There were 2,220 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities this week, returning a preliminary auction clearance rate of 70.6 per cent. In comparison, 1,494 auctions were held last week, returning a final clearance rate of 68.6 per cent. After the remaining results are collected it is likely that the final auction clearance rate will revise below 70 per cent for the second week in a row. Over the same week last year, 1,875 homes went under the hammer across the combined capital cities, returning a final auction clearance rate of just 51.4 per cent. 

Although clearance rates have edged lower, the final clearance rate across the major auction centres is likely to remain around the high 60% to low 70% range, implying this is still a seller’s market.  With uncertainty rising and confidence slipping as the coronavirus outbreak becomes more widespread, there is some downside risk that housing activity will reduce which could weigh on auction markets over coming weeks.  However, based on the early auction results this week, the housing market has proven to be relatively resilient so far.

In Melbourne, a preliminary auction clearance rate of 70.1 per cent was recorded across 1,173 auctions this week, while last week there were 418 auctions returning a final clearance rate of 66.1 per cent. It is looking likely that Melbourne’s final clearance rate will fall below 70 per cent again this week, after sitting around the mid 70 per cent range for 3 weeks prior to that. One year ago, the clearance rate was 52.1 per cent across 920 auctions. 

There were 749 auctions held in Sydney this week, returning a preliminary clearance rate of 74.6 per cent. In comparison, there were 830 auctions held over the previous week and the final auction clearance rate was 75.2 per cent. One year ago, 638 auctions were held and the clearance rate came in at 54.2 per cent. 

Across the smaller auction markets, auction volumes increased week-on-week across Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Tasmania, while Perth saw fewer homes taken to auction over the week.