Federal Election puts a dampener on auctions

With the nation heading to the polls for a Federal Election at the weekend, both the auction volumes and the preliminary clearance rate felt the effect, slumping to the lowest success rate of the year.

CoreLogic reported auction activity was down across all capitals, except Perth, with just 1676 properties going under the hammer in the combined capitals to record a preliminary success rate of 62.9 per cent.

Although auction volumes were down 41.8 per cent on last week, when 2879 auctions were held, this week’s auction activity was still significantly above the volumes seen over the last Federal Election week in May 2019, when 930 properties went under the hammer.

“The combined capitals preliminary clearance rate slipped to its lowest level so far this year, with 62.9 per cent of the 1343 results collected so far returning a positive result,” CoreLogic said.

“This week’s result is down 1.7 percentage points from last week’s preliminary result of 64.6 per cent which was revised to 60.1 per cent at final figures.”

This time last year 75.6 per cent of the 2838 auctions held were successful.


In Melbourne, 709 homes went under the hammer this week – down 45.1 per cent from both the previous week and also this time last year, with 1291 auctions held during both weeks.

With 590 results collected so far, this week’s preliminary clearance rate was 61.9 per cent, overtaking the week prior as Melbourne’s lowest preliminary clearance rate of the year to date.

Last week’s preliminary clearance rate of 64 per cent revised down to 60.5 per cent at final numbers, while 74.9 per cent of auctions held this time last year were successful.


Sydney saw its quietest week since the Easter long weekend, hosting 535 auctions this week.

This volume was down 43.4 per cent from the 946 auctions held the week prior.

“With 449 results collected so far, Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate rose, with 61.7 per cent of auctions reporting a successful result,” CoreLogic said.

This week’s result is up 60 basis points from the week prior when a preliminary clearance rate of 61.1 per cent was recorded, but later revised to 53.8 per cent.

“Despite the small lift in clearance rates, Sydney’s withdrawal rate (21.4 per cent) continued to hover around the 20 per cent mark for the fifth week in a row,” CoreLogic noted.

This time last year, 76.9 per cent of the 1103 auctions held in Sydney were successful.

The smaller capitals

Across the smaller capitals, Canberra reported the highest clearance rate, remaining steady at 76 per cent, followed by Adelaide (68 per cent) and Brisbane (62.9 per cent).

Adelaide was the busiest auction market amongst the smaller capitals this week, taking 196 homes to auction, followed by Brisbane (127) and Canberra (91).

Of the 12 auction results collected in Perth so far, three were successful, while no auctions were held in Tasmania this week.

More than 3000 auctions are scheduled for next week at the moment; the highest level of activity since the week prior to Easter.

Source: CoreLogic

Domain results

Domain has reported a preliminary clearance rate of 63.4 per cent after tracking 1137 auctions across the major capitals this week.

So far, results are in for 756 of those of those auctions, with 479 properties selling (to the value of $415.4 million), while 110 properties were withdrawn.

Last week, the national clearance rate was 58.5 per cent after 2379 auctions took place.

Results were provided for 2068 of those auctions, with 1210 properties selling (to the value of $994 million), while 293 properties were withdrawn.

This time last year, 71.9 per cent of auctions were successful after 2302 properties were taken to auction.

Results were provided for 2227 of those auctions, with 1601 properties selling (to the value of $2238.2 million), while 182 properties were withdrawn.


Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate is currently sitting at 63.9 per cent after Domain tracked 335 auctions in the harbour city this week.

So far, results are in for 208 of those auctions, with 133 properties selling (to the value of $150.8 million), while 49 properties were withdrawn.

Last week, Sydney’s final clearance rate was 54.2 per cent after 815 auctions took place.

Results were provided for 692 of those auctions, with 375 properties selling (to the value of $397.1 million), while 168 properties were withdrawn.

This time last year, Sydney saw 938 properties go to auction, resulting in a final clearance rate of 72.7 per cent.

Results were provided for 896 of those auctions, with 651 properties selling (to the value of $1167.9 million), while 90 properties were withdrawn.


Melbourne had 594 properties go to auction this week, resulting in a preliminary clearance rate of 60.2 per cent.

So far, results are in for 417 of those auctions, with 251 properties selling (to the value of $203.6 million), while 48 properties were withdrawn.

Last week, Melbourne’s final clearance rate was 57.9 per cent after 1166 properties went to auction.

Results were provided for 1040 of those auctions, with 602 properties selling (to the value of $466.6 million), while 105 properties were withdrawn.

This time last year, Melbourne’s clearance rate was 70.9 per cent after 1097 properties went to auction.

Results were provided for 1072 of those auctions, with 760 properties selling (to the value of $883.7 million), while 80 properties were withdrawn.

Ray White results

Election day delivered some huge auction results for the Ray White Group, as scores of bidders showed up to auctions and open homes in between casting their vote at the polling booth.

Although a record number of early votes were cast this election, many still braved the crowds to have a crack at their next property move, with a side of democracy sausage.

Ray White had 239 auctions booked on Saturday and the group reported a 61 per cent preliminary national clearance rate.

Last Federal Election, on May 18, 2019, Ray White scheduled 127 auctions and recorded a 55 per cent clearance rate nationally.

On that day there were 2.8 average registered bidders and 2.1 active bidders on average at a Ray White auction.

In comparison, Saturday delivered 3.8 average registered bidders and 2.7 of them were active.

With the housing market a hot topic for Saturday’s election, Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the best scheme for first home buyers was currently the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme where eligible buyers do not have to pay mortgage insurance to buy with a lower deposit.

“This scheme assists with the deposit but is cleaner in that, provided the first home buyer is able to pay off the loan, it does not require ongoing government involvement through the life of the first home buyer’s ownership of the property,” she said.

“Beyond that, housing supply is critical – long term, if there are enough homes for everyone, then rental rates and house prices are less likely to increase at rates which cause housing distress to buyers and renters.”


Ray White chief auctioneer Alex Pattaro said the election hadn’t stopped buyers, particularly in the prestige markets.

“People have known about the election for a few weeks, so I don’t believe it has had any effect on auctions today,” he said.

“It is evident that the top tier properties are selling well and attracting the high bidder numbers, but properties need to tick all the boxes for the buyers to go their hardest and buy at a premium.

“I am noticing that when a property doesn’t tick every box, buyers are on the fence and are more sensible with their bidding.”


Ray White Victoria chief auctioneer Matt Condon said there was a slight drop in the usual volume of auctions with 92 auctions scheduled for Ray White in Victoria on Saturday but high bidder numbers.

“The stunning weather in Melbourne today combined with the short supply of properties brought the crowds out in force, creating an exceptional auction atmosphere,” Mr Condon said.

“Based on preliminary data, we have seen an increase today in both registered and active bidders. We are also seeing bidding momentum, past the point of the property being called on the market, so we are expecting some fantastic results today,” he said.


Ray White Queensland chief auctioneer Gavin Croft said election day had caused some agents to consider bringing forward or pushing out auctions, however many sellers who proceeded were nicely rewarded.

“Sellers are cognisant of the fact that it is election day, and quite a few opted to accept good offers prior to their auctions today,” Mr Croft said.

“Volume has been slightly down this week, with buyers and sellers showing some composure and caution, however it is looking like a strong week ahead after the election is out of the way.”


Ray White SA/NT chief auctioneer John Morris said bidders were certainly not holding back at auctions this week.

“If this morning’s auctions were anything to go by, the election is not making a mark on the auctions so far in South Australia,” Mr Morris said.

“There has been bidding at 95 per cent of auctions all week, with 6.7 average registered bidders at auction.”

Show More

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”.