Australian auction clearance rates continue to soften

Leon Neal / AFP / Getty Images
  • Australian auction clearance appear to be trending lower once again.
  • A national preliminary reading of 63.1% was reported last week, a figure that will likely be revised lower in the days ahead.
  • CoreLogic will release weekly home price data later today.

Australian auction clearance rates continue to soften, moving back towards the lows seen late last year.

According to CoreLogic, a preliminary combined capital city clearance rate of 63.1% was reported last week, down on the 64.5% preliminary estimate of a week earlier.

In the same week a year earlier, a final clearance rate of 69.8% was reported.

CoreLogic said 1,746 homes went under the hammer, below the 1,915 level of a week earlier.

Of those, the group received results from 1,383 auctions. 874 properties changed hands while 509 failed to sell.

The large number of unreported results suggests the final clearance rate for the week — released on Thursday — will fall to around the low 60s/high 50s region.

In the prior week, the final reading was revised down to 61.7% from 64.5%.

Source: CoreLogic

By property type, CoreLogic said units continued to outperform houses last week, continuing the trend seen in recent months.

“The results segregated by property type showed that units outperformed houses this week with 65% of units selling,” the group said. “The combined houses reading returned a 62.2% success rate.”

By individual capital, most cities recorded a preliminary clearance rate in the mid-60% region, including Sydney and Melbourne, the busiest markets during the week.

“Melbourne saw a total of 905 auctions take place this week, returning a 63.8% preliminary clearance rate which was slightly higher than the 62.4% over the week prior when 873 auctions were held,” CoreLogic said.

The preliminary figure was below the 64.3% level reported a week earlier.

However, while Melbourne’s preliminary reading softened, that trend was reversed in Sydney as auction volumes decreased.

“The number of homes taken to auction across Sydney fell this week at 551,” CoreLogic said.

“The lower volumes returned a higher week-on-week clearance rate with 66.4% of properties selling, increasing on prior weeks 61.5% final clearance rate when volumes were higher at 795.”

Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate for the prior week stood at 64.9%.

As seen in the table below, the performance of the smaller capitals was more varied, ranging from just 19% in Perth to 75% in Hobart, the latter largely reflecting that only a small number of properties were taken to market.

Source: CoreLogic

Following the release of the preliminary auction clearance rate report, CoreLogic will release separate data on house price movements across Australia’s five mainland state capitals later today.

Prices have been flat to slightly lower in recent months, led largely by continued weakness in Sydney.

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