Clearance rates fall as a record number of Australian homes go under the hammer

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  • Preliminary auction clearance rates fell last week in Australia as a record level of stock went under the hammer.
  • Melbourne’s clearance rate weakened as more than 2,000 properties were put up, the highest weekly total on record.
  • Activity also picked up across the remaining capitals ahead of the Easter long weekend. Results varied across the country.

Australian auction clearance rates edged lower last week, weighed down by a record level of stock hitting the market.

According to CoreLogic, a preliminary capital city clearance rate of 65.5% was recorded, down from the 66% final result recorded in the previous week.

It was also below the 67.5% preliminary result reported for the prior week, reflecting that clearance rates tend to be revised lower as late, often unsuccessful results, are reported to the group.

67.7% of units sold across the capitals, yet again outperforming houses where 64.6% cleared.

Source: CoreLogic

Helping to explain the weekly decline in the headline rate, CoreLogic said a record number of properties went under the hammer, led by a surge in Melbourne.

“A total of 3,967 auctions were held across the combined capital cities, exceeding the previous record set in late November 2014 when 3,908 auctions were held.

“The uplift in activity is what has historically been seen in the lead up to the Easter period.”

Of the 3,967 auctions held across the capitals, CoreLogic received results from 3,098. Of those, 2,042 resulted in a sale.

The large number of unreported auctions suggests the final result for the week, released by CoreLogic on Thursday, will be lower than the preliminary reading, potentially significantly.

Source: CoreLogic

By individual capital, Melbourne’s clearance rate fell marginally as over 2,000 properties were taken to auction, the largest number on record.

“Across Melbourne, a total of 2,078 homes were taken to market making it the busiest week in CoreLogic history, surpassing the previous record over the week ending 29th October 2017 when 1,983 auctions were held,” the group said.

“The preliminary auction clearance rate fell with 67% of homes selling, down from the previous week at 68.7%.”

It was also below the prior week’s preliminary reading of 68.9%.

Like Melbourne, Sydney’s auction market also went up a gear with 1,359 properties going under the hammer, the largest number this year.

However, despite the lift in auction activity from 1,093 a week earlier, the city still recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 66.2%, the highest level this year.

In the prior week, Sydney recorded a preliminary and final clearance rate of 67.8% and 64.8% respectively, hinting that a downward revision may be forthcoming when the week’s final figure is reported in a few days time.

Across the smaller capitals, CoreLogic said that a mixed performance was seen despite a lift in activity levels with preliminary clearance rates lifting in Adelaide and Canberra while those in Brisbane, Perth and Tasmania fell.

Following the release of the clearance rate data, CoreLogic will release separate information on weekly home price movements for Australia’s five mainland state capitals later today.

Annual price growth has been decelerating in recent months, led by falling prices in Sydney.