The June quarter saw both auction volumes and the clearance rate drop as many sectors of Australian business were severely impacted by COVID-19, the latest CoreLogic data reveals.
Social distancing measures were increased immediately prior to the June quarter, including a ban on all on-site auctions and inspections.
Coupled with the economic crisis, many property owners withdrew their homes from the market.
The June 2020 quarter saw 13,783 auctions held, down 27 per cent compared to the March quarter (18,902), and 24 per cent from the June quarter last year (18,104).
Of the 11,956 auction results collected over the latest quarter, 31 per cent withdrew, compared to only 6.1 per cent during the March quarter.
The first six weeks of the quarter were the hardest hit, with withdrawal rates of 56 per cent during this period.
“The initial market response to COVID-19 was a severe drop in sales and listings across both auction and private treaty sales methods,” CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said.
“Many vendors who did not have to sell were initially unwilling to take their property to market in a time of high uncertainty. This contributed to a fall in sales volumes of -32.4 per cent over April.
“However, following this initial shock, transaction activity has steadily recovered as social distancing measures eased, and consumer confidence levels experienced a strong recovery in May and June.”
With much of Melbourne now under lock-down, and areas of Sydney looking likely to follow, we could be in for another tough quarter of auctioneering.