Australian auction clearance rates have fallen to a 5-year low

Tim Graham/Getty ImagesDown. Again.
  • Australian auction clearance rates fell again last week, hitting levels not seen since early 2013.
  • Both Sydney and Melbourne recorded sub-60% results. The figure in Melbourne was the weakest result since April 2014.
  • Capital city auction volumes look set to decline modestly this week, with Melbourne and Sydney the busiest individual markets.

There’s no shortage of analysts out there predicting that Australian home prices are likely to fall further.

As a reasonable lead indicator on annual price movements, auction clearance rates suggest they may well be on the money.

They slid again last week, falling to the lowest level since early 2013, according to figures released by CoreLogic.


“The combined capital city final auction clearance rate fell to 56.2% last week, the third consecutive week where the combined weighted average has progressively declined,” the group said.

“There were 2,297 homes taken to market which was only slightly higher than the week prior when 2,100 auctions were held and 56.8% cleared.

“The last time clearance rates were tracking at a similar level was in early 2013 when volumes were less comparable over what was the January low period.”

Continuing recent trends, the slide was yet again driven by weak results for Melbourne and Sydney, Australia’s largest and most expensive housing markets where prices are currently falling.


On the back of an increase in properties going under the hammer, lifting to 1,132 from 1,033 a week earlier, Melbourne’s clearance rate fell to 59%, the weakest level since April 2014.

Sydney, too, recorded another sub-60% clearance rate, coming in at 56.1%. That was an improvement from 54% a week earlier and came despite an increase in properties going under the hammer.

Of the smaller capitals, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth all saw clearance rates improve while those in Brisbane and Tasmania fell.

Looking to the week ahead, CoreLogic says capital city auction volumes look set to decline modestly, dropping to 2,121 from 2,297 last week.

“As usual, Melbourne and Sydney are the two busiest capital city auction markets this week with 990 and 791 homes scheduled to go to auction,” it said.

Elsewhere, volumes are expected to decline in Brisbane, Perth and Tasmania but increase in Adelaide and Canberra.

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