Property research group CoreLogic’s auctions data for the week ending 21 March showed that there were 2,731 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities last week.
According to CoreLogic, this represented the busiest auction week since the first week of April 2020, when 3,209 capital city homes were taken to auction.
Despite the higher volumes, the preliminary clearance rate held relatively firm at 82.0 per cent but was down slightly from the previous week’s preliminary clearance rate of 83.2 per cent, which revised down to 80.0 per cent at final figures across 2,218 auctions that were held across the combined capital cities.
Over the same week last year (when the early negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis were beginning to manifest), there was a final clearance rate of 56.9 per cent across the combined capitals across 2,599 homes taken to auction.
Severe wet weather could not dampen auctions activity in Sydney, with the NSW capital holding 1,048 auctions, an increase from 806 the previous week and 946 this time last year. The city recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 87.5 per cent last week despite the severe weather, similar to the previous week’s preliminary success rate of 87.4 per cent, which revised down to 84.3 per cent at final figures.
Commenting on the Sydney figures, CoreLogic said: “Sydney’s final auction clearance rate has held above 80 per cent for the past six weeks, and this week is likely to be no different once final results are collected.”
This time last year, Sydney reported an auction success rate of 58.8 per cent, according to the data.
In Melbourne, there were 1,319 auctions held over last week, with a preliminary success rate of 78.9 per cent. In the previous week, there were 1,102 homes taken to auction in the Victorian capital, with a final clearance rate of 77.6 per cent, while this time last year there were 1,343 auctions held with a success rate of 58.4 per cent.
Across the smaller capital cities, only Canberra returned a preliminary clearance rate of over 80.0 per cent, recording 85.1 per cent across 96 auctions.
Adelaide held 92 auctions and recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 77.5 per cent, while Brisbane recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 73.0 per cent across 151 auctions.
Meanwhile, Perth held only 23 auctions, and recorded a preliminary success rate of 71.4 per cent.
Across the capital city properties listed for sale, Sydney registered a 7.3 per cent drop in the number of new listings over the past 12 months with 7,623 new listings, while Melbourne recorded a 15.6 per cent surge with 9,416 new listings, CoreLogic figures showed.
Across the combined capital cities, there was a 7.8 per cent rise in the number of new properties listed for sale over the last 12 months, but the total number of listings plummeted by 17.7 per cent across the combined capitals.
Demand for housing finance has remained strong, with mortgage market activity registering a national month-on-month spike of 16.9 per cent, according to the CoreLogic data.
NSW led the month-on-month increase, recording a 23.6 per cent surge, followed by Queensland (15.4 per cent), Victoria (14.8 per cent), Western Australia (13.2 per cent) and Tasmania (10.9 per cent), while South Australia only recorded a 2.5 per cent rise in activity.
House prices have continued to rise, with CoreLogic figures showing a weekly 0.7 per cent rise in prices across the combined five capitals (excluding Darwin and Hobart), while there has been a 2.7 per cent monthly rise, 4.7 per cent year-to-date rise, and a 3.6 per cent increase in prices over the last 12 months.
[Related: Auction volumes second-highest year-to-date]
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.