Australian auction clearance rates held steady last week despite a noticeable increase in the number of properties being put up for sale, providing tentative evidence that sentiment towards the housing market may be slowly starting to improve.
According to preliminary data released by CoreLogic, a national clearance rate of 67.7% was recorded across the capitals, unchanged from the preliminary level reported one week earlier.
“This week… volumes continued to increase with 1,464 homes taken to auction,” CoreLogic said, noting this was close to double the number taken to auction one week earlier.
“Adelaide and Perth were the only cities to see clearance rates fall over the week, while volumes increased everywhere except Adelaide.
“The strongest preliminary clearance rate was recorded in Melbourne (72.5%), followed by Adelaide (68.9%).”
The performance by individual capital cities can be seen in the table below from CoreLogic.
Of note, Sydney — Australia’s largest and most expensive housing market — recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 68.7%, up from 63.1% one week earlier, helping to offset modest declines in preliminary figures for Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Tasmania over the same period.
While a sign that demand may be starting to improve after several months of weakness, the Sydney result comes with the disclaimer that CoreLogic only received results from 374 of the 517 auctions held, pointing to the likelihood that final clearance rates data released later in the week will be revised lower as tardy, often unsuccessful outcomes, are reported to the group.
Nationally, the group received results from 1,139 of the 1,464 auctions held during the week.
In the previous week, the national preliminary figure was revised down from 67.7% to a final reading of 62%.
By type of dwelling, clearance rates for houses slightly outperformed units during the week, recording preliminary figures of 68.5% and 66.3% respectively.
The table below from CoreLogic has all the details for individual capital city markets.
Hot on the heels of this release, CoreLogic will release separate house price data for Australia’s five mainland state capitals later today.
In recent weeks, prices have been flat to lower for most capitals, especially in Sydney.
It will be interesting to see whether the uptick in Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate will deliver a similar outcome for price movements in the city.