Preliminary clearance rates rise as combined capitals host busiest week since before Easter

By Kaytlin Ezzy, Economist, CoreLogic

With 2,550 homes auctioned across the capitals, last week overtook the week prior (2,314) as the combined capital’s busiest week since before Easter (2,687) and the second busiest of the year so far. Originally slated to be the busiest auction week of the year to date, around 200 auctions were rescheduled for a later date, while 184 (9.5%) were withdrawn from auction. The 10.2% week-on-week rise in auction activity was accompanied by a 1.9 percentage point lift in the preliminary clearance rate, with 72.0% of the 1,933 results collected so far recording a successful result. This lift comes after the combined capitals recorded the lowest preliminary clearance rate in 20 weeks the week prior (70.1%, revised to 64.4% in final figures). This time last year, several public holidays, including the national day of mourning for Her Majesty the Queen, the AFL grand final, and the Sovereign’s birthday in QLD and WA, saw just 1,316 homes go under the hammer with a final clearance rate of 60.0%.

Auction activity across Melbourne rebounded last week, with 1,038 homes auctioned across the city. This was up 5.7% from the week prior (982), when auction numbers fell below 1,000 for the first time in four weeks. Last week’s auction numbers were more than seven times the volume of auctions from this time last year (130), when the AFL grand final and national day of mourning saw Victoria take an extra-long weekend. Melbourne’s preliminary clearance rate rose above the 70% mark for just the second time in five weeks, with 70.5% of the 838 results collected returning a positive result. The previous week’s clearance rate was 69.6% (revised to 63.3% at final numbers), while this time last year 64.6% of auctions were successful.

Sydney hosted 978 auctions last week, up from 927 the previous week and 807 this time last year. Of the 777 results collected so far, 74.4% were successful- Sydney’s highest preliminary clearance rate in four weeks. The uptick was driven by both buyers and vendors, with Sydney’s withdrawal rate and the portion of properties passed in at auction falling to 12.9% and 12.7% respectively. At 72.5%, the previous week’s preliminary clearance rate was 1.9 percentage points lower and Sydney’s lowest preliminary result since early August. This time last year, 61.3% of Sydney auctions recorded a successful result.

Across the smaller capitals, both Brisbane and Adelaide recorded the busiest auction week of the year to date, with 237 and 174 homes auctioned respectively. Adelaide recorded the highest preliminary clearance rate among the smaller capitals for the 14th consecutive week, at 84.1%, followed by Brisbane at 70.3%. Canberra saw 102 homes auctioned, with 57.1% reporting a successful result, while just five of the 20 homes auctioned in Perth were successful. The one home scheduled to go under the hammer in Tasmania last week was withdrawn from auction.

Capital city auction numbers are set to fall by almost half this week, with five of the seven cities celebrating a long weekend.

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