Sydney's auction clearance rate hits the highest level in nearly a year - but it's still pretty low

TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images
  • Sydney’s auction clearance rate hit the highest level in nearly a year last week, according to final figures from CoreLogic.
  • Melbourne’s clearance rate also improved, helping Australia’s combined capitals clearance rate lift to the second-highest level this year.
  • Volumes remain low and reporting rates were a little soft, helping to boost the final figure. Clearance levels still remain well below the levels seen 12 months ago.
  • A paltry 1,144 homes will go under the hammer this week, around half the level seen this time a year ago.

Sydney’s auction clearance rate hit the highest level in nearly a year last week, continuing the slow rebound after plunging to record lows late last year.

However, compared to periods in the past, clearance rates, and auction volumes, in Australia’s largest and most expensive city still remain low.

According to final figures released by CoreLogic on Thursday, Sydney’s clearance rate rose to 57.2% during the week, up from 52.5% in the prior seven day period.

539 homes went under the hammer across the city, near double the 332 number of a week earlier.

Of those that took place, CoreLogic only received results from 444, equating to a reporting rate of 82.4%. That helped to boost final clearance level given most unreported results are unlikely to be for successful auctions.

Like Sydney, Melbourne’s final clearance level also improved from a week earlier, lifting to 56.6%, an increase of three percentage points. Its reporting level was a touch higher than Sydney’s at 86% with results received from 578 of the 672 auctions that took place.

CoreLogic

Price falls in both cities have slowed in recent months, coinciding with the modest lift in clearance levels. That may partially reflect that new property listings have fallen substantially over the past year reflecting weaker market conditions.

Across the smaller capitals Canberra was the only market to register a final clearance level of 50% or more.

Despite softer results elsewhere, the improvement in Sydney and Melbourne was enough to lift the final combined capitals clearance rate to 52.5% from 50.4% a week earlier, the second-highest level this year.

1,479 homes were taken to auction during the week with 1,245 results reported.

Putting the improvement into perspective, in the same corresponding week a year earlier, a final combined capitals clearance rate of 62.1% was achieved from a larger 2,311 auctions held.

Looking ahead, auction volumes will fall to 1,144, down from 1,479 last week and only half the 2,279 level seen this time last year.

That reflects weaker activity levels in both Melbourne and Sydney with only 500 and 431 homes respectively set to go under the hammer. Volumes will also fall in all other markets except for Adelaide.

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