It looks like Australian auction clearance rates may have bottomed -- for now

Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

Australian auction clearance rates edged higher last week, an impressive performance given volumes were close to double the number held a week earlier.

According to CoreLogic, a final combined capital city clearance rate of 63.7% was achieved, up from 62% in early February.

Despite the small increase, and reflective of softer housing market conditions in Australia’s eastern states, it was still well below the 73.2% level achieved in the same week a year ago.

Still, as seen in the chart below, clearance rates have rebounded in recent weeks, providing some tentative evidence that clearance rates may have bottomed for the moment, following the pattern seen in January and February in previous years.

Source: CoreLogic

1,470 auctions took place across the nation, up from 790 a week earlier.

This table shows how each individual market fared during the week.

Source: CoreLogic

CoreLogic said both volumes and clearance rates increased in Sydney and Melbourne, traditionally Australia’s busiest auction markets.

“Across Melbourne, 619 auctions were held and 70.7% were successful, up from 292 auctions the week prior where 70.2% cleared,” CoreLogic said.

“Sydney’s final clearance rate increased to 61.1 % from 57.1% with the number of auctions held increasing to 522 from 216 in the previous week.”

Of the smaller capitals, the group said that clearance rates increased in Brisbane, Canberra and Tasmania, offsetting lower rates in Adelaide and Perth.

Turning to the weekend ahead, volumes are expected to lift further in line with seasonal patterns.

CoreLogic is monitoring 1,753 across the capitals with nearly half of those being held in Melbourne.

“Melbourne is expected to see the most significant increase in volumes over the week with 840 properties scheduled for auction, up from 619 last week,” says CoreLogic.

“Across Sydney, 605 homes are set to go under the hammer, increasing from the 522 last week.

“Across the smaller auctions markets, Brisbane is set to be the only capital city to see a rise in auction activity this week.”

Total auction volumes remain well below the 2,291 level seen in the same corresponding week in 2017.

Craigieburn will host 20 auctions, making it the busiest suburban market during the week. Bentleigh East and Reservoir – also in Melbourne — will also host 14 and 13 auctions respectively.

Given the likelihood that auction volumes will lift further in the month ahead, upcoming clearance rates data will provide a truer indication of current housing market conditions.

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