Clearance rate steady despite lockdowns in the largest auction markets

The combined preliminary clearance rate has remained relatively steady week-on-week, despite lockdowns in two of the country’s largest auction markets.

CoreLogic reported 2169 capital city homes were taken to auction over the week, and of the 1755 results reported so far, 76.3 per cent were successful.

This was similar to the previous week which saw 2104 homes taken to auction across the combined capitals, returning a preliminary auction clearance rate of 76.4 per cent.

This later which revised down to 73.7 per cent by final collection on Wednesday.


There were 1017 auctions held across Melbourne this week, which was down from the 1198 originally scheduled.

Over the previous week, 1076 homes were taken to auction, while this time last year, 500 auctions were held across the city.

Of the 805 results collected so far, 76.4 per cent were successful, up from the previous week when a preliminary clearance rate of 75.3 per cent was recorded.

This later revised down to 71.2 per cent at final figures.

Of the 615 sold results reported across Melbourne so far, 42.1 per cent were sold prior to auction.

With the city in lockdown, the withdrawal rate increased week-on-week across the city with 17.5 per cent of the 805 results reported as withdrawn, compared to 7 per cent over the previous week.


Sydney saw 786 properties taken to auction, down 8.5 per cent from the initial predicted count as the city remains in lockdown.

Of the 681 results collected so far, 77.1 per cent were successful, while 18.6 per cent have been withdrawn.

Of the 525 sold results, 64.2 per cent were sold prior to the scheduled auction date.

Last week, 650 Sydney homes were taken to auction, returning a final auction clearance rate of 74.3 per cent.

The smaller capitals

Adelaide was the best performing capital city auction market this week with a preliminary auction clearance rate of 83.1 per cent. Brisbane was the busiest of the smaller capital cities with 160 auctions held.

Domain results

Despite restrictions in multiple states, Domain has reported a preliminary clearance rate of 71.9 per cent after 2179 properties were taken to auction.

So far, results are in for 1422 of those auctions, with 1022 properties welling (to the value of $860.7 million), while the withdrawal rate was higher with 318 properties pulled from auction.

Last week, Domain reported a final national clearance rate of 73.8 per cent after 2022 properties were taken to auction.

Results were provided for 1603 of those auctions, with 1183 properties selling (to the value of $958.6 million), while 236 properties were withdrawn.

This time last year the volume and clearance rate were significantly lower. Only 1013 properties were listed for auction and the clearance rate was 53 per cent.

Results were provided for 936 of those auctions, with 496 properties selling (to the value of $561.6 million), while 279 properties were withdrawn.


Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate has come in at 75.2 per cent after 872 properties were taken to auction.

So far, results are in for 576 of those auctions, with 433 properties selling (to the value of $439 million), while 122 properties were withdrawn.

Last week, Sydney’s final clearance rate settled at 73.4 per cent after a lower volume of 790 properties were taken to auction.

Results were provided for 548 of those auctions, with 402 properties selling (to the value of $387.3 million), while 120 properties were withdrawn.

This time last year, Sydney’s clearance rate was 62.7 per cent after 455 properties were taken to auction.

Results were provided for 416 of those auctions, with 261 properties selling (to the value of $372.1 million), while 78 properties were withdrawn.


In contrast to CoreLogic’s results, Domain’s preliminary date indicates Melbourne bore the brunt of this week’s COVID-19 restrictions, with the preliminary clearance rate coming in at 67.2 per cent after 1061 properties were taken to auction.

So far, results are in for 680 of those auctions, with 457 properties selling (to the value of $326.9 million), while 186 properties were withdrawn.

Last week, Melbourne’s final clearance rate was 72.7 per cent after 981 properties were taken to auction.

Results were provided for 843 of those auctions, with 613 properties selling (to the value of $462 million) while 94 properties were withdrawn.

This time last year, Melbourne’s clearance rate was just 43.4 per cent after only 464 properties were taken to auction. Results were provided for 433 of those auctions, with 188 properties selling (to the value of $151.9 million), while 194 properties were withdrawn.

