Auctions Week of 30 Aug 21
Lockdowns are dampening auctions, especially where you can’t inspect in person. Image – Canva/SQM
  • Sydney, where one on one inspections are allowed, auction clearances were up
  • In Melbourne, with no in-person inspections, auction rates were well down
  • Adelaide was the best performing auction market with a 87.1% clearance rate

Eventually, sustained lockdowns were going to have a dramatic effect on the number and success of property auctions.

While a week here, a week there, seemed to have a minimal, temporary effect on the auction market, with Sydney now into its ninth week, and Melbourne six, of lockdown the dampening impact is now being felt across the markets.

Over 2,100 homes were flagged to be auctioned across the capital cities last week, according to CoreLogic, but in the end 1,977 went through, and of the 1,525 results collected thus far, 63% had sold.

This is the lowest preliminary clearance rate since July 2020, and a good 9 points lower than the previous week.


Sydney held up pretty well, relatively, with 70.6% of the 588 auctions held clearing. This was the best clearance rate in four months and a fourth consecutive weekly increase, according to SQM Research (see chart above). CoreLogic also recorded a strong auction success rate for Australia’s largest city, with an 81.7% clearance rate – 454 sold out of 529 counted.


Over in Melbourne, things were very different, with 1,496 auctions scheduled, and a clearance rate diving back to 26.7% according to SQM Research. This was one of the lowest rates in ten months.

CoreLogic counted 1,067 auctions with 9.5% rescheduled, and with almost half withdrawn, only 48.6% were sold under the hammer.

“Clearly we are seeing a remarkably different outcome in auction results across Australia’s two largest auction markets which can be explained by the fact that properties can still be physically inspected in Sydney (although a private inspection is limited to one person at a time), but not in Melbourne,” said Caitlin Fono of CoreLogic.

“The divergence in the auction clearance rate tells the story about how important it is for prospective buyers to be able to physically inspect a property in order to make such a high commitment decision as buying a home.”


Adelaide was the best performing auction market with a 87.1% clearance rate, with Canberra 78.9%, while Brisbane saw 71.9% auction clearance, according to CoreLogic.

Auction clearance 22Aug21
Source: CoreLogic

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