Capital City Auctions
Capital city auctions have not (yet?) been greatly impacted by Covid restrictions. Image – Canva/SQM
  • Residential property auction clearance rates have held up, so far
  • The 3-month trend is generally down, from high levels seen in March
  • Covid restrictions and encroaching lockdowns may yet suppress the auction markets

With more properties put up for auction last week across the capital cities, and threats of imminent lockdowns amid tightening Covid-restrictions, preliminary results showed that auction clearance rates – generally – held up quite well.

SQM Research plots all advertised auctions and their results, for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane:








Sydney, with the ever-encroaching likelihood of full lockdown, advertised 1,254 auctions for sale in the week to 27 June, and as the week ended, 61.7% of them had cleared, which is what the rate had been for a few weeks, according to SQM.

The trend for Sydney has been falling from the 70%+ rates seen in early March.

CoreLogic calculates its auction rates in a different manner, and of the 1,102 auctions it identified, saw 753 of them clear of the 920 preliminary results counted, for a clearance rate of 81.8% – quite a discrepancy from the SQM numbers. CoreLogic includes those sold prior to auction, and ignores those withdrawn from auction.

Capital City Auctions, week ending 27 June

Capital City Auctions
Source: CoreLogic

Melbourne had a busy week, with 1,414 auctions according to CoreLogic, or 1,625 (SQM Research). While SQM calculated a 54.5% clearance rate, CoreLogic saw 861 auctions clear from 1,135 counted (for a 75.9% rate).

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), which uses a self-service auction collection results system from its members, reported 958 auctions in Melbourne, with a 79% clearance rate, down slightly from the rate the week before.

Meanwhile, up in Brisbane, 185 properties were auctioned according to SQM, with 19.5% clearance rate. CoreLogic had 177 auctions, and of 145 results, 57% had sold.

The trend

Taking a three-month view (April-June), there had been a noticeable trend downwards in auction success, albeit from very high levels. With the ensuing lockdowns around the country, they will now go online, and this decline in clearance rates could be sustained for the next few weeks. Uncertainty is the biggest killer of deals. However, in these strange times, it is very hard to guess what the future holds.

Stay safe everyone.


Article was updated from first published, with correct SQM Research data figures.

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