Property clearance rates remain strong in Sydney and Canberra

By Niko Iliakis ·

Despite plenty of headwinds and a high volume of homes withdrawn from auction, activity in the property market is holding up across a number of capital cities, according to recent data from CoreLogic.

As many as 1,344 homes in capital cities were taken to auction during the week ending 26 July, with preliminary clearance rates coming in at 59%. This was similar to the previous week’s result, which was later revised down to 53%.

In Sydney, 602 homes were taken to auction, returning a preliminary clearance rate of 68.3%. This marks an improvement from the previous week, when a total of 515 auctions returned a final clearance rate of 61.4%.

Canberra saw the highest preliminary clearance rates, with 80.5% of properties successfully sold at auction. Meanwhile, 60.7% of properties were cleared in Adelaide, 43.9% in Brisbane, and 28.6% in Perth.

With plenty of challenges currently plaguing the Melbourne market, Corelogic expects the final clearance rate for the week to settle around 50%.

How is the Melbourne market faring?

As expected, the reintroduction of lockdown measures has hampered activity in the Melbourne housing market, with 41.8% of properties listed for auction subsequently withdrawn. Since withdrawn auctions are counted as non-sales, this has equated to a preliminary clearance rate of 49.8%.

The large volume of cancelled auctions reflects similar trends to those we saw when social distancing measures were first introduced. Then, the percentage of withdrawn auctions across Melbourne reached as high as 64.7% in the week ending 12 April.

However, if withdrawn auctions are removed from the picture, clearance rates return an adjusted reading of around 80%, suggesting that while many sellers have gotten cold feet, there is still plenty of appetite among buyers.

Given real estate agents were quick to adapt to online sales methods during the first round of lockdown, pivoting to virtual home viewings and auctions once again shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge. 

But buyers’ level of comfort with these methods remains an open question, and CoreLogic notes that more properties tend to sell before auction than via virtual auction. Of the 224 homes that were successfully cleared in Melbourne over the week ending 26 July, more than half were transacted prior to the scheduled auction date.

For more information about property trends, visit our home loan statistics page, where you’ll find a historical overview of the home loan market in Australia. And if you’re looking to buy or refinance, browse our home loans comparison page for a look at what’s available.

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