The lead-up to the Melbourne Cup Carnival sees capital city auction activity fall 40% week-on-week

By Kaytlin Ezzy, Economist, CoreLogic

Capital city auction activity dropped -40.4% last week, with 2,015 homes auctioned across the capitals. Led by a weekly decline across Melbourne, last week was the capital’s quietest auction week since the start of October (1,198) when multiple public holidays impacted auction volumes. The previous week (3,381) was the capital’s busiest in more than 18 months, thanks to a ‘Super Saturday’ event, while this time last year, weaker market conditions saw just 1,917 homes auctioned.

With 1,520 results collected so far, the combined capital’s preliminary clearance rate held relatively steady at 68.6%, up 10 basis points from the week prior (68.5%, revised to 62.9%). Despite the clearance rate remaining relatively steady, confidence fell among sellers and rose among buyers, with the combined capital’s withdrawal rate rising to 12.4%, up from 8.1% the week prior, while the portion of properties passed in at auction fell to 19.0%. This time last year, 59.0% of auctions reported a successful result.

Melbourne (453) auction activity plummeted -73.7% last week, with many vendors across Melbourne choosing not to compete with the start of the Melbourne Cup festivities. The previous week saw the city record its busiest auction week since mid-April 2022 (1,795), with 1,725 homes auctioned across the city, while this time last year, 797 homes were auctioned. After holding steady over the previous two weeks, Melbourne’s preliminary clearance rate fell to its lowest point since Easter (57.6%), with 60.8% of auctions returning a successful result. With 362 results collected so far, last week’s preliminary result was 7.8 percentage points below the previous week’s preliminary rate (68.6% revised to 63.2%) but 2.4 percentage points above the final result recorded this time last year (58.4%).

Sydney hosted more than half of last week’s auctions, with 1,065 homes auctioned across the city, down slightly (-0.6%) from the week prior (1,071). While auction activity held relatively steady, Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate drifted 1.1 percentage points higher, with 71.9% of the 842 results collected so far reporting a successful result. The previous week’s preliminary clearance rate of 70.8% revised to 64.2% at final numbers. This time last year, Sydney hosted 704 auctions and recorded a final clearance rate of 63.7%.

Adelaide hosted the busiest auction market among the smaller capitals and the city’s busiest auction week of the year-to-date, with 181 homes auctioned across the city last week. Despite recording a -10.3 percentage point decline in the preliminary clearance rate, Adelaide also recorded the strongest success rate across the capitals, at 74.8%. In contrast, both Brisbane (150) and Canberra (144) saw auction numbers fall last week, while the preliminary clearance rate rose to 68.6% and 67.7%, respectively. In Perth, results for eight auctions have been collected so far, three have returned a successful result. None of the four auctions held in Tasmania last week have reported positive results.

Auction activity is expected to drift higher as we move through the final month of spring, with around 2,800 homes currently scheduled across the combined capitals this week. 

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