No summer slowdown for auctions

As the property market gears up for another Super Saturday of auctions, data indicates November proved the busiest auction month on record, while median house auction prices hit new highs in Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide.

According to Domain’s November Auction Report, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra all clocked up the highest number of auctions ever to be held in a single month, with Sydney recording its highest number of auction listings since Domain records began in 1995.

But while that rising volume of auction listings created greater choice for buyers, it also impacted the clearance rate, which crept steadily lower in many capitals throughout the month.

Looking ahead, the market shows little signs of slowing, with Domain tracking with 3039 auctions that are slated to take place this weekend.

They note Sydney is set for one of its busiest Saturdays, while Adelaide is also on track to surpass last week’s high for the busiest Saturday on record.

Domain also predicts auction volumes will continue to ramp up in the coming weeks.

Sydney and Canberra are set to have a record-breaking number of auctions on Saturday, 11 December, while Melbourne and Adelaide will have their second busiest Saturday on the same day.

Auction performance November 2021

November data for Sydney

In Sydney, November saw clearance rates continue to decline off the back of increased volumes.

Auction volumes rose for the third consecutive month in November, up 27.5 per cent, signalling strong seller sentiment.

Meanwhile, clearance rates recorded a drop from 75.9 per cent to 70 per cent in November, to hit a 12-month low. 

“The surge in auctions occurred as a result of vendor confidence with the movement back to in-person auctions after the end of lockdowns,” Domain noted.

“In comparison to the five-year average auction volume for November from 2016 to 2020, volumes this November are tracking 46.4 per cent higher.” 

As volumes surged and the clearance rate dropped, prices also declined. In November, the median auction price for houses fell from the previous month’s record high of $2.04 million, finishing at $1.95 million, down 3.6 per cent over the month but still up 21.9 per cent over the year.

The median auction price for units remained steady at $1.15 million over November, growing 21.1 per cent over the year.

November data for Melbourne

In Melbourne, auction volumes remained steady in November, falling short of the all-time auction listings high in October but recording the second-highest volumes since Domain records began in 1997.

With volume at a high, the clearance rate in Melbourne began to fall, ending two consecutive months of growth to drop from 72.6 per cent to 71 per cent.

However, the increase in supply did little to dampen price growth.

In November, the median auction price for houses rose 11.5 per cent over the year to $1.211 million, dipping slightly from October’s record high.

For units, the median auction price rose 12.4 per cent year-over-year to $739,500 and down marginally from October, by 0.1 per cent.

November data for Canberra

In the nation’s capital, auction volumes surged again in November, recording the highest number of auction listings since records began in 1999.

There were 631 auctions scheduled over the month, up 16 per cent from October. 

In fact, November volumes were 45.1 per cent higher compared to the five-year average for November from 2016 to 2020.

“The rise in auction listings this month is likely due to pent-up supply and increased confidence as demand remains high,” Domain said.  

While demand remained high, the clearance rate slipped marginally, down 1.8 percentage points month-on-month. It decreased from 87.9 per cent in October to 86.1 per cent in November but still remained strong relative to other markets.  

Domain noted Canberra had extended its run of clearance rates above 80 per cent for every reported month this year.

“This highlights the booming auction market and high demand that is currently present in the nation’s capital,” they said.

Meanwhile, the median auction house price hit a record high in November, rising 6.5 per cent to $1.15 million. Year-over-year house prices at auction have grown 24.9 per cent.

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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”.