The combined capital city preliminary auction clearance rate bounced back above 60% for the first time since late March, with 64.5% of homes selling this week. The higher clearance rate was across a lower volume of auctions over the week with 473 scheduled, down on the 612 auctions over the week prior when a preliminary clearance rate of 59.6% was recorded, later revising down by final result to 47.5%. Of the 333 results collected this week, 22% returned a withdrawn result, well below the withdrawal rate of 56% recorded a few weeks ago when a much larger number of auctions were scheduled to proceed.

The lower withdrawal rate is the main factor driving an improvement in clearance rates, however we are also seeing a recent trend towards a higher proportion of homes selling ‘at’ auction, rather than prior to the event, implying vendors are becoming more willing to test the market under auction conditions.

With news over the week that the ban on on-site auctions and inspections as a result of COVID-19 would now be lifted in NSW, WA and more recently announced in SA and Qld, along with a broader relaxation of social distancing policies, there’s likely to be a lift in confidence and volumes over the coming weeks.

There were 160 Melbourne auctions this week, returning a preliminary clearance rate of 60.3%, increasing on the 57.7% final clearance rate last week when a higher 217 auctions were scheduled. Of the 116 results collected, 19% were withdrawn and of the 70 sold results, 50% sold prior to the scheduled auction date.

Sydney returned a preliminary auction clearance rate above 70% this week; the highest preliminary result since mid- March. There were 209 auctions scheduled across the city, and of the 144 results collected, 21% were withdrawn, while of the 102 sold results 45.1% sold prior to auction.

Across the smaller capital cities Adelaide returned the highest preliminary clearance rate of 61.9%, followed closely by Canberra (61.8%).