Melbourne, Brisbane auction volumes halve

Melbourne had half as many home auctions last week compared to a year ago, as property transactions slowed in the last weekend before the federal election.

A preliminary CoreLogic tally across the country’s capital cities counted 1,210 homes put up for auction in the week to May 12 – down from 2,279 during the same week last year- and an overall clearance rate of 58.1 per cent.

The property analysis firm said that it expected the finalised capital cities clearance rate due on Thursday to fall to “around the low-to-mid 50 per cent range” based on the trend of the past two months.

The data indicated 545 auctions took place in Melbourne – compared to 1,099 in the same week in 2018 – and 56.8 per cent sold, although the figure was based on the confirmed results of 438 auctions monitored by CoreLogic while results for another 107 auctions were not recorded.

In Sydney, the preliminary numbers showed 65.6 per cent properties taken to auction last week sold based on the confirmed results of 288 monitored auctions.

The clearance rate for Sydney – where auction numbers dropped from 787 this week last year to 441 – was expected to decline further because 35 per cent of the city’s auction results had not yet been reported.

Brisbane’s auction listings also halved from the same week last year, from 166 to 83, and registered a clearance rate of 39.2 per cent based on the results of 51 auctions.

CoreLogic commentator Geoff White noted the overall clearance rates were about ten percentage points higher than in late 2018, suggesting sellers were lowering price expectations.

“While the trend in auction clearance rates certainly aren’t describing strong market conditions… it reflects a better fit between buyer and seller expectations on prices,” he said.

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