Higher interest rates topple late spring auction markets

Capital city auction markets weakened over November with clearance rates falling in all capitals.

Record numbers of late spring auctions continued to push supply towards demand resulting in a typical seasonal moderation in clearance rates.

The usual negative late year seasonal impacts however have clearly been exacerbated by recent increases in mortgage rates that have generally impacted market confidence.

Although capital city clearance rates fell across the board in November, auction prices increased in all capital except Brisbane reflecting the typical elevated mix of higher priced properties sold over late spring.

Record seasonal auction numbers will continue to test capital city markets for the remainder of the year providing more competition amongst sellers and more choice for buyers with continued downward pressure likely on clearance rates.


Sydney auction clearance rates continue to fall sharply and are now well below those recorded over the same month last year.

sydney culture cafe lifestyle people population social friend happyThe November clearance rate of 55.7 percent was again lower than the October result of 60.9 percent and well below the 70.0 percent recorded over November 2014.

The latest Sydney rate is the lowest for the year so far and also the lowest November result since 2010.

Auction clearance rates have fallen sharply since the peak of the market in May this year when an all-time record 83.3 percent rate was recorded.

High listings continue to test the Sydney market with a clear November record average of 971 weekend auctions being reported over the month – above the October weekend listing average of 830 and well ahead of the 927 conducted over November 2014. Average Saturday listings over November were also the highest monthly total on record.

Although clearance rates have again fallen sharply in Sydney over November the median auction price increased by 4.0% to $1,205,000.

This reflects a larger proportion of higher priced properties engaging the market typical of late spring and exacerbated by a sharp decline in buyer activity in outer suburban lower-priced regions.

Sydney auction prices have increased by 20.5 percent over the past year.



Melbourne’s November auction clearance rate of 66.5 percent was well down on the 69.0 percent recorded over October but just above the 65.9 percent recorded over November last year.

view from st kilda melbourne victoria state city live boat bay lifestyleThe November result was again the lowest reported by the local market for the year so far.

Lower clearance rates reflect the impact of record high auction numbers that averaged 1316 per weekend over the month.

Average weekend listing numbers were well ahead of the 900 reported over the previous month and also significantly higher than the 949 averaged over November last year.

Average Saturday listings over November were also the highest monthly total on record for the Melbourne market.

Melbourne’s median auction price increased marginally by 1.1 percent over November to $801,000 and remains 8.2 percent higher than the median recorded over November last year.



Brisbane’s auction clearance rate fell sharply over November to just 38.8 percent compared to the 50.0 percent recorded over October.queensland brisbane city water sky QLD map state capital australia

The local rate is now well below the 43.9 percent recorded over November last year and is the lowest monthly rate reported since June 2014.

Record auction volumes have been a characteristic of the Brisbane market for most of this year with November continuing the trend.

Brisbane averaged 143 auctions per weekend – up again from the 128 averaged over October and also ahead of the 135 averaged over November last year.

November auction numbers were the highest monthly averages on record.

Brisbane’s median auction price also fell sharply over November by 11.3 percent to $634,250 and is now down by 9.4 percent compared to the $700,000 recorded over November last year.



ultimate_adelaide_tour_big_0The Adelaide auction market continues to track backwards with November clearance rates again falling to 56.9 percent compared to the 60.8 percent recorded over October and are now lower than the 57.1 percent recorded over November last year.

Auction volumes in Adelaide increased sharply over November averaging 102 per weekend compared to 66 over the previous month but ahead of the 88 averaged over each weekend of November 2014.

November was a record month for auction activity in Adelaide

Although clearance rates fell sharply over the month, Adelaide recorded a solid increase in the median auction price of 2.0 percent to $602,000.

Adelaide’s median auction price has now increased by 7.5 percent over the past year.



The Canberra home auction market reported a fall over November with the clearance rate down from 66.0 percent over October to 63.8.

Despite the fall the Canberra clearance rate is second only to Melbourne and remains well clear of the 57 percent recorded over November last year.

The November result was also the highest recorded by the local market for that month since November 2009.

Auction volumes also continue to rise in Canberra with 76 listings averaged each weekend over November– up from the 50 average over October and well ahead of the 62 averaged over November last year.

Similar to most other capitals November was a record month for auction activity in Canberra.

Despite a falling clearance rate Canberra’s media auction prices increased by 2.2 percent over November to $700,000.

Auction prices are now 7.7 percent higher than the $650,000 recorded over November last year – an annual rate of growth behind only Sydney and Melbourne of all the capitals.

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Andrew Wilson


Dr Andrew Wilson is Australia’s leading housing market expert. As senior economist for Fairfax-owned Domain Group, Dr Wilson is one of the nation’s most respected real estate analysts and Australia’s highest profile housing market commentator. Visit his blog at Domain

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