Ray White results

Despite the lockdowns and tightening restrictions across Australia, the Ray White Group recorded a national clearance of 80 per cent, maintaining its streak of more than 80 per cent since the start of the year.

The group had 400 auctions booked nationally on Saturday, and only 15 per cent had sold prior while the rest sold under the hammer, with Melbourne the standout market with a whopping 89 per cent preliminary clearance despite the snap lockdown until Wednesday.

The group noted their members are well versed and practised at hosting online auctions and conducting virtual inspections and its members adapted with ease to the latest lockdown.

Ray White Managing Director Dan White said the Sydney real estate industry as a whole was very fortunate to still be able to operate in a very limited manner amid tightening restrictions.

“In Sydney, our front doors are locked to the public, and we are now working remotely outside of office premises unless there is a genuine reason to be in the office,” Mr White said.

“Our members are highly experienced at virtual property tours, one-to-one inspections, and online auctions where the auctioneer will call for bids from bidders watching on their computers.

“Routine inspections by our property managers are now digital, and all other critical work to maintain properties will observe physical distancing and recommended hygiene measures,” Mr White said.

“We do have many clients that need to move properties for fundamental reasons – be it illness, divorce or other hardships like unemployment. Some have sold properties and are yet to buy their next home, some have bought a new home but haven’t sold their current property.

“We will be constantly reviewing how we operate to ensure we meet or exceed changing government and community standards. There will be no shortcuts.’

New South Wales

Highly regarded auctioneer James Keenan of Ray White Double Bay sold three from three on Saturday, and he can boast a 100 per cent lockdown auction success rate.

“All of mine that I have called during this lockdown are selling well above reserve. It’s still a great time to sell as stock levels are very low of late. I hear some agents at other groups are telling sellers to wait to go to market but honestly there’s no reason to wait, go now, as we don’t know what we’ll face in two weeks,” he said.

“We had more than 100 people watching online on Thursday night. People love to look at property, it’s not called real estate porn for no reason and our online views of property go into overdrive during lockdown.”


While Victoria was plunged into its fifth lockdown since the start of the pandemic, once again the real estate market remained resilient as vendors and buyers moved online.

Ray White Victoria and Tasmania CEO Stephen Dullens explained that, once again, customers were ready to adjust to ensure the red-hot market could continue undeterred.

“Despite being the shortest amount of time between a lockdown being announced and a weekend full of auctions, our customers and agents have done a fantastic job to once again adjust and move auctions online this weekend.

“While physical auctions and inspections were once again paused, across Victoria we’ve called well over 100 auctions online today. Recording a preliminary clearance rate above 90 per cent shows, once again, the underlying strength in the property market across both Melbourne and regional Victoria. Despite the challenges and disruption, it has been fantastic to continue to assist our customers,” Mr Dullens said.


Ray White Queensland Chief Auctioneer Gavin Croft said it had been a very strong week across the network.

“In the last 48 hours, we’ve had Ray White Tugan | Elanora’s in rooms where they had five going up for the evening and a 100 per cent clearance rate. There was a very impressive 40+ registered bidders across the evening,” Mr Croft said.

“Today’s on-site auctions have been similarly impressive with 73 Chelford Street, Alderley selling under the hammer with agent Janine McDonald attracting a range of buyers and in a very hotly contested auction with buyers agents and new home owners as well as investors in the mix.”

South Australia

Ray White South Australia Chief Auctioneer John Morris said it had been a cracking day in Adelaide on Saturday.

“The news this week that Adelaide is Australia’s top auction market by way of clearance and bidders in July comes as no surprise to me as I’m living through it day by day, week by week and this Saturday was no different,” Mr Morris said.

“July is shaping up to be an absolutely incredible month for auctions in and around the state.

“My average bidders per auction today has been at 13, which is just continuing on from strength to strength.

“I can’t see that going away anytime soon.

“I’ve sold almost everything under the hammer, and there is just one more that is in negotiation, but it’s looking so close that will be 100 per cent by the close.

“I cannot see this market changing throughout July, even definitely into August as I am booked out for many, many weeks ahead.”

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.