Auction activity cooled again on the weekend in Australia’s major housing markets, after a brief rebound in the previous week.
Preliminary data from CoreLogic shows the Sydney auction clearance rate at 62.4% (down from 66.2%) and Melbourne at 66.0% (down from 69.0%).
It left the weighted average across Australia’s capital cities at 63.5% for 3,276 auctions.
Preliminary data is typically revised lower when final figures are released later in the week.
For the week beginning November 19, preliminary clearance rates in the Sydney market fell to 61.5% which resulted in final clearance rate of 54.8% — the lowest level since early 2016.
While inclement weather may have had an impact in Melbourne, the 66% preliminary clearance rate was only slightly above the previous week’s final figure, which does not bode well.
“This is likely to revise lower as final results are collected and potentially surpass last week as the lowest seen since June 2016,” CoreLogic said.
For the week ended 3 December, house prices were flat across the country, consistent with growth for the month of November.
The recent decline in Sydney evident this week with final clearance rates in the city likely to dip back below 60% — a level historically associated with house price declines.
Across the notable moves in other capitals, clearance rates in Brisbane continue to show more volatility, falling back to 44.9% (down from 57.6% in the week prior).
Clearance rates in Perth rose to 47.6% (up from 38.9%) as the total number of Perth auctions rose to 50 from 43 in the week prior.
At the same time, stock levels and selling times are falling in the west, which prompted CoreLogic’s Head of Research Tim Lawless to note on Friday that “there’s mounting evidence the Perth housing market may finally have bottomed out”.
Auction activity in Adelaide and Canberra was at similar levels to the previous week.