Auction clearance rate hits three-year low

by Julia Corderoy08 Jan 2016

In another sign pointing to a cooling property market, Australia’s capital city auction clearance rate dropped to its lowest level since 2012 in the quarter ending December 2015.

According to CoreLogic RP Data’s Quarterly Auction Market Report, auction numbers were up 15% over the final quarter of 2015, however, the average clearance rate across Australia's capital cities fell from 73.4% over the September quarter to 62.1%.

The highest capital city clearance rate over the quarter was seen in Melbourne, with the south-west suburb of Hoppers Crossing achieving a 95.7% clearance rate. This was followed by the inner west Sydney suburb of Drummoyne which achieved a 89.4% clearance rate.

CoreLogic RP Data head of research Tim Lawless says the weakening capital city auction clearance rate has been largely driven by Sydney where the average clearance rate has dropped below 60%.  

“Despite the lower capital cities clearance rate, on a city-by-city basis, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne all recorded a higher clearance rate in the December 2015 quarter, relative to the same period one year ago, albeit only slightly in some cities,” Lawless said.

“The final results for the year further indicate that much of the overall weakness across the auction market can be attributed to the weakening performance across Sydney’s auction market where the clearance rate averaged 59.8% over the quarter compared with a more resilient result of 67.8% in Melbourne.” 

Across the largest regional auction markets, Geelong topped the tables with a clearance rate of 64.2% over the quarter, slightly higher than what was recorded over the final quarter of the previous year.