National auction clearance rates are below 60% for the first time in two years

William West / AFP / Getty Images

Auction clearance rates across the country hit a two-year low last week, amid reduced activity in Australia’s cooling housing market.

After preliminary clearance rates fell to 63.1% on Monday, data from CoreLogic showed the final figure came in yesterday at 59.5% — the first reading below 60% since late 2015 / early 2016.

“There were a total of 3,371 auctions held across the cities, increasing on the 3,291 auctions over the week prior when 60.3 per cent cleared,” CoreLogic said.

Those numbers were down noticeably from the same time a year ago, when 71.6% of auctions cleared across of volume of 3,432.

The recent slowdown in Sydney’s market was reflected in a final clearance rate of just 52.0% after preliminary clearance rates fell below 60% earlier this week.

The final clearance rate was down from 56.2% in the week prior, despite a lower number of auctions. It was the lowest clearance rate since the first auction week of 2016.

“Prior to that, you would have to go back to December 2012 to see clearance rates so low,” CoreLogic said.

The final clearance rate in Melbourne of 65.4% was the lowest since June 2016, however the result was achieved with higher auction volume, as total auctions hit the second highest level of the year at 1,833 — up from 1,647 the previous week.

Across the small capital cities, final clearance rates picked up last week in Adelaide and Brisbane, but fell in Canberra, Perth and Tasmania.

Yesterday’s final clearance rates followed weekly price data by CoreLogic on Monday, which reflected the recent downward trend in Australia’ls major housing markets as Melbourne prices start to follow the Sydney market lower.

Looking ahead, it’s a much quiter weekend of activity scheduled coming into the end of the year.

“In Sydney, there are 664 scheduled auctions this week, decreasing from the 1,007 auctions held last week,” CoreLogic said.

“Volumes are also expected to fall across the smaller capital cities this week, with the exception of Canberra where the number of scheduled auctions is slightly higher.”

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