Australian auction clearance rates could soon fall below 40%

Alex Livesey/Getty Images
  • Auction clearance rates across Australia’s capital cities continued to fall last week.
  • Given preliminary estimates tend to be revised lower, there is a chance the final clearance rate for the week could be revised below 40%. In the prior week, Australia’s final clearance rate fell to the lowest level since late 2011.
  • Not one capital city recorded a preliminary clearance rate above 50% last week, pointing to the potential for weakness in prices over the same period.
  • CoreLogic will release updated weekly price data from Australia’s five mainland state capital cities later today.

Auction clearance rates across Australia’s capital cities continued to fall last week, pointing to the possibility the final figure could be revised below 40% as tardy results are received.

According to CoreLogic, Australia’s preliminary combined capitals clearance rate fell to 45.3% in the first full week of December, edging down from 47% in the prior seven day period.

2,614 homes across the country went under the hammer, down from 2,749 a week earlier.

CoreLogic received results from 1,829, equating to a reporting rate of 70%, an improvement on the 67.5% level of late November and early December.

Of those results received, 840 homes sold before, at or after auction while 989 properties were passed in, including 194 that were withdrawn prior to going to market.

Despite the improved reporting rate, given most late results tend to be unsuccessful, there is a possibility the final clearance rate for the week could be revised below 40%, marking a fresh low in the current cycle.

In the previous week, the preliminary clearance rate of 47% was revised down to show a final figure of just 41.3%, the lowest level since late 2011.
One year ago, and despite a significantly larger number of homes going under the hammer, Australia recorded a final clearance rate of 59.5%.

CoreLogic

By type of property, Corelogic said preliminary clearance rates for apartments continued to outperform those for houses, standing at 48.5% and 44% respectively.

Across individual capital city markets, not one recorded a preliminary clearance rate of over 50% last week.

CoreLogic

Sydney’s preliminary figure stood at 48.1%, the highest of any individual capital last week. However that was down from the preliminary estimate of 50.6% seen seven days earlier.

Reporting rates in Sydney were better than a week earlier, albeit still incredibly low. CoreLogic received data from 557 of the 853 auctions that took place in the city, equating to 65.3% of results. That was higher than 58.8% one week earlier, but still points to a sizable downward revision in the days ahead.

In Melbourne, the busiest individual capital city market last week, 46.1% of reported results cleared, up from the preliminary estimate of 45.8% seen in early December.

Reporting levels in the city also improved, lifting to 80.7% from 77.9% week on week.

Across the smaller markets, preliminary clearance rate fell or were unchanged in all markets except for Adelaide.

Given brad weakness across the country last week, it points to the likelihood that price weakness seen in November has continued into December.

CoreLogic will release updated weekly price movements for Australia’s five mainland state capital cities later today.

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