This is a significant decrease from the same week last year, which recorded a 62.2% clearance rate from just under 2,000 auctions.

Short-term results are more favourable, with this week’s 1,444 auctions an improvement on the 928 the week before, which had a clearance rate of 51.1%.


Source: CoreLogic

Adelaide recorded the highest clearance rate, at 67.2% from 93 auctions.

Perth, by comparison, had the lowest clearance rate with just 31% from 41 auctions.

Australia’s two biggest cities – and the ones that attract the most attention – Sydney and Melbourne had the second and third highest clearance rates at 61% and 54.2% respectively.

Sydney’s clearance rate rose from 54% the previous week, but is less than last year’s figure of 67.8%.

Melbourne’s results show the same trend – an increase on last week’s 52.4% clearance rate, but a decrease from 69.8% 12 months prior.

Brisbane and Tasmania were the only places to see auction volumes fall week-on-week. 

Lower clearance rates reflect weaker market conditions

Auction clearance rates can be a key market indicator: they’re a percentage of the number of properties sold at auction over a period.

Low clearance rates – which the numbers above could be classified as – indicate interest in auctions is low.

Conversely, high clearance rates of 70%+ indicate the market is hot, and people are looking to buy more.

City (All Dwellings) % Change
Sydney -10.12%
Melbourne -8.94%
Brisbane (inc Gold Coast) -0.57%
Adelaide +1.03%
Perth -6.21%
5 capital city aggregate -7.72%

Source: CoreLogic, 18/02/19

The fall in auction clearances perhaps coincides with the falling property prices across the country – CoreLogic’s Daily Home Value Index shows that median home value’s have continued to decline in almost every major city:

It should be noted that clearance rates in Australia are historically lower in summer than they are in seasons like Spring and Autumn, when the sun is sunny without being too hot and trees are at their peak beauty.

Unsurprisingly, auction rates fall in extreme heat or cold and when it’s raining.

These figures should increase as the year rolls on, as they have in most years prior.

Also note that clearance rates do not represent the whole market. In fact, only about 7-8% of home sales are done through auctions, according to data from Domain.

The reduced number of auctions year-on-year might mean that sellers are choosing to find buyers for their properties through other means, likely private sales.

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