Auction clearance rates hit the highest level since September – but they're still low

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  • Australian auction clearance rates hit the highest level since September last week.
  • Modest improvements were seen in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra from a week earlier, offsetting weaker results in other markets.
  • Auction activity will pickup this weekend ahead of Easter school holidays.
  • Median prices continued to fall across all mainland state capitals in early April, according to daily data from CoreLogic. The largest falls remain in Melbourne and Sydney.

Australian auction clearance rates hit the highest level since September last week.

However, as seen in the chart below from CoreLogic, they still remain well below the levels seen in prior years despite far fewer homes going under the hammer.

CoreLogic

According to final figures from the group, 52.6% of reported results cleared last week, driven by modest improvements in Sydney and Melbourne. Canberra, at 58.2%, recorded the highest clearance rate of any capital. Clearance rates in all other capitals weakened from a week earlier.

CoreLogic received results from 87.2% of the 1,976 auctions that took place. It’s likely the unreported auctions were mostly for properties that failed to clear.

CoreLogic

Despite the modest national improvement, the result was still more than 10 percentage points below the clearance level seen in the same corresponding week a year ago.

Looking to the week ahead, auction activity looks set to increase ahead of school holidays with 2,166 home set to go under the hammer across the capitals. Underlining just how far auction volumes have dropped over the past year, in the week before Easter last year a whopping 3,990 homes were taken to market.

Over 80% of auctions will be held in Sydney and Melbourne, with nearly 900 taking place in both cities. Activity will also increase in Adelaide and Brisbane but decline or remain steady in all other capital city markets.

While national clearance rates have improved modestly from the levels seen late last year and in January, the average median price across Australia’s mainland state capitals has continued to ease in early February, declining by 0.3% in weighted terms since the end of March.

Median prices have fallen 0.4% in Melbourne, outpacing a drop of 0.3% in Sydney. Prices in Brisbane and Perth have also fallen 0.2% while those in Adelaide have fallen by less than 0.1%, according to CoreLogic’s daily hedonic index.

These price movements largely reflect settlement prices for properties that sold in previous weeks.

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