Australian auction clearance rates have fallen to the lowest levels since early last year, coinciding with a lift in the number of properties being taken to market.
According to figures released by CoreLogic today, a national clearance rate of 66.2% was reported last week.
That was below the 66.7% level of the prior week and the lowest level since March 2016.
Melbourne, Australia’s busiest auction market, saw its clearance rate fall to 70.6%, down from 71.4% reported previously.
Sydney, Australia’s largest and most expensive housing market, saw its final clearance rate rise to 65.9%, up from 64.2% in the previous week.
Despite the mixed weekly performance, clearance rates in both cities were well below the levels reported one year earlier.
Of the smaller Australian capitals, clearance rates fell in Adelaide, Canberra and Perth but rose in Brisbane.
The modest decline in the national figure coincided with a strong lift in the number of properties taken to auction, CoreLogic said.
“Volumes reached their highest levels since May of this year, with a total of 2,782 held, increasing from the week prior when 2,510 auctions were held,” the group said.
“Over the same week last year, the clearance rate was a higher 75.4%, across a lower 2,480 auctions.”
So clearance rates fell from the levels of a year earlier as the amount of stock on offer increased.
Looking to the weekend ahead, auction levels will fall sharply due to the AFL and NRL grand finals held in Sydney and Melbourne.
CoreLogic is currently tracking 805 auctions across the country, down sharply on the 2,759 level seen in the previous week.
“The most notable decrease in activity will be in Melbourne, where only 86 auctions are scheduled this week, while Sydney is set to host the highest volume of auctions this week, with 515 homes scheduled to go under the hammer, albeit volumes are well down on last week,” CoreLogic says.
“Brisbane is expected to be the second busiest capital city this week, with volumes remaining relatively steady week-on-week, while the remaining capital cities are all expected to see a lower volume of auctions.”
Early next week, CoreLogic will release updated capital city house price data for the month of September.
Based off data released earlier this week, a small increase in prices is likely, largely reflecting ongoing strength in Melbourne.
In August, price growth stalled nationwide on an average weighted basis, reflecting slower growth in Melbourne and an unchanged reading in Sydney.