Australian property market records largest auction surge since May 2022
More homes headed under the hammer in September. Image: Canva.
  • Combined capital auction volumes for September were 9,518.
  • Clearance rates declined over the month, but remained higher annually.
  • Properties sold prior to auction dropped to its lowest point this year.

September was a bumper month for Australia’s auction market, with well over 10,000 homes heading under the hammer. According to the Domain Auction Report September 2023, auction volumes for the combined capitals came in at 9,518 and auction volumes for the combined regionals were 1,340.

The combined capitals recorded its strongest pace of monthly growth since October 2021, the strongest annual growth since April 2022, and the highest volume since May 2022.

The combined regionals saw the highest auction volumes since December 2022.

“The lift in auction listings is driven by stronger clearance rates and property market conditions, motivating sellers to list,” said Domain chief of research and economics, Dr Nicola Powell.

“This was highlighted when auction listings started ramping up earlier during the winter months, and the official start of the spring selling season saw higher volumes than last year.”

Auction volumes for September 2023

Location Auction volume
Combined Capitals 9,518
Combined Regionals 1,340
Sydney 4,215
Melbourne 3,714
Brisbane 580
Adelaide 561
Canberra 384
Perth 54
Darwin 10

Source: Domain.

As volumes rose, clearance rates fell. The combined capitals recorded a clearance rate of 64.5%, and the combined regionals recorded a clearance rate of 44.6%.

Auction performance for September 2023

Location Clearance rate Monthly change Annual change Auction volume Sold at auction Passed in Sold prior Withdrawn
Combined Capitals 64.50% -2.1ppt 8.7ppt 9,518 5,787 1,938 18.90% 13.90%
Combined Regionals 44.60% -0.5ppt 2.6ppt 1,340 501 403 10.80% 19.60%
Sydney 67.40% -1.0ppt 11.7ppt 4,215 2,635 562 27.10% 18.30%
Melbourne 64.00% -1.6ppt 5.9ppt 3,714 2,328 939 13.40% 10.20%
Brisbane 46.20% -10.7ppt 4.2ppt 580 235 205 11.40% 13.60%
Adelaide 74.50% -1.8ppt 12.1ppt 561 386 100 8.70% 6.20%
Canberra 52.40% -9.0ppt -2.5ppt 384 184 119 12.00% 13.70%
Perth 54 13 11
Darwin 10 6 2

Geographies are ABS GCCSA. Auction reporting rates are 92.8% in Sydney, 98.0% in Melbourne, 87.8% in Brisbane, 92.3% in Adelaide and 91.4% in Canberra. Source: Domain.

“The September auction performance shows Australia’s housing market is in the continued recovery,” said Dr Powell.

“While clearance rates have fallen, they remain high relative to recent years. This drop in clearance rates is driven by increased auction listings for the third consecutive month, providing prospective buyers with more choices – helping to ease competition and urgency.”

Combined capitals and combined regionals clearance rate, by month

domain combined capitals and regional clearance rate by month september 2023
Source: Domain.

The number of properties sold prior to auction fell to its lowest point this year in September. Domain’s report noted that:

“A lower proportion of sold prior indicates that sellers are less likely to accept offers before auction day due to increasing competition between buyers.”

Properties withdrawn from auction increased this month to their highest point this year. However, it remains low compared to recent years.

Median auction prices rose for houses, while the unit market recorded mixed results.

Median auction price and respective changes for September 2023

Location Houses Units
Median Monthly change Annual change Median Monthly change Annual change
Sydney $1,659,125 0.9% 0.5% $903,987 0.8%
Melbourne $1,055,400 0.2% 2.4% $650,127 -0.3%
Brisbane $1,378,085 1.7% $731,750 9.2%
Adelaide $881,612 0.2%
Canberra $1,120,348 3.4%

Source: Domain.

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