A quarterly analysis produced by CoreLogic on auction market activity showed an increase in the combined capital city auction clearance rate of 64.6 per cent over the March 2018 quarter, up from 62.3 per cent over the December 2017 quarter. 

All cities apart from Perth and Tasmania recorded an increase in auction clearance rates over the quarter; Perth rates dropped -5.0 per cent and Tasmania by -6.4 percent. In contrast, Sydney recorded the largest increase, up from 57.7 per cent to 63.6 per cent while Melbourne recorded the highest clearance rate at 68.4 per cent, up from 68.1 per cent the previous quarter, followed by Canberra at 67.9 per cent.  
Although the combined capital city clearance rate increased over the March quarter, a comparison to March 2017 showed that the clearance rate fell by 10.2 per cent, while at the same time, auction volumes have increased by 1,460 across the combined capital cities. 

CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said, “The drop in auction volumes over the March quarter was expected given the auction market doesn’t usually pick up until early February.” 

“While clearance rates have increased relative to the December 2017 quarter, clearance rates are well down on a year ago.  This reflects the much tighter lending conditions now in place and the fact that in the two most auction-centric markets (Sydney and Melbourne) dwelling values are now falling,” Mr Kusher said. 

Although the week ending 25th March recorded the highest auction volumes on record with 3,990 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities. Melbourne was the busiest auction market with 9,488 homes taken to auction over the quarter, followed by Sydney with 7,755 scheduled auctions.  

Across the smaller auction markets, Brisbane was host to the highest volume of auctions over the quarter (1,247), followed by Adelaide (961) and Canberra (808). 

Highest clearance rate for the quarter by capital city suburbs: 

Clearance rates are calculated when there has been at least 20 auction results reported over the period 

City Suburb % clearance rate Results
Melbourne Carrum Downs 95.2% captured results: 21, scheduled auctions: 21, number sold: 20
Adelaide Prospect 70.0% captured results: 20, scheduled auctions: 23, number sold: 14
Sydney Northbridge 90.5% captured results: 21, scheduled auctions: 25, number sold: 19
Canberra Watson 81.8% captured results: 22, scheduled auctions: 22, number sold: 18
Brisbane Coorparoo 55.0% captured results: 20, scheduled auctions: 23, number sold: 11

Across the non-capital city markets monitored by CoreLogic, Wollongong was the only region to record a fall in the auction clearance rate over the March quarter, while the Hunter region saw the biggest increase in clearance rates when compared to the previous quarter.  
Geelong was the best performing region in terms of clearance rates, with 83.3 per cent of auctions recording a successful result, while the Gold Coast recorded the lowest clearance rate this quarter (40.6 per cent), despite being the busiest region in terms of auction volumes (770). Auction volumes fell across all regions except the Gold Coast, with Geelong host to 261 fewer auctions over the quarter, while Wollongong volumes fell by 196. The Hunter region saw 159 fewer auctions, while the Sunshine Coast was down 75 auctions. 

Auction market review highlights - Capital city auction clearance rate & volume   

  • Sydney   63.6 %   (7,755 auctions) 
  • Melbourne  68.4 %  (9,488 auctions) 
  • Brisbane  49.0 %  (1,247 auctions)
  • Adelaide  65.7 %  (961 auctions) 
  • Perth   34.7 %  (374 auctions) 
  • Tasmania  51.0 %  (68 auctions) 
  • Canberra  67.9 %  (808 auctions)
  • Combined capitals 64.6 %  (20,701 auctions) 

Highest number of auctions for the quarter across capital city suburbs: 

Based on total auctions held across the suburb over the reporting period 

  • Melbourne:  Reservoir   149 
  • Sydney:  Randwick   128 
  • Brisbane:  Sunnybank Hills  28 
  • Canberra:  Watson & Curtin 22 
  • Adelaide: Prospect  23
  • Perth:  Gosnells   16 

Mr Kusher said, “Weaker auction clearance rates are anticipated to persist, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, due to tighter lending policies and falling dwelling values.  Regional markets are holding up somewhat better but we would still expect some of the recent strength to abate, particularly in the Hunter and Wollongong regions.”