Australian auction clearance rates edged higher last week

Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty ImagesMelbourne’s preliminary clearance rate rose last week.
  • Australian auction clearance rates rose slightly last week, helped by a bounce in Melbourne, the nation’s busiest auction market.
  • Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate remained weak, falling to 55.3%.
  • Across the smaller capital city markets, preliminary clearance rates fell in Brisbane and Adelaide but rose in Perth and Canberra.

Australian auction clearance rates rose slightly last week, helped by a bounce in Melbourne, the nation’s busiest auction market.

According to CoreLogic, a preliminary combined capital city clearance rate of 58.7% was recorded, up from 56.9% one week earlier.

In the same corresponding week a year earlier, a final clearance rate of 66.5% was recorded.

CoreLogic

The modest improvement may have been helped by a small decrease in auction volumes, falling to 1,842 from 2,002 in the previous week.

The group received results from 1,444 of the auctions held. Within that total, 853 sold prior, at or after auction while 591 properties failed to clear.

CoreLogic said 477 properties were passed in at auction. 114 were withdrawn from the market prior to going to auction.

Despite a large number of unreported results — some 398 auctions — the modest improvement in the preliminary clearance rate hints the final figure released on Thursday may come in above the final 52.4% level reported in the previous week.

Clearance rates tend to be revised lower as late, often unsuccessful results, are reported to the group.

Final clearance rates have fallen for six consecutive weeks, leaving the national combined capitals figure at the lowest level since 2012.

As has been the case for several months, the apartment market fared better than for houses, recording preliminary clearance rates of 60.6% and 57.8% respectively for the week.

CoreLogic

Helping to explain the headline improvement, Melbourne’s clearance rate rose modestly, helping to offset another soft result from Sydney.

Melbourne was host to 946 auctions returning a preliminary clearance rate of 62.3% compared to last week when 56.2% of the 992 auctions were successful,” CoreLogis said.

In the prior week, Melbourne recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 58.7%.

Despite the modest improvement over the week, clearance rates in the city still remain well below the 70.7% level seen one year ago.

The bounce in Melbourne helped to mask continued weakness in Sydney, Australia’s largest and most expensive housing market.

A preliminary clearance rate of 55.3% was reported last week, down fractionally on the 55.8% level seen one week earlier.

CoreLogic only received results from 491 of the 701 auctions held in the city, suggesting that Sydney’s final clearance rate could fall below 50% once again.

In the prior week, Sydney returned a final clearance rate of 49.4%.

Across the smaller capital city markets, preliminary clearance rates fell in Brisbane and Adelaide but rose in Perth and Canberra.

Brisbane and Adelaide prices have risen modestly so far this year, bucking the trend seen in other southeastern mainland capitals.

Markets will get further information on prices today with CoreLogic set to release updated data for Australia’s five mainland state capitals.

In contrast to Brisbane and Adelaide, prices have fallen in Sydney and Melbourne this year, dragging the national average into negative territory in average weighted terms.

Prices have also fallen in Perth, although the pace of decline appears to be slowing.

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