesting vendors are becoming wearier, while the portion of properties passed in at auction fell from 25.5% to 18.3%. Last week’s preliminary clearance rate (74.0%) was revised to 67.5% at final numbers, while this time last year, just 55.8% of auctions were successful.

Melbourne (1,045) hosted the busiest auction market, with more than 1,000 homes taken to auction, up 24.3% compared to last week (841). With 854 results collected so far, Melbourne’s preliminary clearance rate (69.9%) dipped below the 70% mark (albeit just) for the fourth time in six weeks. Last week’s preliminary clearance rate was -2.8 percentage points higher at 72.7% (revised to 65.6% at final figures), while this time last year, 832 auctions were held across the city, and a final clearance rate of 59.7% was reported.

Sydney hosted its second busiest auction week of the year this week, behind the week ending 2nd April (1,017), with 887 homes taken under the hammer. This week’s auction activity is up 8.4% compared to the 818 held last week and is 13.9% above the 779 auctions that occurred this week last year. Of the 690 results collected so far, 74.6% reported a successful result, down -2.9 percentage points compared to the week prior. Last week’s preliminary clearance rate (77.5%, revised to 70.3%) was the city’s highest since late June (78.7%), while this time last year (51.7%), just over half of Sydney auctions were successful.

While Sydney and Melbourne both recorded their busiest weeks since before Easter, the smaller capitals saw weekly auction activity drop -9.3%. Among the smaller capitals, Adelaide was the only market to see auction numbers rise this week, up 9.5%, with 127 homes auctioned across the city. Brisbane (122) and Canberra (83) both saw auction activity fall, down -20.3% and -8.8% respectively. Adelaide (88.2%) recorded the highest preliminary clearance rate since late February (88.6%), while 70.9% of auctions in Brisbane and 54.8% of auctions in Canberra were successful. To date, just one of the 11 auctions held in Perth has returned a successful result, while no auctions were held in Tasmania.

Auction activity is expected to continue to rise over the first week of spring, with just over 2,400 capital city auctions currently scheduled.

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