This surge is an 85.1% increase from the previous quarter, and more than double (109.5%) the auction figures from December 2020 according to CoreLogic.

CoreLogic's Research Director Tim Lawless attributes several factors to the surge in auctions, including catch-up from the September quarter - when lockdowns weighed on activity - as well as pickup following seasonally slower winter conditions.

"The large number of auctions held through the December quarter also reflects the strong selling conditions that were present, which motivated vendors to capitalise on strong buyer demand and the significant rise in values seen through the pandemic," Mr Lawless said.

"Auctions as a way of selling tend to be more popular during a sellers’ market; in this situation buyers are highly competitive and incentivised to outbid rival purchasers in order to secure a property."

Melbourne and Sydney - Australia's two biggest auction markets - held a combined 34,694 auctions in the last quarter of 2021.

Specifically, Melbourne held 19,788 auctions with a 69.7% clearance rate, and Sydney held 14,906 auctions with a clearance rate of 69.9%.

In other capitals, Brisbane held 3,027 auctions with a clearance rate of 74.9%; Adelaide held 2,902 auctions with a 80.5% clearance rate; and Canberra held 1,949 auctions with a 82.4% clearance rate.

These are also 'significant' increases in volumes compared to the September quarter and the December quarter of 2020.

Less auction success closer to Christmas

The overall quarterly clearance rate across the capital cities was 71.3% - only slightly down on the previous quarter's rate of 71.7%.

CoreLogic notes that auction volumes increased while the clearance rate progressively trended down to 61.1% in the week ending 19 December.

Mr Lawless said higher auction volumes often correlate with lower clearance rates as demand becomes more thinly stretched.

"The surge in the number of auctions through the final quarter of 2021 was accompanied by a consistent trend towards lower clearance rates, with this trend evident across each of the capital cities," Mr Lawless said.

"The drop in clearance rates implies demand didn’t quite keep pace with the level of auction supply during the quarter."


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