Australian auction market records its strongest run of clearance rates in two years
Adelaide was the best auction market among the capitals. Image: Canva.
  • The combined capitals recorded a clearance rate of 69.6% for August.
  • Adelaide was the stand out performer among the capitals.
  • The regions recorded a 52.7% rate.

Sales across Australia’s auction markets have picked up across August and the year, according to Domain’s auction report for August 2023.

The improved clearance rates were recorded across both the combined capitals and combined regionals. The combined capitals, in particular, recorded the strongest run of clearance rates in two years, while the combined regionals had their strongest run since April 2022.

Listings also continued to see upward movement across winter, and are expected to continue through the spring.

Auction performance for August 2023

Location Clearance rate Monthly change Annual change Auction volume Sold at auction Passed in Sold prior Withdrawn
Combined Capitals 69.60% 3.3ppt 16.5ppt 7,573 4,791 1,284 21.70% 11.70%
Combined Regionals 52.70% 6.9ppt 13.3ppt 1,093 433 244 15.50% 17.60%
Sydney 72.10% 4.5ppt 19.4ppt 3,278 2,106 373 29.70% 15.20%
Melbourne 68.00% 1.4ppt 12.5ppt 3,140 2,012 662 16.30% 9.60%
Brisbane 59.80% 2.5ppt 21.2ppt 402 207 112 15.00% 7.80%
Adelaide 78.50% 7.9ppt 18.0ppt 417 307 66 11.50% 4.60%
Canberra 65.30% 0.1ppt 11.5ppt 277 145 57 18.50% 9.00%
Perth 44 11 9
Hobart 2 1
Darwin 13 3 4

* Geographies are ABS GCCSA. Auction reporting rates are 89.1% in Sydney, 94.2% in Melbourne, 86.1% in Brisbane, 93.8% in Adelaide and 80.1% in Canberra. Source: Domain.

Clearance rates across the nation’s capitals appeared to be on trend for this year, and are above 65% for the fourth consecutive month.

Adelaide tops the nation for clearance rates

The South Australian capital put in an august performance last month, continuing to rank as the best-performing capital city for clearance rates. Adelaide recorded a >75% rate for the second time this year, and it is the third consecutive month to see rates of 70%.

Other capitals also recorded improvements on last year.

It was the third time Sydney recorded clearance rates above 70%, and was over 65% for the entire 2023; this is the longest stretch seen since November 2021.

Melbourne recorded its fifth consecutive month of >65% clearance rate, Domain noted this was the first time since July 2021.

Brisbane was the weakest capital city, despite data showing clearance rates remained high relative to historical performance.

Homes sold prior to auction rise

Domain data showed that properties being sold prior to auction rose and remain elevated, historically.

“In current market conditions, a higher proportion of sold prior indicates that sellers are more likely to accept offers before auction day due to robust offers from buyers,” the report noted.

This trend was noted across both the combined capitals and combined regionals.

Houses just pip units

Clearance rates for houses across the nation were a fraction above units, with only 20 basis points setting them apart; the story was similar for the combined regionals.

The report noted that the hair’s breadth difference was likely due to improved performance in the real estate market, but indicative of ongoing affordability challenges.

Location Houses Units
Clearance rate Monthly change Annual change Clearance rate Monthly change Annual change
Combined Capitals 69.7% 3.7ppt 15.8ppt 69.5% 2.2ppt 19.3ppt
Combined Regionals 52.7% 6.7ppt 13.1ppt 52.3% 7.6ppt 14.4ppt
Sydney 72.1% 4.6ppt 18.9ppt 71.9% 4.2ppt 20.7ppt
Melbourne 68.3% 2.4ppt 10.9ppt 66.9% -2.1ppt 18.5ppt
Brisbane 58.7% 2.0ppt 20.1ppt 65.0% 4.4ppt 26.2ppt
Adelaide 77.8% 7.3ppt 17.5ppt 88.5% 17.0ppt 25.1ppt
Canberra 66.7% -1.5ppt 15.4ppt 59.0% 4.4ppt -5.4ppt

Source: Domain.

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