Auction action: a wrap of the weekend auction markets: Week ending 23 March 2014

National auction clearance rates recorded above the 70 per cent mark for the sixth week in a row.

Over the week, auction volumes remained relatively steady, with 2,431 capital city properties taken to auction, increasing only slightly from 2,293 the previous week. Meanwhile, the weighted auction clearance rate across the combined capital cities improved slightly over the week, up from 70.8 per cent the week prior to 71.2 per cent last week. Unlike the previous week, the performance across Melbourne and Sydney was more aligned last week, with both cities recording a strong clearance rate. At the same time last year, auction volumes were at elevated levels as it was the week prior to the Easter long weekend. Traditionally, the number of auctions that take place over this week each year increases by around 25 per cent when compared to the week prior, last year however, volumes increased by over 40 per cent leading up to the Easter weekend. Despite the high volume of auctions held the week before Easter last year (2,649), the auction clearance rate was recorded at 64.1 per cent, which is much lower than we are currently seeing.

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There were 963 residential Sydney properties taken to auction over the week and the preliminary auction clearance rate was recorded at 77.9 per cent, compared to a 79.8 per cent clearance rate across 868 auctions over the previous week.

When we look at the Sydney auction market at the same time last year, auction volumes were lower (912) and a lower proportion of homes were selling successfully under auction conditions (68.6 per cent). These results highlight just how strong current conditions are across the city. In line with the strong auction performance, Sydney home values over the past year have increased by 14.9 per cent, reinstating the strong performance of the Sydney housing market.

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Across Melbourne, a preliminary clearance rate of 71.7 per cent was recorded last week from 895 auction results compared to 67.0 per cent recorded both last weekend and this time last year.

At the same time last year, there were slightly more auctions held across Melbourne (1,294) compared to the 1,149 held this week, and a marginally lower clearance rate. Currently, Melbourne home values are 12.2 per cent higher than they were at the same time last year and with one week to go this month, early indications show Melbourne home values are on track to record solid growth through March despite the increasing levels of homes on offer for sale.

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Because Brisbane is a much smaller auction market than both Melbourne and Sydney, auction clearance rates across the city have the tendency to vary substantially from week to week. Last week, Brisbane’s preliminary auction clearance rate was recorded at 37.3 per cent, down from 54.5 per cent the week prior. Last week, 127 residential properties were taken to auction across the city, compared to 138 over the previous week.

Brisbane auction volumes are set to jump substantially over the coming week, with 214 properties across Brisbane set to go under the hammer, so it will be interesting to see if auction clearance rates improve over the coming week.

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Compared to the previous week, Adelaide’s clearance rate was recorded at a much lower level, with the preliminary clearance rate for the city coming in at 59.3 per cent, compared to a final clearance rate of 70.0 per cent over the preceding week. The number of auctions that took place across the city also dropped over the week, from 95 the week prior to 80 last week. While this is the lowest clearance rate recorded across the city so far this year, at the same time last year, the auction clearance rate (53.3 per cent) was lower, while there were more auctions held across the capital (110).

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Auction markets across the remaining capital cities (Perth, Hobart, Canberra and Darwin) tend to be very small with only a small number of auctions held each week. Last week we saw 30 auctions across Perth with a clearance rate of 57.1 per cent, 25 auctions across Hobart with a clearance rate of 54.5 per cent and 57 auctions in Canberra with a clearance rate of 53.3 per cent. There were only three auctions recorded in Darwin last week, with no successful results.

Currently, RP Data is tracking 2,845 capital city properties that are scheduled to be taken to auction over the coming week, making this the busiest week for auctions so far this year.

*Melbourne auction commentary provided by Robert Larocca, RP Data’s Victorian Housing Market Specialist


About Shana Miller

Shana joined CoreLogic RP Data in 2007, heading up CoreLogic RP Data’s 'agents advice' team which is responsible for collecting sales data directly from industry participants. Having gained a solid background in data collection, storage and reporting, Shana joined CoreLogic RP Data’s research team as an analyst in 2011. Shana's day to day activities include compiling CoreLogic RP Data’s regular analysis such as auction and private treaty metrics as well as reporting on housing markets at a local through to national level. Shana has now joined the CoreLogic RP Data commentating team to deliver weekly blog updates on housing market activity across the country.

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