Auctions at their highest level 'since records began'

author-avatar By
on June 04, 2021
Auctions at their highest level 'since records began'

Major cities are seeing the highest number of auctions and the highest clearance rates in more than two decades of records.

That's according to Domain's latest Auction Report for May 2021, which found that Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide saw the largest number of auctions scheduled in a single month since Domain first started keeping records. 

Those records extend back to 1995 in NSW, 1997 in Victoria, and 2002 in South Australia.

Clearance rates - the percentage of successful auctions - also hit a new record of 90% in Canberra, and Brisbane's clearance rate of 67.2% is still the third highest ever recorded there. 

Sydney saw 3,956 properties sold at auction; Melbourne more than 4,000; Brisbane 362; and Adelaide and Canberra recorded 462 and 327 sold properties. 

City Clearance Rate Auctions Scheduled Auction Sold Passed In Sold Prior Withdrawn
Sydney 77.3% 5486 3956 485 34.5% 13.2%
Melbourne 72.2% 6112 4040 856 23.4% 12.6%
Brisbane 67.2% 688 362 134 27.1% 8%
Adelaide 76.2% 723 462 100 23.6% 7.3%
Canberra 89.8% 400 327 25 22.8% 3.3%

Source: Domain.

Geographies are based on ABS GCCSA geography. Auction reporting rates are above 91% across all capitals apart from Brisbane at 78% and Adelaide at 83%.

Auctions typically represent around 10% of all property sales in Australia, and they have been red hot lately. 

In April, research by property AI firm Archistar already showed 2021 is seeing record numbers of auctions, and prices too were also starting to hit records. 

Dr Andrew Wilson, chief economist at Archistar, said in March it was "unlikely we had yet reached the peak of auction prices". 

“Auction clearance rates have climbed to unprecedented levels over [March 2021] in most capitals reflecting unprecedented buyer competition for available property," he said. 

“Clearance rates are likely to remain high with the market constraints of recent years now released and surging buyer demand seemingly yet to be satisfied."

Archauc01.JPG

Source: Archistar

See also: House price boom continues as values rise 2.2% in May

In its Auction Preview for this Saturday (5 June), Domain said this weekend will be the busiest for auctions since then. 

"There are 2,616 scheduled auctions across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra this Saturday, making it the second busiest auction weekend of the year," Domain's Dr Nicola Powell and Dr Henry Yu said. 

"Auction volumes have been steadily rising, with 6.1% more auctions compared to last Saturday. Of the scheduled auctions, 39% are in Sydney and 50% are in Melbourne. 

"Despite a slight easing of restrictions, onsite auctions are still deemed non-essential by the Victorian government. Virtual auctions continue to act as the only alternative available for the auctions to take place this coming Saturday."


Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Lender

Variable
More details
UNLIMITED REDRAWSSPECIAL OFFER
  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
UNLIMITED REDRAWSSPECIAL OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
Variable
More details
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION

Neat Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
Variable
More details
NSW/VIC/SA METRO & INNER REGIONAL AREAS$5000 CASHBACK. T&Cs APPLY.
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
NSW/VIC/SA METRO & INNER REGIONAL AREAS$5000 CASHBACK. T&Cs APPLY.

Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of May 25, 2022. View disclaimer.

Houses continue to outperform units 

Houses are still the key driver behind recent auction success in terms of both clearance rates and prices. 

According to Domain, house clearance rates outperformed units in every capital city, although unit clearance rates are still strong. 

In Sydney for example, house and unit clearance rates in May were 78.2% and 75% respectively. 

According to Dr Powell, the difference between house and unit clearance rates does appear to be narrowing.

"The house-unit clearance rate difference grew from around 3% in mid-2020, peaked at 12.7% in November 2020 and has gradually returned back to around 3% in May," she said. 

"The reduced difference is likely to be associated with increased investor and first-home-buyer participation, or overall affordability bottlenecks associated with trying to purchase a house in Sydney.

"For houses and units, this month’s clearance rate is the strongest May result in six years."

Auction results May - houses 

City Clearance Rate Sold Prior Withdrawn Median Price
Sydney 78.2% 30.8% 11.9% $1,783,500
Melbourne 73.7% 22.5% 11.3% $1,150,000
Brisbane 68% 27.6% 7.6% $1,080,000
Adelaide 76.7% 23.4% 6.3% $740,500
Canberra 91% 22.6% 2% $978,000

Auction results May - units 

City Clearance Rate Sold Prior Withdrawn Median Price
Sydney 75% 44.1% 16.5% $1,010,000
Melbourne 67% 26.6% 16.6% $706,000
Brisbane 59.2% 22.4% 12.2% $529,000
Adelaide 67.6% 26.5% 23.5% $467,000
Canberra 84.1% 23.8% 9.5% $650,000

Data provided by Domain. 

Photo by Thomas Chan on Unsplash

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

Latest Articles

author-avatar
William Jolly joined Savings.com.au as a Financial Journalist in 2018, after spending two years at financial research firm Canstar. In William's articles, you're likely to find complex financial topics and products broken down into everyday language. He is deeply passionate about improving the financial literacy of Australians and providing them with resources on how to save money in their everyday lives.

Be Savings smart.
Subscribe for free money newsletters.

By subscribing you agree
to the Savings Privacy Policy