Auction volumes increased over the three months to September with 14,216 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities, up from 13,783 over the previous quarter, although lower than this time last year when 16,730 homes were taken to auction over the September 2019 quarter.
Of the 13,917 auction results collected over the latest quarter, 18.7 per cent reported a withdrawn result, compared to 31 per cent over the June quarter. Of the sold results, 42 per cent were sold prior to auction, compared to 48 per cent over the June quarter.
The combined capital city auction clearance rate increased over the three months to September, returning a clearance rate of 59.2 per cent, up from 47.9 per cent over the June quarter which was the lowest seen since the December 2018 quarter (43.6 per cent). The September 2019 quarter recorded a higher clearance rate of 69.9 per cent.
The month of September saw weekly clearance rates hold above 60 per cent across the combined capitals, with the highest weekly clearance rate recorded over the week ending 20th September (67.6 per cent), although September saw fewer auctions held when compared to July and August. The lower volumes in September were largely due to the subdued activity in Melbourne, where fewer than 100 auctions were held over the month as the city remained in lock down.
Tim Lawless, Head of Research on the latest quarterly figures “The September quarter saw auction markets start to normalise after the COVID-related disruptions experienced through the June quarter. We saw a substantial reduction in withdrawn auctions and more auctions were sold ‘under the hammer’ rather than prior to the auction event, suggesting vendors were more willing to test to the market under auction conditions rather than accepting offers prior to the auction being held.
“The improvement in auction market conditions through September was from an extremely low base, with the June quarter reflecting the weakest auction clearance rates since the final quarter of 2018.
“Although the headline results from the September quarter showed a significant improvement in national auction markets, the nation’s two largest auction markets, Sydney and Melbourne, moved in opposite directions towards the end of the quarter. While auction activity outpaced levels from a year ago in Sydney, the number of auctions held across Melbourne ended the quarter materially lower due to COVID-related restrictions being imposed.
“With Melbourne emerging from lockdown, we are expecting the December quarter, which is typically the busiest auction period of the year, to be much stronger for auction activity. We are already seeing the number of auctions scheduled across Melbourne ramping up as pent-up demand to sell through the spring and early summer season is unleashed.”