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Clearance rate jumps to two-month high

Auction clearance rates rose and withdrawal rates fell, while a lift on auction bans is expected to lift confidence.

Auction clearance rates across the capital cities have bounced back above 60 per cent for the first time since March, but it was across lower auction volumes, according to CoreLogic.

The property research group revealed that the preliminary auction clearance rate was at 64.5 per cent for the week ending 10 May.

However, the higher clearance rate was across a lower volume of auctions over the week with 473 scheduled, down on the 612 auctions over the week prior when a preliminary clearance rate of 59.6 per cent was recorded, later revising down by final result to 47.5 per cent.

Withdrawal rates decreased, too, which has contributed significantly to the improvement in clearance rates.

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Of the 333 results collected this week, 22 per cent returned a withdrawal result, well below the withdrawal rate of 56 per cent recorded a few weeks ago when a much larger number of auctions were scheduled to proceed.

However, there has been a recent trend towards a higher proportion of homes selling “at” auction rather than prior to the event.

This implied that vendors are becoming more willing to test the market under auction conditions, CoreLogic said in its weekly summary.

Looking forward, there would likely be a lift in confidence and volumes over coming weeks as various states announce a removal of auction and inspection bans, and broader social distancing rules ease, according to CoreLogic.

Last week, the NSW government announced that bans on on-site auctions and inspections that were imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic would now be lifted.

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Western Australia has also lifted the ban, along with South Australia and Queensland.

Home loan activity stabilises

Demand for housing finance has stabilised for the week ending 10 May, after it was revealed last week that home loan activity had fallen nationally by 16.5 per cent month-on-month for the week ending 3 May.

Home loan activity fell nationally by 4.2 per cent for the week ending 10 May, reflecting the bounce in clearance rates and the lift on auction and property inspection bans across states.

Tasmania continued to record the sharpest decline in mortgage activity of 25.8 per cent, but rose from the 39.4 per cent decline it recorded for the prior week.

Victoria recovered from its 29.3 per cent decline in the previous week, recording only a 3.9 per cent decline month-on-month for the week of 3 May.

Queensland figures also improved from 25.3 per cent to 13.6 per cent, while NSW recorded only a 2.8 per cent decline, compared with 16.9 per cent the previous week.

Western Australia was the only state to post positive figures last week, recording a gain of 7.9 per cent, compared with the 12.5 per cent decline it had posted the week prior.

[Related: Mortgage activity sinks 16.5 per cent]

Clearance rate jumps to two-month high
Clearance rate
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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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