Low volumes and rate cut speculation isn't having much of an impact on Australia's housing market yet

Leon Neal / AFP / Getty Images
  • Auction clearance rates continue to hover around 50% despite talk of RBA interest rate cuts very few homes going under the hammer.
  • Just 1,552 auctions will take place this week. One year ago, 3,990 were taken to market. The national decline partially reflects that the NSW state election will be held on Saturday.
  • Three weeks into March, home prices have fallen across all mainland state capitals, led by Sydney at 0.7%.

Australian auction clearance rates continue to hover around 50% despite talk of RBA interest rate cuts and fewer properties going under the hammer.

Australia recorded a final combined capitals clearance rate of 51.4% last week, according to data from CoreLogic, down from the initial estimate of 56.1% released on Sunday.

Despite the sizable downward revision, that was still a modest improvement on the 47.8% clearance level of a week earlier. However, the final figure was still well below the 66% level seen in the same corresponding week a year earlier when 3,136 home went under the hammer.

CoreLogic received results from 1,645 of the 1,875 homes that were taken to market last week. Of those, 848 sold while 797 failed to clear.

Sydney recorded the highest clearance rate of any capital city at 54.2%, edging out Adelaide and Melbourne at 53.3% and 52.1% respectively. All other capitals recorded a clearance level of below 50%.

CoreLogic

Reflecting that market conditions are still far weaker than in prior years, only 1,552 homes look set to go to auction across the capitals this weekend. To put that figure into perspective, at this point last year, 3,990 homes went under hammer.

That’s a huge drop, indicating a reluctance from vendors to test market conditions at a time when prices in many capital cities are falling. Of those prepared to list, it’s also clear that many are choosing to sell via private treaty rather than at auction.

Melbourne will host 745 auctions over the week. Sydney has just 465 going under the hammer, in part reflecting the impact of the New South Wales state election. Across the smaller capital cities, volumes will increase in all other markets except for Canberra and Hobart.

Three weeks into March, median home prices have fallen across all of Australia’s mainland state capitals, according to CoreLogic’s hedonic daily series, declining by 0.7%, 0.5%, 0.3%, 0.2% and 0.2% respectively in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

These reflect data from settled transactions in prior weeks. March is typically regarded as being the seasonally strongest month for Australian home price movements.

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