Auction clearance rates fell across Australia last week

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images
  • Auction clearance rates weakened across Australia’s capitals last week
  • Sydney and Melbourne both recorded preliminary readings of 67%
  • Auction clearance rates remain well below the levels of a year ago

Australian auction clearance rates softened last week, led by weaker results for Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s largest and most expensive housing markets.

According to CoreLogic, a combined preliminary clearance rate of 65.9% was recorded across the nation’s capitals last week, down from 66.8% recorded one week earlier.

It was also below the preliminary reading of 70.5% recorded last week, driven by weaker results from Sydney and Melbourne despite a drop in the number of properties that went under the hammer.

Source: CoreLogic

“There were 1,044 auctions held in Sydney this week returning a preliminary auction clearance rate of 66.9%,” CoreLogic said. “[This] compared to 65.1% across 1,259 auctions last week.”

It was a similar story for Melbourne which recorded a preliminary reading of 67.3%, down from last week’s final rate of 70.6%. 1,523 properties were taken to market, down from 1,606 one week earlier.

Canberra, at 70.8%, recorded the strongest preliminary clearance rate of any capital at 70.8%. However, like all other capitals, that was down from the levels reported a week earlier.

CoreLogic received results from 2,379 results from the 2,980 auctions held across the capitals over the week.

As more results trickle in the final clearance rate for the week — released on Thursday — are likely to be revised lower, potentially to the low 60s region if recent trends are maintained.

While that would be higher than the levels seen late last year, such a result would still be well below the 74.6% level reported one year ago.

Source: CoreLogic

By type of property, CoreLogic said preliminary clearance rates for apartments stood at 67.6% across the capitals in average weighted terms, fractionally above that for houses at 65.1%.

In the prior week, preliminary clearance rates for apartments and houses stood at 72.9% and 69.5% respectively.

This table from CoreLogic shows how clearance rates fared for apartments and houses across individual capitals over the week.

Source: CoreLogic

In what will likely garner some attention given the historic relationship between clearance rates and price movements, CoreLogic will release separate data on dwelling prices for Australia’s five mainland state capitals later in the session.

Last week, prices were flat to higher across all cities monitored.