Australian residential auction market records busiest period since 2017

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CoreLogic’s Auction Market Review for the June quarter of 2021 shows 31,605 homes were taken to auction across the combined capital cities in the three months to June 2021.

These figures make it the busiest quarter for auctions since the December 2017 quarter when 32,408 capital city auctions were held.

Chart3 6

Quarterly Capital CitiesIn comparison, the March 2021 quarter saw 19,004 homes taken to auction, while unsurprisingly, the June 2020 quarter saw significantly lower auction activity with just 13,783 capital city homes taken to auction amidst tightened COVID-19 social distancing and movement restrictions, including a temporary ban of on-site auctions and in-person property inspections.

Chart3 4

The auction market results through the June quarter reflect strong housing market conditions.

A combined capital city clearance rate of 75.7% sits well above the historic average clearance rate of 63.5%.

“The strong result also coincided with a 6.2% uplift in dwelling values across the combined capitals, well above the previous decade average quarterly growth rate of 1.0%.

“Despite the strong result, there has been an easing in the clearance rate from the March quarter, when 80.0% of properties sold.

This reflects a broader loss of momentum in the Australian housing market, as affordability constraints set in, and March looks to be a peak period of growth for the current cycle.

Auction Highlights

Highlights from the review include auction clearance rates and volumes for Australia’s capital city sub-regions in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Canberra.

Across Sydney 14 of the city’s 15 sub-regions recorded a fall in clearance rates when compared to the previous quarter as volumes increased substantially.

Just four of the 15 sub-regions recorded quarterly clearance rates above 80.0%, compared to 13 in the March quarter.

The slight loss in momentum can be seen at the suburb level.

This is particularly true of Sydney, where the clearance rate has dropped -6.1 percentage points in the quarter.

The March quarter saw 100% of auctions cleared across higher-priced, popular suburbs such as Coogee, Glebe, and Cherrybrook in Sydney, where clearance rates have eased through the June quarter.

There were, however, two Sydney suburbs that still achieved a clearance rate of 100%.Sydney 1Sydney 2

Sydney was host to 12,780 auctions over the quarter, up from 7,043 over the previous quarter and 6,372 over the June 2020 quarter.

All nine sub-regions of Melbourne saw a substantial increase in auction volumes when compared to both the previous quarter and one year ago.

Melbourne 1Melbourne 2

The city’s Inner region was the busiest, recording 2,614 auctions in the three months to June, followed by the Inner South (1,865), and the North East (1,725).

In terms of auction volumes, 13,693 dwellings went to auction across the city over the three months to June, up from 9,065 compared to the March quarter and 5,369 on the same quarter in 2020.

Brisbane’s auction figures showed of the 1,896 properties that went under the hammer during the quarter, 69.6% sold with the inner east suburb of Camp Hill the busiest of all areas recording 38 auctions for the period.

The highest clearance rate over the quarter was recorded in Canberra, where 88.3% of properties were sold under auction conditions.Chart3 3

CoreLogic’s weekly auction data has shown Canberra as having the highest capital city clearance rate for 21 of the 24 weeks analysed through 2021 so far.

High demand for housing in Canberra has stemmed from a relatively tight labour market and containment of COVID-19, against a backdrop of low mortgage rates and relatively low listings volumes.

“Owner-occupiers remain highly active across the market, with ABS housing finance data pointing to secured finance for purchases sitting 93.5% above the decade average.”

A full city-by-city suburb analysis, where at least 20 auction results were reported over the quarter, can be found in the report.

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About

Eliza is head Of Residential Research Australia for Corelogic and a respected property market commentator. Eliza holds a first class honours degree in economics from the University of Sydney


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