It's been another awful week for Australian auction clearance rates

Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images
  • Australian auction clearance rates fell to the lowest level since October 2011 last week.
  • Success rates were awful across the country, not just in Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Market activity starts to slow this week as summer holidays approach.

Auction clearance rates fell to the lowest level since October 2011 last week, driven by broad-based weakness across all capital cities.

According to CoreLogic, a paltry 41.3% of homes sold either before, at or after auction, continuing the steep decline that began in early 2017.


2,701 homes went under the hammer. Of those, CoreLogic received results from 2,306 auctions, equating to a reporting rate of 83.9%. That was below the 85% level of a week earlier.

One look at the table below shows the national reading was not just a Sydney and Melbourne story with clearance rates sitting in the low 30 to 40% range across all the capital cities.


The weak result coincided with news that Australian capital city home prices tumbled by the most since the GFC in November, led by sizeable, and accelerated falls, in Sydney and Melbourne.

Melbourne’s final clearance rate stood at 42.7%, a small improvement from 41.4% in the prior week which was the lowest result since the middle of 2012.

In Sydney, only 41.6% of homes that went to auction sold, falling from 44.8% a week earlier.

Those figures were down from 65.4% and 56.2% respectively from the same corresponding week in 2017, and largely explain the decline in national clearance rates over this period.

However, the weakness last week was not just the story of Australia’s largest cities with clearance rate across the smaller capitals also coming in at 41.3% or lower.

Perth was the only one capital to record an increase, but at 31.4%, the result was not one to write home about.

Like Sydney, success rates also declined in Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra.

With summer holidays fast approaching for many Australians, market activity will cool in the week ahead with 2,498 homes going under the hammer.

Melbourne, as is usually the case, will be the busiest capital city market with 1,205 auctions set to take place, including a whopping 26 in the suburb of Reservoir alone.

840 homes in Sydney will be taken to market while activity will slow in all other capitals with the exception of Brisbane.

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