Australian auction clearance rates have improved

Philip Sowels/Future Publishing via Getty ImagesHad to happen at some point.

  • Australian auction clearance rates have risen for the first time in seven weeks.
  • Melbourne and Sydney both recorded higher results, although both remained below 60%.
  • Auction volumes will fall this week, partially due to the start of school holidays in some parts of the country.

After six consecutive declines, leaving them at the lowest level since 2012, Australian auction clearance rates increased last week.

But not by much.

According to CoreLogic, a final clearance rate of 55.5% was recorded across the capitals, lifting from 52.4% one week earlier. In the same corresponding week in 2017, clearance rates stood at 66.5%, reflective of the slowdown seen in Australia’s east coast property market over this period.

CoreLogic

The improvement may have been helped by a lower number of properties going under the hammer, falling to 1,849 from 2,002 in the prior week. In the same week last year, volumes were substantially higher at 2,355.

This table from CoreLogic shows the performance of each individual capital city market last week.

CoreLogic

The group said clearance rates in both Melbourne and Sydney, Australia’s busiest auction markets, both recorded a modest improvement during the week.

“Melbourne’s final clearance rate was recorded at 59.9% across 941 auctions, increasing from 56.2% across 992 auctions over the previous week,” it said.

“Sydney’s final auction clearance rate was recorded at 50.1% across 641 auctions, increasing slightly from 49.4% across 708 auctions in the prioer week.”

Despite the modest improvement, those were well below the 70.7% and 68.2% levels recorded respectively in both cities a year ago.

Mirroring the performance from Melbourne and Sydney, clearance rates improved across all other capital city markets except for Hobart during the week.

Reflecting the seasonal slowdown over winter and the start of school holidays in many parts of the country, auction volumes look set to fall further in the week ahead.

CoreLogic is currently tracking 1,557 across the country, with most of those — 735 and 606 respectively — taking place in Melbourne and Sydney.

With the exception of Perth, volumes will also fall in all remaining capital city markets.

As a reliable and timely lead indicator on annual changes in home prices, many are watching clearance rates at present given the housing markets influence on the outlook for household spending and residential construction.

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