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Auctions ramp up as seasonal peak approaches

By Staff Reporter
21 November 2023 | 12 minute read
Sydney Melbourne Brisbane spi

With over 3,000 auctions taking place across the country, Australia’s capitals just hosted the second busiest week of the year.

Overall, 3,019 homes went under the hammer, with the number of live sales exceeding the 3,000 mark for only the second time in 2023.

This represented a 13.7 per cent uptick in auctions compared to the week prior – when 2,656 dwellings hit the block – and 31.4 per cent increase on this time last year.

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However, the rise in auction numbers was accompanied by a drop in the preliminary clearance rate. At 68 per cent, with 2,262 records collected so far, last week’s combined capital city preliminary clearance rate was the lowest since Easter’s 67.8 per cent.

The drop in successful sales was primarily driven by vendors, with the withdrawal rate rising to 10.9 per cent across the combined capitals, while the portion of properties passed in at auction fell to 21.2 per cent.

Still, it’s not a substantial drop in the preliminary clearance rate. Last weeks early figures were 1 percentage point higher at 69 per cent, which revised to 63.1 per cent once finalised. And it’s still higher than last year’s numbers, when 60.2 per cent of auctions found a buyer during the same period in 2022.

Melbourne was home to the most number of auctions, with 1,414 homes looking for new owners. That’s up 19.7 per cent from the 1,181 held the week prior, and a whopping 40.3 per cent higher than this time last year.

Melbournes preliminary clearance rate currently sits at 68 per cent, which is 30 basis points above the early figures from last week. The previous weeks preliminary clearance rate of 67.7 per cent was revised to 60.7 per cent at final figures.

Sydney, meanwhile, hosted its busiest auction week in almost 18 months, with 1,081 homes hitting the block. That’s up from 1,020 dwellings auctioned the week prior and 778 held this time last year. Indeed, Sydney hasn’t seen such a high volume of auctions since May 2022, when 1,109 were looking for new hands.

But with a preliminary clearance rate of 68.7 per cent, Sydneys early figures fell below 70 per cent for the first time in six weeks. Last weeks result was also the citys lowest preliminary rate since mid-February, when early results showed 67.4 per cent of homes had found new owners.

In the smaller capitals, Brisbane hosted the busiest auction market last week with volumes rising 37.3 per cent to see 206 homes taken under the hammer. The Sunshine State capital was followed by Adelaide, which recorded its busiest auction week of the year with 189 homes auctioned, up 19.6 per cent week-on-week.

Canberra, with 109 auctions, and Perth, where 15 homes were on the block, were the only capitals to see a fall in auction activity, down -14.8 per cent and -6.3 per cent, respectively.

As the peak of the season approaches, auction numbers are set to rise slightly this week. Roughly 3,100 auctions are currently scheduled to be held across the capitals.

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