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CoreLogic data shows auction clearance rates hit 80 per cent

CoreLogic has released its Quarterly Auction Market Review, today, revealing Australia’s combined capital cities clearance rate reached 80 per cent over the first quarter of 2021.

CoreLogic’s weekly auction clearance rate across the combined capitals has been at or above 80 per cent only five times since 2008, and four of those instances occurred in March 2021. 

The clearance rate for the first quarter represents a big increase on the 69.4 per cent rate recorded in the December 2020 quarter, and the 62.5 per cent rate in the March quarter of last year.

According to the Quarterly Auction Market Review, a total of 19,004 homes were taken to auction across the combined capital cities over the three months to March 2021, compared to 20,489 over the December quarter, and 18,902 over the same period last year.

As previously reported, the week ending March 28, 2021 recorded the highest auction clearance rate on record (83.1 per cent), and was also the busiest week for auctions since late March 2018.

CoreLogic’s Head of Research Australia Eliza Owen said the strength in auction clearance rates through the March quarter corroborated with the rise in demand seen across the market more broadly, as dwelling values in the combined capital cities shot up 5.6 per cent in the quarter

“This was illustrated through the month of March, when the combined capital cities saw a record high clearance rate of 83.1 per cent, against 3840 scheduled auctions,” she said.

Ms Owen said the market has been spurred on by record low mortgage rates, swiftly improving economic conditions, and a sense of scarcity as total listings across the country remain 26 per cent below the five-year average.

“Sub-market performance across Sydney and Melbourne also echoes some interesting housing market trends, such as the desirability of lifestyle markets, which is reflected in especially high clearance rates across the Illawarra (85.1 per cent), the Mornington Peninsula (86.1 per cent), and the Central Coast (86.7 per cent),” she said. 

“The Mornington Peninsula and Central Coast also had among the largest year-on-year increase in the clearance rate, up from 50 per cent and 46.2 per cent respectively.”

Ms Owen said the strongest auction markets reflected a resurgence in demand at the high end of the Sydney dwelling market, including the North West, North Shore and the Northern Beaches regions, which coincided with an 8.8 per cent increase in values in the high end of the Sydney dwelling market through the March quarter.

She also pointed out that smaller, less-traditional auction markets such as Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth had sustained high clearance rates throughout the first three months of 2021.

“In the coming quarters, we might expect auction volumes and clearance rates to ease. As with private treaty listings, auction volumes usually see a seasonal dip through cooler months. Auction clearance rates may also be tested as rising values create affordability constraints,” Ms Owen said.

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