Australian auction clearance rates are softening but they’re not at a level where prices typically fall

Photo: William West/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Australian auction clearance rates steadied last week, although they remain well below the levels seen earlier in the year.

According to final data from CoreLogic released earlier today, 67.3% of properties that were taken to market sold across Australia’s capitals last week, a slight improvement on the 66.5% level reported previously.

Despite the small lift, it was the fifth consecutive week that the national figure came in below 70%.

The group said that 2,001 properties went under the hammer, down from 2,355 in the previous week.

By capital, Canberra recorded the highest overall clearance rate at 71.4%.

Of the major markets, 70.8% of properties sold, almost unchanged from the previous week. It was a similar story for Sydney where a clearance rate of 68% was reported, down marginally on the 68.2% level of the previous week.

Across the smaller capital cities, clearance rates improved in Brisbane, Perth and Tasmania but weakened in Adelaide.

Source: CoreLogic

While, at 67.3%, clearance rates remain well off the 75% plus levels seen earlier in the year, they still sit at a level that has heralded brisk price growth in the past.

Things are slowing, yes, but in the past national clearance rates in the low 50% region have generally led to flat or even slightly lower home prices.

Currently they’re still well above that level.

Source: UBS

Looking to the week ahead, CoreLogic is currently tracking 1,588 auctions, a decline of more than 400 on a week earlier.

“Sydney is scheduled to host 600 auctions this week, down from 724 last week, while in Melbourne 728 properties are set to go under the hammer, decreasing from the 801 auctions held last week,” said CoreLogic.

“Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will also see a fall in volumes over the week, with Canberra being the only capital city where volumes will rise, while in Tasmania auction activity will remain steady.”

The busiest suburb for auctions this week will be Reservoir in Melbourne where 16 properties will go under the hammer.