Quieter autumn auctions might be better for homebuyers

Collage of a hand holding hosues

Home selling might be bouncing back just in time for the typically busy pre-Easter market - if we go by the 2,292 homes "taken to auction" across the country last week. 

This figure made it 2023's second busiest auction week so far, say property researchers Corelogic, but at just three months in, this result is more plain chocolate than a Kinder Surprise.

Still, as Easter approaches there's a bit of positivity about for property sellers. Corelogic's early data shows that last week 1,795 homes were offered and of those 71% were sold. This rate of sale is the highest preliminary clearance rate recorded since mid-April 2022 and up 2.6% on last week’s 68%. 

Of course, even a small selling improvement needs to be kept in a broader context. Last week’s final average clearance rate was just 64% nationally, and it's been around that mark the past four weeks. In fact, the last 12 months have been pretty flat as we know.

Another part of the picture we can't forget is that auction numbers rarely tell a national story - even with averages. Melbourne and Sydney typically lead the way both for volume of homes available and those sold and the reasons for this are quite clear-cut: size, population and demand. Although it must also be said that both Melburnians and Sydneysiders have a proclivity for property talk and this undoubtedly fuels the fire. 

In Sydney, autumn property selling has become somewhat of a sport and Easter has become a high point in the action, so to speak. Look back at the pre-Easter sales prior to the pandemic and you'll be wowed by 80% and 85% clearance rates like it was no big thing. Those were sweet days for sellers, like biting into a soft centred egg, while buyers typically encountered something a bit nutty. 

Some now expect things to pick up again, while others are simply hoping for better buying opportunities. Sydney's final clearance rate has held around the 60% mark for the past four weeks, as per Corelogic, and yet the recent auction numbers show a bit of climb. There were around 660 sales held in the city each of the past two weeks, according to Domain. (On February 4th there were just 359, just for a yardstick).

Perhaps a change is actually afoot. Prices are holding in many areas too, and for now, are still very high: For example, Sydney houses currently have a median price of $1.6m, while units are at $930,000 - whopping price tags by any measure. This tells us that there is still demand out there.

Melbourne's prices are a bit lower at $1.1m median and units $695,000 median - still quite high relatively speaking.

It's worth noting that homes can also be rather expensive in other capitals such as Brisbane and Adelaide, but the difference in these cities is there are fewer auctions. This can typically indicate better opportunities to buy privately without the competition that auctions can induce. Might be worth a look for first homebuyers.

So let's look ahead. Corelogic's experts say they are expecting to see over 2,750 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities next week in the lead up to Easter. In fact, if all of these auctions go ahead, it will be the busiest week for auctions since late May last year (3,226), according to Corelogic.

Similarly, mortgage broker Rebecca Jarrett-Dalton from Two Red Shoes says that property remains popular despite sales being down at this point. She is seeing plenty of activity. But she is also being realistic that buyers might have less to choose from with fewer listings. 

One thing we can be sure of is that no matter how many homes are on offer, real estate will once again come up around the Easter lunch table as it always does.

Wherever you focus, be sure to research! As part of your auction plan, you'll also need a more affordable home loan and our experts handpick the best ones on the market. Be sure to check out our home loans hub to start comparing.

Home loan comparisons on Mozo

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Last updated 19 July 2024 Important disclosures and comparison rate warning*
  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Optimum Fixed Rate Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    5.69 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.34 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,899
    Go to site

    Lock in a competitive interest rate and enjoy peace of mind for the fixed period. Available for owner occupied new and refinanced home loans with at least 20% deposit. Split option available as well as offset and redraw. Noapplication, ongoing or banking fees. Third Party fees may be applicable - payable within loan repayments. Extra repayments up to $20K per annum permitted. Apply online, 100% member owned credit union.

  • Special Real Deal Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    6.09 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.13 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,027
    Go to site

    Refinancers or first home buyers pay no monthly or annual fees. Flexibility to choose your repayment schedule (weekly, fortnightly or monthly). Redraw facility available. Split your home loan into multiple loan accounts.

  • Optimum Fixed Rate Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    5.69 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.34 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,899
    Go to site

    Lock in a competitive interest rate and enjoy peace of mind for the fixed period. Available for owner occupied new and refinanced home loans with at least 20% deposit. Split option available as well as offset and redraw. Noapplication, ongoing or banking fees. Third Party fees may be applicable - payable within loan repayments. Extra repayments up to $20K per annum permitted. Apply online, 100% member owned credit union.

  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Express Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR <90%
    Interest rate
    6.01 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,001
    Go to site

    Get online approval from the award-winning Bendigo Bank Express Home Loan. Multiple offset accounts and redraw available. 100% offset on variable rate loans and partial offset on fixed rate. Flexible repayment options. New home loans only.

  • Special Real Deal Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    6.09 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.13 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,027
    Go to site

    Refinancers or first home buyers pay no monthly or annual fees. Flexibility to choose your repayment schedule (weekly, fortnightly or monthly). Redraw facility available. Split your home loan into multiple loan accounts.

  • Fixed Rate Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    6.09 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.15 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,027

    Additional repayments of up to $10K per fixed year. Interest rate discounts available. Waiver of $499 application fee when combined with an Orange Advantage Home Loan.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Mortgage Simplifier

    • LVR<80%
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.17 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043

    Get a competitive variable rate with ING’s Mortgage Simplifier. Free extra repayments, no monthly or annual fees. Freedom to make free extra repayments or redraws.

  • Offset Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.39 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Ability to open up to 10 offset accounts per loan account. Fast online application. Linked Debit Mastercard® with fee-free access at ATMs across Australia. Package a credit card with your home loan and the annual card fee will be waived (T&Cs apply). 40% deposit required.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Fixed
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR<70%
    Interest rate
    6.25 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.20 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,079
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    No upfront or ongoing fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Option to earn Qantas points. Min 30% deposit required. Borrow up to $10,000,000.

  • Offset Home Loan

    • Fixed
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    • LVR <70%
    Interest rate
    6.25 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.42 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,079
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  • Fixed Rate

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • <80% LVR
    Interest rate
    6.54 % p.a.
    Fixed 2 years
    Comparison rate
    7.10 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,174

    Enjoy up to $3000 cashback for eligible first home buyers and $2000 cashback for refinancers on eligible home loans with the ANZ Fixed Rate Home Loan. Get the security of repayment certainty with a competitive locked in rate. No ongoing fees to pay. Offset account on 1-year fixed loans ($10/month fee applies). Interest-only payments allowed.

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* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

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