sydney lockdown
Sydney streets remain quiet amid the lockdown. Image – Canva.
  • For the fortnight ending 4 July, 74.6% of scheduled auctions were successful
  • Report revealed that transactional activity does a 'catch up' when restrictions ease
  • SQM data shows a lower clearance rate, however, supports the notion that prices remain high

Despite the recent Delta variant-related disruptions, a report from CoreLogic has revealed that auction results and prices have remained resilient during the lockdowns.

Often, as the lockdown is imposed, auctions are affected, dimming people’s appetite. However, the data suggests that a ‘catch up’ occurs once restrictions are eased.

For the two weeks ending 4 July, 74.6% of scheduled auctions were successful, a slight drop compared to the week ending 20 June, where 76.8% of auctions were successful. This is just below the five-year average of 77.2%.

“It is true that demand takes a hit during lockdowns,” said CoreLogic Head of Research for Australia, Eliza Owen.

“There was a lot of uncertainty amid stage two restrictions nationally last year, and sentiment for housing market outcomes plummeted.

“But supply also declined, because sellers and agents knew it may not be the best time to market property. That helped to balance out the overall effect on prices.”

Eliza Owen, CoreLogic

However, Ms Owen warned that the overall stability of the housing market is subject to a mixture of extensive government stimulus and institutional support for the sector – which is far less certain going forward.

“A big part of why the housing market didn’t see further value declines was the enormous income support packages provided to households, the role of JobKeeper in maintaining employment relationships, low mortgage rates and mortgage repayment deferrals.

“In the event of another extended lockdown, the future of housing demand and supply becomes much less certain if that same government and institutional support is not there,” Ms Owen said.

Lower clearances; high asking prices remain: SQM

It should be noted that CoreLogic and SQM apply a different methodology to auction clearance rates; SQM accounts for all scheduled auctions while CoreLogic uses those confirmed by agents on the day.

According to CoreLogic, every week in June recorded clearance rates in the low 60’s before falling to 49.5% for the week ending 4 July – primarily due to postponements and cancellations.

Sydney

[Select part of the chart to zoom in on various years, and ‘reset zoom’ button to return]

Despite the lower clearance rates, weekly asking property prices are still at record levels, despite the disruptions of June and July in the Sydney housing market.

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