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Auction markets steady despite coronavirus

Auction markets across Australia remain strong despite coronavirus concerns, but housing activity could reduce over the coming weeks as the coronavirus outbreak becomes more widespread, according to a property research group.

CoreLogic’s Property Market Indicator Summary for the week ending 15 March stated that while auction clearance rates have edged lower, the final clearance rate across the major auction centres is likely to remain around the high 60 per cent to low 70 per cent range, indicating it continues to remain a seller’s market.

CoreLogic warned that with uncertainty rising and confidence falling as the coronavirus outbreak spreads, there is some downside risk housing activity could reduce, which could impact auction markets over the coming weeks.

“However, based on the early auction results this week, the housing market has proven to be relatively resilient so far,” the summary stated.

Auction markets returned a preliminary clearance rate of 70.6 per cent across 2,200 homes up for sale by auction over the week ending 15 March.


After the remaining results are collected, it is likely that the final auction clearance rate will revise below 70 per cent for the second week in a row.

In comparison, 1,494 auctions were held in the week prior, returning a final clearance rate of 68.6 per cent.

In Melbourne, a preliminary auction clearance rate of 70.1 per cent was recorded across 1,173 auctions in the week ending 15 March, while in the week prior, there were 418 auctions returning a final clearance rate of 66.1 per cent.

In Sydney, there were 749 auctions held in this period, returning a preliminary clearance rate of 74.6 per cent.

In comparison, there were 830 auctions held over the previous week and the final auction clearance rate was 75.2 per cent.


Brisbane recorded a total of 102 auctions over the week ending 15 March, with a 51.7 per cent clearance rate. In the corresponding week last year, there were 104 auctions with a 37.6 per cent clearance rate.

There was a drop in the number of auctions in Adelaide from the week ending 15 March and the corresponding period last year, with 99 total auctions recorded last week, and a clearance rate of 68.4 per cent. There were 105 auctions held in Adelaide in the corresponding period last year, with a clearance rate of 53.3 per cent.

In Canberra there were 57 auctions held last week, with a 69.4 per cent clearance rate. This was a drop from last year’s 74 auctions, with a 49.3 per cent clearance rate.

Meanwhile, Perth recorded the same number of auctions last week and in corresponding period last year, with 28 homes going to auction. Last week, there was a clearance rate of 57.1 per cent, while it was a lower 26.3 per cent last year.

There were 1,875 auctions held in the corresponding period last year, with a 51.4 per cent clearance rate.

[Related: Coronavirus clouding lending outlook: ANZ]

Auction markets steady despite coronavirus

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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

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