Auction markets rally to deliver a great start to 2018

A quarterly analysis produced by CoreLogic on auction market activity showed an increase in the combined capital city auction clearance rate of 64.6 per cent over the March 2018 quarter, up from 62.3 per cent over the December 2017 quarter. 

All cities apart from Perth and Tasmania recorded an increase in auction clearance rates over the quarter; Perth rates dropped -5.0 per cent and Tasmania by -6.4 percent. Quarterly Auction Property

In contrast, Sydney recorded the largest increase, up from 57.7 per cent to 63.6 per cent while Melbourne recorded the highest clearance rate at 68.4 per cent, up from 68.1 per cent the previous quarter, followed by Canberra at 67.9 per cent.

Although the combined capital city clearance rate increased over the March quarter, a comparison to March 2017 showed that the clearance rate fell by 10.2 per cent, while at the same time, auction volumes have increased by 1,460 across the combined capital cities.

The drop in auction volumes over the March quarter was expected given the auction market doesn’t usually pick up until early February.


While clearance rates have increased relative to the December 2017 quarter, clearance rates are well down on a year ago.

This reflects the much tighter lending conditions now in place and the fact that in the two most auction-centric markets (Sydney and Melbourne) dwelling values are now falling.

Although the week ending 25th March recorded the highest auction volumes on record with 3,990 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities.

Melbourne was the busiest auction market with 9,488 homes taken to auction over the quarter, followed by Sydney with 7,755 scheduled auctions.

Across the smaller auction markets, Brisbane was host to the highest volume of auctions over the quarter (1,247), followed by Adelaide (961) and Canberra (808).

Capital key statistics

Capital City Key Statistics

Highest clearance rate for the quarter by capital city suburbs:

Melbourne: Carrum Downs 95.2% (captured results: 21, scheduled auctions: 21, number sold: 20)
Adelaide: Prospect 70.0% (captured results: 20, scheduled auctions: 23, number sold: 14)
Sydney: Northbridge 90.5% (captured results: 21, scheduled auctions: 25, number sold: 19)
Canberra: Watson 81.8% (captured results: 22, scheduled auctions: 22, number sold: 18)
Brisbane: Coorparoo 55.0% (captured results: 20, scheduled auctions: 23, number sold: 11)

Across the non-capital city markets monitored by CoreLogic, Wollongong was the only region to record a fall in the auction clearance rate over the March quarter, while the Hunter region saw the biggest increase in clearance rates when compared to the previous quarter. Sold Auction

Geelong was the best performing region in terms of clearance rates, with 83.3 per cent of auctions recording a successful result, while the Gold Coast recorded the lowest clearance rate this quarter (40.6 per cent), despite being the busiest region in terms of auction volumes (770).

Auction volumes fell across all regions except the Gold Coast, with Geelong host to 261 fewer auctions over the quarter, while Wollongong volumes fell by 196.

The Hunter region saw 159 fewer auctions, while the Sunshine Coast was down 75 auctions.

Auction market review highlights — Capital city auction clearance rate & volume

Sydney 63.6 % (7,755 auctions)
Melbourne 68.4 % (9,488 auctions)
Brisbane 49.0 % (1,247 auctions)
Adelaide 65.7 % (961 auctions)
Perth 34.7 % (374 auctions)
Tasmania 51.0 % (68 auctions)
Canberra 67.9 % (808 auctions)
Combined capitals 64.6 % (20,701 auctions)

Highest number of auctions for the quarter across capital city suburbs:

Melbourne: Reservoir 149
Sydney: Randwick 128
Brisbane: Sunnybank Hills 28
Canberra: Watson & Curtin 22
Adelaide: Prospect 23
Perth: Gosnells 16

Weaker auction clearance rates are anticipated to persist, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, due to tighter lending policies and falling dwelling values.

Regional markets are holding up somewhat better but we would still expect some of the recent strength to abate, particularly in the Hunter and Wollongong regions.



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Cameron Kusher


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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