In the same week that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reduced interest rates to a fresh record-low, Australian capital city auction clearance rates have hit the highest level seen this year.
According to preliminary data released by CoreLogic on Monday, a national auction clearance rate of 74.9% was achieved, well ahead of the 72% level seen a week earlier.
Despite the weekly boost, the figure was marginally below the 76.9% national figure achieved in the same corresponding week a year earlier.
CoreLogic will release the final auction clearance rates for the week on Thursday.
Keeping with a familiar theme, the strength was concentrated in Australia’s largest and most expensive housing markets — Sydney and Melbourne — with clearance rates of 80.4% and 76.1% recorded.
While the final figure for Sydney is yet to be released, the preliminary figure was the highest seen in over a year.
The table below, supplied by CoreLogic, looks at the weekly performance by each capital city, comparing not only the overall clearance rates achieved but also the number of auctions held compared to the same week a year earlier.
While the national clearance rates are similar, it’s clear that the results achieved last week were on significantly lower auction volumes.
“The number of auctions held across the capitals this week was lower, with 1,517 held, compared to 1,610 over the previous week,” noted CoreLogic.
“Compared to the same week one year ago, auction activity currently is far more subdued, with almost 1,000 less capital city auctions.”
With auction clearance rates lifting and volumes well down on the levels of a year earlier, median capital city property prices continued to increase with the group’s separate home value change index rising 0.2% from a week earlier.
All of the five mainland state capitals saw prices either rise or hold steady with prices in Perth, up 0.4%, leading the national march higher.
Over the past four weeks, prices in Sydney and Melbourne have risen by 1.2% and 1.1% respectively, leaving the gains so far in 2016 at 10.4% and 7.2% respectively.
Nationally, prices have lifted 6.5% so far this year.
According to CoreLogic, the index is based on a ‘hedonic’ methodology which includes the attributes of properties that are transacting as part of the analysis.
The group believes that “understanding factors such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the land area and the geographic context of the property allows for a much more accurate analysis of the true value of movements across specific housing markets”.
It differs from alternate Australian house price gauges that use transacted sale prices to measure current housing market conditions.