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Sydney auction markets strong despite lockdown

Sydney played host to over 1,100 auctions last week despite the prohibition of in-person auctions amid the latest COVID-19-induced lockdown.

CoreLogic’s auctions summary report for the week ending 27 June has revealed that there were 2,976 capital city homes taken to auction over last week, revising down from initial predicted volumes by 2 per cent amid the Sydney coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

Nevertheless, this represented an increase in auction volumes, which resulted in a slightly weaker preliminary auction clearance rate of 77.5 per cent.

Over the previous week, a lower 2,400 auctions were held across the combined capital cities, with a preliminary clearance rate of 77.8 per cent, which later revised down to a final figure of 74.1 per cent.

In Sydney, there were 1,101 homes taken to auction, down 5 per cent from the initial predicted volume as the city’s COVID-19 clusters grew.

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This resulted in the NSW government issuing two-week lockdown orders across greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong from 6pm on Saturday, 26 June.

Among the imposed restrictions, auctions that people attend in person are prohibited, as are open inspections of properties (although inspections may be conducted by private appointment for one person only).

Despite the lockdown and restrictions, only 52 auctions were rescheduled to a later date in Sydney last week, while the NSW capital city returned a preliminary clearance rate of 81.8 per cent, and recorded an auction withdrawal rate of 9 per cent.

This is only slightly higher than the 7 per cent withdrawal rate recorded over the previous week before the lockdown was imposed.

Of the 753 homes that did sell in Sydney, 45.4 per cent reportedly sold prior to auction, which is higher than the number of sold priors recorded in the previous week at final figures (42.9 per cent).

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Melbourne – which has been subject to multiple snap lockdowns in the recent past – had its second busiest auction week of the year last week, with 1,414 homes taken to auction.

The higher volumes returned a preliminary clearance rate of 75.9 per cent, which is higher than the previous week’s preliminary figure of 71.5 per cent, which revised down to 69 per cent at final figures across a lower 788 auctions, CoreLogic data revealed.

Across the smaller markets, Canberra recorded the highest preliminary clearance rate of 87.8 per cent across 109 auctions. However, Brisbane was the busiest last week across the smaller markets, playing host to 177 auctions with a preliminary clearance rate of 57.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, Adelaide recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 78.9 per cent across 148 auctions, while Perth held 25 auctions with a preliminary clearance rate of 68.8 per cent.

Yearly home value growth exceeds 11 per cent

CoreLogic’s Daily Home Value Index has revealed that the combined five capital city home values (excluding Darwin and Perth) surged by 11.4 per cent over the last 12 months and year to date.

Home values increased by 0.1 per cent over the week and 1.4 per cent over the month, the index showed.

New properties listed for sale across the combined capitals increased by 26 per cent across all combined capitals over the past 12 months.

However, total listings were down 12.9 per cent during this period, driven by the impact of the COVID-19-related restrictions imposed last year (which have currently been reimposed in parts of NSW).

Housing finance activity has slumped across Australia, with month-on-month mortgage market activity declining by 15.4 per cent.

Victoria experienced the largest decline in mortgage market activity, down 23.9 per cent month-on-month, followed by Tasmania (down 18.5 per cent), Western Australia (down 16.5 per cent), NSW (down 13.1 per cent), South Australia (down 12.2 per cent) and Queensland (down 9.7 per cent), according to CoreLogic data.

[Related: Sydney auction rate strong despite COVID-19 outbreak]

Sydney auction markets strong despite lockdown
Sydney auction markets strong despite lockdown
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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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