Sydney auction clearance rates hit a decade-low

iStockA storm rolling towards Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
  • Australian auction clearance rates fell to the lowest level since June 2012 last week, albeit on greatly reduced volumes.
  • Just 43.8% of homes in Sydney sold, the weakest result in a decade.
  • Auction volumes will lift substantially across most markets this week, although they still remain well below the levels seen a year ago.

It may have been driven by greatly reduced volumes, meaning perhaps not too much should be read into the result, but Australian auction clearance rates have fallen to the lowest level in more than six years.

According to final results published by CoreLogic, just 45.2% of auctions held across Australia’s capitals cleared last week, the weakest result since June 2012.


Reflecting the impact of the AFL and NRL Grand Finals, as well as a long weekend in both New South Wales and Victoria and the start of school holidays in many parts of the country, just 895 properties went under the hammer, down substantially from 2,404 in the seven days prior.

Despite the reduced volumes, however, the clearance rate was still down from 52.4% in the prior week, and well below the 66.3% level recorded in the same corresponding week a year earlier.

By individual capital, Sydney explained the steep national drop with just 43.8% of the 608 taken to auction selling, a level not seen since December 2008.

Yes, a decade low.

The result was below the 51.1% level recorded in the prior week when 851 homes went under the hammer. It was also more than 20 percentage points lower than the 64.9% clearance rate achieved one year earlier.


Due to the AFL Grand Final being held on Saturday, auction volumes in Melbourne were incredibly weak with only 70 homes put up for sale, down from 1,161 a week earlier.

As many as 57.7% of reported auctions resulted in a sale, up from 53.8% in the prior week but below the 87% level of a year earlier. The greatly reduced volumes mean little should be read into the result.

Across the smaller capital city markets, clearance rates improved in Adelaide and were unchanged in Perth and Hobart.

Looking to the week ahead, auction volumes will lift substantially with 1,725 properties currently expected to go under the hammer.

Much of that reflects a rebound in activity in Melbourne with 860 properties being put up for sale. Sydney, in comparison, is expected to see volumes fall to 584.

While the peak in activity won’t arrive until late Spring, auction volumes continue to sit well below the levels seen a year ago, indicative of just how much market conditions have changed over that period.

In the same corresponding week in 2017, 2,318 auctions took place across the country.

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