Image of suburban Australia
Australia’s auction market only dipped by two scheduled auctions week on week for 16 July 2023. Image: Canva.
  • Auction figures are 15.6% lower than the same time last year.
  • Scheduled auction numbers for the combined capital cities only dropped by two.
  • One scheduled auction separated Sydney and Melbourne for the week ending 16 July 2023, with Brisbane and Adelaide adding two to the previous week.

The scheduled number of auctions, compared to last week, dropped by a mere two. For the week ending 16 July, 1,426 homes across Australia’s capitals were scheduled for auction, according to an Auction Market Preview by CoreLogic.

While the winter chills remained on the market, the end of school holidays did not have the same impact as last year. For the same period in 2022, the week-on-week increase was 3.7%, while this year saw a two auction drop; this year’s auction activity also remains subdued compared to last year’s 1,689 auctions, or a 15.6% fall.

A seasonal slump

CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless said listing trends are highly seasonal.

“The winter months are less active for sales and listings activity.”

He added that they typically rise towards spring and early summer, with a sharp fall following in late December; property listings begin to rise again from late January through to Easter.

Hayden Groves, President of REIA, said auctions are more comfortable for bidders later in the year, with properties also presenting better.

“The onset of winter slows the number of properties coming to auction mostly due to inclement weather risks to on-site auctions. Gardens and properties generally are more appealing in the warmer months too, so most sellers choose to come to market during these seasons.”

Big auction markets hit by rate hikes

“Whilst clearance rates remain high, interest rate increases have impacted affordability in the big auction markets of Sydney and Melbourne, reducing buyer numbers with agents adjusting accordingly and taking fewer properties to market via auction,” said Groves.

For the week ending 16 July 2023, Melbourne barely pipped Sydney for busiest capital city, with 566 homes for auction, compared to Sydney’s 565.

Sydney recorded 12.9% fewer auctions than last year, while Melbourne dipped 16.1% from last year.

Clearance rate and total auctions by capital cities for the week ending 9 July

Brisbane and Adelaide both had two more auctions scheduled for the week ending 16 July than the week ending 9 July, while Canberra and Perth saw no movement.

Adelaide’s auction activity is down 16.9% from the same time last year, and is seeing fewer properties come to market.

“The number of properties advertised across Adelaide remains remarkably low, tracking 45% below the previous five-year average over the four weeks ending July 16,” said Lawless.

However, Adelaide’s clearance rate for the week ending 9 July was the highest of all the Australian capital cities, sitting at 78.2%.

“The estimated volume of sales was 5.8% above the previous five-year average through the June quarter. Such a high clearance rate reflects an ongoing mismatch between supply and demand that has favoured vendors,” said Lawless.

Auction levels remained resilient overall

“At the moment, the trend in the volume of auctions is holding reasonably firm, if not even showing a subtle upwards trend, while the past two years have seen a downwards trend in the volume of auctions through winter,” said Lawless

“If this trend persists we are likely to see the number of auctions held rising above levels from a year ago.”

Number of auctions held for combined capital cities (rolling four-week count)

Graph of the number of auctions held for combined capital cities (rolling four-week count)
Source: CoreLogic.

For the week ending 9 July, auction clearance rates were up 3.5% on the prior week; the weighted average clearance rate was 68.4%.

“With clearance rates holding around the high 60% range, selling conditions are a little stronger than average. Overall, clearance rates are showing selling conditions are slightly favouring vendors rather than buyers,” said Lawless.

“We can see this in private treaty metrics, also, where vendor discounting rates and median days on market is trending lower across most of the capital cities as vendors regain some leverage over buyers.”

Combined capital city weekly clearance rate

Graph of weekly clearance rate for combined capital cities
Source: CoreLogic.

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