A newly released report focusing on Australia’s property auction market performance found that combined capital city clearance rates dropped to just 43.6 per cent in the 3 months to December 2018, down from 53.6 per cent over the previous quarter and 62.3 per cent over the same period a year prior.

The lowest weekly clearance rate for the quarter was recorded over the week ending 16 December (40 per cent across 2,406 auctions), while the highest clearance rate was recorded over the week ending 7 October (49.5 per cent across 1,817 auctions).
Individual capital cities saw a decline in clearance rates everywhere except Tasmania, which remained unchanged at 50 per cent. The largest fall in clearance rates was seen across Canberra (down -13.4 per cent from the previous quarter), followed by Adelaide (-12.2 per cent), Perth (-11.9 per cent) and Melbourne (-11.2 per cent).

Activity actually increased over the December quarter with 25,894 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities (up from 20,653 over the September quarter), but current volumes remain much lower than the same period last year, when 32,408 homes were taken to auction.

Auction market review highlights:

Capital city auction clearance rate & volumes:

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Adelaide 
  • Perth 
  • Tasmania 
  • Canberra
  • Combined capitals 
43.1 %     (8,828 auctions)
45.4 %     (12,372 auctions)
31.8 %     (1,642 auctions)
48.5 %     (1,423 auctions)
25.0 %     (499 auctions)
50.0 %     (40 auctions)
46.9 %     (1,090 auctions)
43.6 %     (25,894 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
  • Sydney
  • Brisbane
  • Adelaide 
  • Canberra
  • Perth
Reservoir
Mosman
Camp Hill  
Prospect 
Griffith & Narrabundah
South Perth
216
126
39
33
32
15

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

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Canberra
  • Adelaide 
  • Brisbane
Bellevue Hill 80.0% (captured results: 40, scheduled auctions: 52, number sold: 32)
Windsor 71.4% (captured results: 21, scheduled auctions: 24, number sold: 15)
Griffith 58.3% (captured results: 24, scheduled auctions: 32, number sold: 14)
Prospect 57.6% (captured results: 33, scheduled auctions: 33, number sold: 19)
Ashgrove 33.3% (captured results: 21, scheduled auctions: 27, number sold: 7)

In non-capital city markets, auction volumes increased across all five regions over the December quarter when compared to the previous quarter, but mirroring the combined city results, clearance rates have fallen over the same period too. 

The largest fall in clearance rates was seen across the Hunter region, down -18.8 per cent over the quarter, followed by Geelong (-17.3 per cent), Wollongong (-10.2 per cent), Gold Coast (-5.9 per cent) and the Sunshine Coast (-3.1 per cent). The Gold Coast region was host to the highest number of auctions over the 3 months to December 2018 (616), followed by Geelong (579).