Auctions with masks
With half the country in lockdown last week, auctions were down in number. Image – Canva.
  • June quarter saw more auctions take place since December 2017
  • March quarter was the strongest for clearance rates
  • With half the country in lockdown last week, numbers were down

31,605 properties were taken to auction in the June quarter, across Australian capital cities, according to CoreLogic data. This was the busiest quarter since December 2017, which seems a whole world away.

Last year, the June (2020) quarter saw the lowest number of auctions, at 13,783, or just 43% of the most recent period. As the global pandemic had hit during that period, it was not a surprising result.

Back to 2021, strong housing conditions are still very much in place in the recent June quarter, as the Australian property market continues to hum along.

“A combined capital city clearance rate of 75.7% sits well above the historic average clearance rate of 63.5%.”

“The strong result also coincided with a 6.2% uplift in dwelling values across the combined capitals, well above the previous decade average quarterly growth rate of 1.0%.”

Eliza Owen, CoreLogic

Although the total number of auctions in the June quarter was up from March, there were signs the market had cooled a bit since its high point around Easter.

“Despite the strong result, there has been an easing in the clearance rate from the March quarter, when 80.0% of properties sold. This reflects a broader loss of momentum in the Australian housing market, as affordability constraints set in, and March looks to be a peak period of growth for the current cycle.”

Ms Owen said the slight loss in momentum can be seen at the suburb level.

“This is particularly true of Sydney, where the clearance rate has dropped -6.1 percentage points in the quarter. The March quarter saw 100% of auctions cleared across higher-priced, popular suburbs such as Coogee, Glebe and Cherrybrook in Sydney, where clearance rates have eased through the June quarter. There were however, two Sydney suburbs that still achieved a clearance rate of 100%.”

All nine sub-regions of Melbourne saw a substantial increase in auction volumes when compared to both the previous quarter and one year ago.

Brisbane’s auction figures showed of the 1,896 properties that went under the hammer during the quarter, 69.6% cleared.

The highest clearance rate over the quarter was recorded in Canberra, where 88.3% of properties sold under the hammer.

“High demand for housing in Canberra has stemmed from a relatively tight labour market and containment of COVID-19, against a backdrop of low mortgage rates and relatively low listings volumes,” said Ms Owens in a statement.

This weekend – few homes, multiple lockdowns

With half the country under lockdown, only 1,849 properties were auctioned last week.

They still managed to clear at 74.8% success rate, according to CoreLogic, on preliminary results from 1,509 (81%) auctions collected so far.

CoreLogic Auctions
Source: CoreLogic

With the Delta variant causing lockdowns in Sydney, Melbourne and now Adelaide, SQM reported the following number of auctions and their respective clearance rates: 51.6% clearance for Sydney (about the same as the week before), and 36% for Melbourne (down from 56.6% two weeks earlier)…

Week of 25 July, 2021

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