Clearance rates softening: RP Data's national auction market wrap

Clearance rates softening: RP Data's national auction market wrap
Clearance rates softening: RP Data's national auction market wrap

After two subdued weeks for auctions, the number of auctions held across the combined capital cities increased this week, with 2,033 capital city properties taken to auction, compared to just 881 over the previous week.

The preliminary clearance rate for last week was recorded at 66.3%, having increased from 64.6% the previous week. After an unseasonably strong start to the year, auction clearance rates are showing signs of softening, albeit only by a very small amount.

One year ago, there were 1,749 capital city properties taken to auction and the auction clearance rate was recorded at 67.7%. This is the first time so far this year where the current clearance rate has underperformed when compared to the same time one year ago.

20140504 Capital city

In Sydney last week, 817 auctions were scheduled and the preliminary clearance rate was recorded at 75.7%, up from 71.3% over the previous week when the auction market was much quieter, with 361 Sydney properties taken to auction.

So far this year, Sydney has been the strongest performing auction market in terms of clearance rates and has continuously been stronger when compared to the same week last year, however, this gap is beginning to close, with the current clearance rate more reflective of the clearance rates seen across the city at the same time last year when the market was beginning to strengthen.

20140504 Sydney

A preliminary clearance rate of 63.7% was recorded last week in Melbourne from 691 auction results with a total of 878 auctions scheduled across the city.  At the same time last year, a clearance rate of 70.4% was recorded from 822 auctions. The total number of auction results will rise to exceed the total from last year but the clearance rate will not.

Auction demand for last week matched last month when a clearance rate of 62.3% was recorded. Overall results for April were lower than the 69.4% recorded in March.

20140504 Melbourne

Much like Melbourne and Sydney, Brisbane recorded an increase in auction volumes last week, with 141 properties taken to auction across the city. The preliminary auction clearance rate for these properties was recorded at 42.5%, down from 49.2% the previous week across just 66 auctions. At the same time last year the Brisbane clearance rate was recorded at 45.1% with 153 properties auctioned over the week.

20140504 Brisbane

Last week, 98 Adelaide properties were taken to auction, up from 51 over the previous week. Similar to auction volumes, the auction clearance rate increased over the week from 64.4% to 65.6%. At the same time last year, conditions across the auction market were weaker with 92 auctions and a 56.4% clearance rate.

20140504 Adelaide

If we take a quick look around Australia’s other capital cities and regions performance was varied, much like it is most weeks.

In Canberra there were 45 auctions with a clearance rate of 60%, in Perth 40 properties were auctioned and the clearance rate was recorded at 50%, while across the Northern Territory, 11 residential properties were taken to auction and the preliminary clearance rate was recorded at 37.5%.

Across Tasmania 14 properties were taken to auction over the week, but at this point RP Data has only collected five results, with no successful sales.

Currently, RP Data is tracking 1,376 capital city auctions over the coming week.

Melbourne auction commentary provided by Robert Larocca, RP Data’s Victorian housing market specialist.

Shana Miller

Shana Miller

Shana Miller is a research analyst with RP Data.

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National Auctions Shana Miller

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