Sydney and Melbourne just had their worst home auction clearance this year

Photo by Ronald C. Modra / Sports Imagery / Getty Images

Sydney and Melbourne home auction clearance rates continue to fall with both cities posting their lowest results for the year last weekend, according to research firm CoreLogic.

The number of successful auctions is a measure of housing demand, and the drop is another indicator of a cooling property market after home values doubled in the two cities over the past eight years and regulatory lending curbs begin to bite.

Melbourne’s clearance rate fell to 73.1% down from 74.2%, CoreLogic said. Sydney recorded a final clearance rate of 71.9% down from 72.7%.

The final auction clearance rates across the capital cities fell for the second week in a row, slipping to 69.8% last week from 71.3% the previous week.

House prices in Australia’s capital cities slipped for the first time in 18 months in May as affordability and tighter lending rules came to the fore.

Combined capital cities home prices fell 1.1% in May, the weakest monthly result since November 2015. Prices nudged up 0.1% in April.

The number of homes being auctioned is also shrinking.

With next Monday a public holiday across most states including New South Wales and Victoria, auction activity will be down with only 1,132 auctions currently being tracked by CoreLogic. That compares with 2,578 last week and 2,885 in the previous week.

Melbourne will see just 329 auctions down from 1,188 last week. In Sydney, 571 homes are going under the hammer, down from 1,019.

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