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Auction activity continues upward trajectory

Australia’s combined capital cities have recorded their busiest week since before the Easter long weekend, according to CoreLogic.

Over the course of the week ended 27 August 2023, 2,275 homes went under the hammer nationwide, marking the third consecutive week national activity has risen. Despite an 11.7 per cent rise in auction numbers, Australia’s combined capital clearance rate dipped 2 per cent, leading to 72 per cent of the 1,766 results collected so far reporting a positive result.

Driving this slight decline in auction success rate was an increase in the withdrawal rate from 7.3 per cent to 9.9 per cent. According to CoreLogic, this activity suggests vendors may be becoming wearier.

Melbourne was the busiest Australian auction market. The Victorian capital hosted 1,045 auctions, up 24.3 per cent on the previous week’s activity. For the fourth time in six weeks, the city’s preliminary clearance rate fell below 70 per cent after 69.9 per cent of the city’s 854 results collected to this point returned a successful result.


The city’s South-East, where 80.2 per cent of the 129 auctions returned a successful result, was Melbourne’s strongest performing subregion. Conversely, a preliminary clearance rate of 51.6 per cent from 110 auctions marked the city’s West as its poorest performing subregion.

Sydney hosted its second-busiest auction week of the year after 887 homes went under the hammer across the harbour city, up 8.4 per cent on the previous week. Almost three-quarters (74.6 per cent) of the 690 results collected so far have ended successfully, down 2.9 per cent on the previous week.

Despite activity across the smaller capital cities reducing 9.3 per cent this week, the number of auctions in Adelaide jumped 9.5 per cent (127), marking it the busiest of the smaller capitals. Closely following the South Australia capital was Brisbane, where 122 homes went under the hammer, and Canberra (83). Both of these cities reported a volume reduction of 20.3 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively.

Adelaide was the most successful of the smaller capital cities after 88.2 per cent of its auctions ended in a sale, marking the city’s highest preliminary clearance rate since late February. In Brisbane, 70.9 per cent of auctions ended positively, while just over half (54.8 per cent) of the auctions in the national capital returned a successful result.

To date, just one of the 11 auctions held in Perth returned a positive result, while no auctions were held in Tasmania this week.

CoreLogic expects auction activity to rise again over the first week of spring with just over 2,400 capital city auctions scheduled to go under the hammer.

Speaking to Mortgage Business earlier this month, CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said: “Compared to last year, the housing market and selling conditions are looking a little bit better.”

Going into spring, CoreLogic’s outlook for the property market remains optimistic, yet cautious.

Based on the data currently seen, Ms Owen stated it would be “reasonable to expect” a modest uplift in prices and a rise in new listings.

[Related: Housing market showing resilience going into spring: CoreLogic]

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