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Auction numbers jump 10 per cent each week since September

For the first time in CoreLogic history, the number of auctions scheduled across Australian capital cities has exceeded 4000.  

After delays from the extended lockdowns in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, the spring selling season is going full steam ahead with 4354 capital city homes set to go under the hammer this week.

According to this week’s CoreLogic Property Pulse, the volume of scheduled auctions is set to reach new highs across Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide, marking the busiest auction week for the combined capitals since CoreLogic records commenced in 2008.

A combination of seasonal factors and COVID-19 lockdowns saw the volume of auctions fall through July and August, before hitting a recent floor in early September, when 1423 homes went under the hammer.

Since then, the number of auctions held has risen by about 10 per cent a week, to record a total increase of more than 200 per cent.

Compared to last week, this week’s volume of auctions is set to be up 17 per cent and more than double the number recorded this time last year (2168).

As the volume of auctions has trended higher, the capital city clearance rate has trended downwards from its recent peak of 83.2 per cent in early October, to 70.3 per cent this week.

Despite the recent fall, clearance rates have remained above the combined capitals five-year average of 64.2 per cent since late August.

This time last year 70.6 per cent of the auctions held were successful. Comparing this week’s four-week rolling count of auctions to a lagged four-week count of new listings, auctions are set to account for 43.8 per cent of property listings, up from 32.3 per cent in late September.

Auctions growing in popularity

As a means of selling, auctions are becoming more popular, with the current climate of low listing volumes and strong buyer demand favouring vendors.

In Melbourne, the proportion of properties taken to auction is up 22.7 percentage points compared to this time last year at 58 per cent, while auctions as a proportion of listings in Sydney have risen by 7.1 percentage points to 55.3 per cent.  

The smaller capitals, where auctions have traditionally accounted for a smaller proportion of transactions, have also seen a rise, with the proportion of properties taken to auction doubling in both Adelaide and Brisbane, while Canberra’s auction ratio has risen 18.8 percentage points.

Compared to this time last year, when the portion of auctions as new listings was 29.4 per cent, the number of capital city auctions as a proportion of new listing has increased by 14.4 percentage points.

Figure 1. Combined capital city auction clearance rate and volumes Source: CoreLogic

Melbourne

Traditionally the largest Australian auction market, Melbourne is expected to host the most auctions this week, with 1,898 homes going under the hammer, according to CoreLogic.

Compared to last week, when 1657 auctions took place across Melbourne, this week’s volumes are expected to be up 14.5 per cent and are more than double the number of auctions recorded this time last year.

Despite having the highest number of auctions of any of the capital cities, Melbourne is one of the few capital cities that won’t experience its busiest week of the year, and is instead recording its fourth busiest week on record and busiest week since late March.

With an average auction volume in excess of 1400 for the past eight weeks, Melbourne’s clearance rate has trended downwards, from a recent peak of 85.3 per cent in early October to 67.7 per cent in early November.

Over the past two weeks, the downward trend in clearance rates has stabilised around the high 60 per cent to low 70 per cent range, recording a clearance rate of 68.6 per cent last week. This time last year 69.3 per cent of auctions held were successful.

Sydney

Across Sydney 1656 auctions are currently scheduled, making this week Sydney’s busiest auction week on record.

The volume of auctions across Sydney has trended upwards since COVID-19 restrictions eased in the week ending October 3, growing by about 120 per cent.

Last week, Sydney hosted 1352 auctions, while this time last year 886 homes went under the hammer.

After peaking at 82.8 per cent in the middle of September, when just 661 homes went to auction, Sydney’s clearance rate has weakened to 68.7 per cent last week.

Despite this, Sydney’s clearance rate is still above its five-year average of 66.1 per cent. This time last year 72.5 per cent of homes taken to auction returned a successful result.

Smaller capital cities

Across the smaller capitals, the volume of auctions has surged.

With 800 homes scheduled to go under the hammer, excluding Sydney and Melbourne, this week is expected to be the busiest on record for the combined capital cities.

The upward trend in the number of auctions held has been evident since early September, when 386 auctions were held across the smaller combined capitals.

Adelaide and Canberra are each set to record the highest ever volume of auctions, with 308 and 183 auctions scheduled respectively.

Perth is expecting its busiest week of the year with 47 homes scheduled for auction, while Brisbane is set for its third busiest week of the year behind the week ending 14 November, and the week ending 7 November with 260 auctions planned.

Two homes are scheduled to go to auction across Tasmania this week.

The increase in volumes has seen the combined smaller capitals clearance rate ease, last week recording a clearance rate below 80 per cent for the second week in a row.

Prior to this, the smaller combined capitals maintained a clearance rate above 80 per cent for eight consecutive weeks.

Last week, Adelaide recorded the highest clearance rate with 80.3 per cent of auctions ending successfully, followed by Canberra (78.3 per cent) and Brisbane (77 per cent).

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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is Senior Journalist and Content Producer for Elite Agent.