Melbourne withdrawals weigh heavily on auction clearance rate

Scheduled auction volumes might have increased this week, but with 64.3 per cent of all Melbourne auctions withdrawn, the preliminary clearance rate has slumped to its lowest level since late April last year.

This week CoreLogic reported there were 2245 homes slated for auction across the combined capital cities. This was an increase on the 1764 auctions the previous week and 1128 this time last year.

Of the 1683 results collected so far, 55.4 per cent were successful.

In comparison, the previous week’s final clearance rate came in at 64.3 per cent, while this time last year, 59.8 per cent of reported auctions were successful.


There were 1185 auctions held across Melbourne this week, down from the 1284 originally scheduled with this number likely to revise lower again over the next few days as collection of results is finalised.

Last week, 876 homes were taken to auction, while there were 162 auctions held this time last year.

Of the 819 results collected so far, 64.3 per cent were withdrawn, once again weighing heavily on the preliminary clearance rate which came in at just 34.7 per cent.

In comparison, 48 per cent of auctions were withdrawn over the previous week and a final auction clearance rate of 49.1 per cent was recorded.


In Sydney, 598 properties were taken to auction this week, up from the previous week (514), although lower than this time last year (706).

Of the 509 results collected so far, 82.7 per cent were successful, and of the 421 sold results, 57.2 per cent were sold prior to the scheduled auction date.

Last week, Sydney’s preliminary auction clearance rate was slightly lower (81.7 per cent), revising down to 78.5 per cent at final figures.

The smaller markets

Across the smaller auction markets, Adelaide was the best performing again this week with a preliminary auction clearance rate of 81.3 per cent.

Brisbane recorded a preliminary auction clearance rate of 71.8 per cent, while Canberra, where lockdown restrictions are still in place, saw 63.2 per cent of reported auctions record a successful result.

In Perth, 72.7 per cent of auctions were successful, although noting this was across just 11 results.

Domain results

Domain has the preliminary clearance rate sitting at 57.5 per cent after 2202 properties were slated for auction this weekend.

So far, results are in for 1195 of those auctions, with 687 properties selling (to the value of $562.2 million), while 464 properties were withdrawn.

Last week, the clearance rate was 62.2 per cent after 1947 properties were listed for auction. Results were provided for 1311 of those auctions with 816 properties selling (to the value of $706.8 million), while 435 properties were withdrawn.

This time last year, the clearance rate was 60 per cent after 705 properties were taken to auction.

Results were provided for 680 of those auctions, with 408 properties selling (to the value of $509.3 million), while 117 properties were withdrawn.


Sydney’s clearance rate continues to remain high, with the preliminary success rate at 81.6 per cent this weekend after 488 properties were taken to auction.

Results have so far been provided for 392 of those auctions, with 320 properties selling (to the value of $340.5 million), while 54 properties were withdrawn.

Last week, Sydney’s clearance rate was 81.9 per cent after 415 properties were taken to auction. Results were provided for 371 f those auctions, with 304 properties selling (to the value of $368.9 million), while 49 properties were withdrawn.

This time last year, Sydney’s clearance rate was a lower 62.6 per cent after 489 properties were taken to auction.

Results were provided for 462 of those auctions, with 289 properties selling (to the value of $411.9 million), while 62 properties were withdrawn.


Melbourne appears to have cleared just over a third of auctions this weekend, with 1427 scheduled auctions resulting in a preliminary clearance rate of 36.7 per cent.

So far, results have been provided for 627 of those auctions, with 230 properties selling (to the value of $124.8 million), while 390 properties have been withdrawn.

Last week, Melbourne’s clearance rate settled at 47.4 per cent after 1273 properties were taken to auction.

Results were provided for 736 of those auctions, with 349 properties selling (to the value of $226.9 million), while 373 properties were withdrawn.

This time last year, Melbourne’s clearance rate was 36.7 per cent after around 79 properties were taken to auction.

Results indicated 29 of those sold (to the value of $27.4 million), while 44 were withdrawn.

Ray White results

The Ray White Group reported buyers, sellers, agents and auctioneers across the country were rewarded with outstanding results under the hammer this weekend, despite two major cities still operating under strict lockdown conditions.

The group recorded a preliminary auction day clearance rate of 83 per cent across the country, with the standout city being Melbourne at 97 per cent and Sydney not far behind at 95 per cent.

Of the 350 scheduled auctions for Saturday, 103 proceeded to auction day, 59 sold prior and the remainder postponed to a later date.

“The most notable trend since the start of the health pandemic has been the huge number of registered bidders per auction, with an average of nine registered bidders at today’s auctions,” the Ray White Group said.

According to Ray White’s auction data there were an average of 6.8 registered bidders at all its auctions in August, double that of 3.4 in March 2020.

“This trend highlights the extremely tight amount of stock currently on the market, outnumbered by the masses of buyers.

“Ray White’s state CEOs and auctioneers have one clear message to potential vendors; list your property now and take advantage of hungry buyers and low interest rates.”

New South Wales

Ray White New South Wales Chief Auctioneer Alex Pattaro said Saturday was yet another sign of insatiable buyer demand in a market short on stock.

“We are seeing under the hammer prices smash vendor dream figures,” Mr Pattaro said.

“Online audiences are continuing to grow, with an average of 40 attendees, many of whom are potential sellers and buyers, curious to know more about the online platforms.

“There are an abundance of opportunities for sellers at the moment, and those who commit will see the ultimate rewards.”


In Victoria, Melbournites proved once again how well versed they are in the virtual auction method, with hoards of bidders tuning in to buy.

Ray White Victoria and Tasmania Chief Auctioneer Matt Condon said the state has seen a significant increase in the number of auctions conducted this weekend in comparison to last weekend.

“Today’s online auctions saw a large number of bidders decide to purchase, after only being able to conduct a virtual inspection,” he said.

“Overall, the strong online auction clearance rates shows that our network, buyers and sellers are adapting to the current environment, and allowing transactions to continue,” Mr Condon said.


Sunny blue skies in Brisbane brought out buyers from around the city, with Ray White Queensland Chief Auctioneer Gavin Croft saying Saturday capped off an incredible winter of auctions.

“We have had some phenomenal results around South East Queensland this week, with some major highlights and records broken,” Mr Croft said.

The top sale of the day nationally was the iconic waterfront property on the Redcliffe Peninsula at 120 Prince Edward Parade in Scarborough, north of Brisbane.

The home fetched $5 million under the hammer, delivering a substantial result for the Brisbane market.

120 Prince Edward Parade, Scarborough sold for $5 million at auction on Saturday. Photo:

Ray White Scarborough agent Stephanie Williams said the home was architecturally inspired and designed to reflect the stunning historical plantation mansions of New Orleans.

She said there were four registered bidders, and the incredible, stunning beachfront residence on 1742sqm of prime real estate was bought by a Melbourne buyer sight unseen.

“The buyer has not stepped foot inside yet. There was a lot of interstate interest.”

The home was once owned by vitamin king and now tourism operator Vaughan Bullivant. Mr Bullivant and his former wife had built side-by-side mansions which they lived in before selling in 2014.

Mr Bullivant was the mastermind behind household vitamin names such as Nature’s Own, Natural Nutrition and BioOrganics.

South Australia

In the city of “crazy registered bidder numbers”, buyers in Adelaide flocked to the streets donning their masks and ready to bid.

“Last week we had a clearance rate of 93 per cent, and we expect this week to be similar,” Ray White South Australia Chief Auctioneer John Morris said.

“We had an average of 12 registered bidders last week, and it is looking to be even bigger today.”

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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”.