Auction clearance rates starting to slip- Cameron Kusher

Capital cities are seeing the highest auction volumes so far this year. Last week was the busiest week so far this year for capital city auctions, with 3,009 properties taken to auction, increasing from 2,466 over the previous week.

Although auction volumes increased across the capital cities last week, the same cannot be said for the auction clearance rate, which fell slightly over the week, down from a final clearance rate of 69.4 per cent the previous week to a preliminary 68.8 per cent.

It is expected that the next two weeks will be busy across each of the major capital city auction markets in preparation for a slow down around Easter and Anzac Day, with two consecutive long weekends in a row.

To put the ‘slow down’ into perspective, over Easter weekend last year, there were only 547 capital city auctions, down from 2,649 the previous week, and the clearance rate fell from 64.1 per cent the week prior to 58.7 per cent over the Easter weekend.

20140330 Capital citySo far this year, Sydney has consistently been the strongest performing auction market in terms of clearance rates. This week was no different, with the preliminary auction clearance rate for Sydney recorded at 79.5 per cent, up from 76.1 per cent over the previous week.

There were 1,151 auctions held in Sydney this week, the third time this year where auction volumes have been above 1,000 across the city. At the end of last year, Sydney was consistently recording 1,000 plus auctions on a week-to-week basis throughout November and leading up to Christmas.

With the RP Data-Rismark end of month figures out tomorrow, it is fair to say that it has been a strong month across the Sydney property market.

20140330 Sydney

A preliminary clearance rate of 65.9 per cent was recorded across Melbourne this weekend from 1,121 auction results compared to 69.4 per cent recorded last weekend. This is the lowest clearance rate this year, but is consistent with the middle of December last year when there were 1,616 auctions.

Last weekend’s result reflects the high volumes where this month, there has been an average of around 1,060 auctions per week. This is a record high for auction volumes in March and has provided buyers with a very high level of choice.

For this year, there has been 5 weeks so far where more than 1,000 properties have been taken to auction, compared to just 2 weeks at the same time last year.

20140330 Melbourne

Brisbane recorded a rise in auction clearance rates this week, with the preliminary clearance recorded at 45.5 per cent, compared to 37.3 per cent over the previous week.

The number of residential Brisbane properties taken to auction last week was much higher than the previous week and much higher than anything we have seen so far this year.

There were 237 auctions across Brisbane last week, compared to 130 the previous week. So far this year, the average number of properties being taken to auction in Brisbane is around 16 per cent higher than in 2013.

20140330 Brisbane

There were 107 Adelaide properties taken to auction last week, with a preliminary auction clearance rate of 62.9 per cent. Over the previous week, Adelaide’s final auction clearance rate was recorded at 58.8 per cent, with 80 properties taken to auction over the week.

20140330 AdelaideFor the smaller auction markets of Perth, Hobart, Canberra and Darwin, results were mixed over the week. There were 54 auctions held in Perth, with a preliminary clearance rate of 45.0 per cent, 11 auctions held across Hobart with a clearance rate of 25 per cent, 50 Canberra auction with a clearance rate of 60.0 per cent and finally, Darwin had a preliminary clearance rate of 40 per cent, with just 9 auctions held across the city.

RP Data is currently tracking 2,491 capital city properties going to auction for the coming week.

*Melbourne auction commentary provided by Robert Larocca, RP Data’s Victorian Housing Market Specialist




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Cameron Kusher is Corelogic RP Data’s senior research analyst. Cameron has a thorough understanding of the fundamentals such as demographics, trends & economics. Visit

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