auction Melbourne
Auctions are at a record high despite the lockdown in Melbourne. Image – Canva.
  • Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide all had the largest number of scheduled auctions on record
  • Melbourne reached a record high despite lockdown in the last week
  • Likely more auctions will be postponed in Melbourne as the lockdown continues

Domain’s Auction Report for May has revealed that Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide saw the largest number of scheduled auctions in a single calendar month since Domain began collecting such data – which was in 1995 for NSW, 1997 for Victoria and 2002 for South Australia.

Based on Domain’s data, all three cities achieved a clearance rate in the 70%’s during May.


Sydney saw 5,486 auctions scheduled with 3,956 of these sold – including just over a third (34.5%) that sold before the auction.

Despite this record, the auction clearance rate of 77.3% is 4.1% lower than the six-year high record in March 2021. Auction volumes doubled over May compared to April, although public holidays surrounding Easter, Anzac Day and the school holidays likely resulted in less volume than usual.

The number of auctions in May were so high it was 129% higher than the May decade average – suggesting sellers are reacting to the strong property price growth amid the rebounding economy.

Sydney is scheduled to hold 1,019 auctions this week.


Melbourne saw 6,112 auctions scheduled with 4,040 of these sold including just under a quarter (23.4%) that sold before the auction.

The 72.2% auction clearance rate is the strongest for May in four years despite the end of the month when the lockdown began. Volume levels also doubled over the month and were 109% higher than the May decade average.

Melbourne is scheduled to hold 1,320 auctions this weekend – however, agents are unlikely to have the same bargaining power as last week due to the fact inspections are still banned. This is unlike early last week, before the lockdown officially started, where there was still time throughout the week for inspections to occur. Domain’s Senior Research Analyst, Dr Nicola Powell, expects volumes to decline as a result of this:

“It is anticipated that future auction numbers could be impacted as the initial seven-day lockdown is extended. This could result in prospective sellers waiting to schedule their auctions until the outbreak is under control and there is greater certainty when onsite inspections and auctions can recommence.”

Nicola Powell, Domain


Adelaide saw 723 with 462 of these sold and also just under a quarter (23.6%) selling before the auction.

Houses continue to outperform units in the major cities with the clearance rate for houses in Melbourne being 73.7% compared to 67% for units and Adelaide the gap is even larger with 76.7% for houses and 67.6% for units.

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