Auction volumes hit an 18-month high as confidence returns

Spring selling season has seen a surge in the number of vendors taking their properties to auction as confidence comes back to the market.

Domain’s latest Auction Report October 2023 shows that auction volumes have now hit an 18-month high across the combined capitals (9798) and an 11-month high across the combined regionals (1443).

Across the capital city markets, Melbourne has seen the biggest uptick in vendors looking to sell, with volumes hitting an 18-month high.

Adelaide has seen the highest volumes in 11 months, while Canberra is sitting at an eight-month high.

Domain’s Chief of Research and Economics, Dr Nicola Powell said the increasing auction volumes signal that vendor confidence has continued to climb as the spring selling season reaches its peak.

“The lift in auction listings is driven by prices close to new records and improved property market conditions, motivating sellers to list,” Dr Powell said.

“However, the recent performance of clearance rates seems to indicate a more balanced market. November is likely to see a bumper volume of auctions and be the final test for 2023 – helping to set the scene for 2024’s autumn selling season.”

Source: Domain

The high volumes are also causing auction clearance rates to trend downward across both the combined capitals and the combined regionals.

While remaining higher annually, clearance rates have eased for the fourth consecutive month. 

The capital cities broadly followed the downward trend, apart from Melbourne, which reached 64 per cent. 

Sydney’s clearance rate was 66.3 per cent, while Brisbane’s was the weakest of the capital cities at 44.7 per cent, but the pace of decline has slowed. 

Adelaide (67.3 per cent) continued its reign as the best-performing capital city in October but has fallen below 70 per cent. 

Canberra’s clearance rate (50.3 per cent) decreased in October – the fourth month in a row of a decline. 

Dr Powell said the higher auction listings have weighed on clearance rates, as choice eases buyer competition and dissipates the sense of urgency that was evident earlier in the year. 

“While it is the weakest result since March, it is the strongest run of clearance rates since November 2021,” she said.

“Across the combined regionals, it is the weakest result this year but remains marginally stronger than most of 2022. 

“This aligns with the almost full recovery of Australia’s housing market.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.