Auctions Clearance Rates Bounce Back


Auction volumes across the country last week recorded their strongest numbers in 12 months.

Data firm Corelogic recorded a national clearance rate of 66.4 per cent from close to 1,500 auctions in the past week.

The healthy result comes three weeks after after the Coalition election win, dismissing Labor's negative gearing and capital gains tax changes. That week the market recorded a 58 per cent final figure – the strongest result in 12 months.

The market has also been buoyed by the Reserve Bank of Australia's earlier than expected move towards rate cuts, lowering from 1.5 per cent to 1.25 per cent.

The rate cut would positively stimulate the housing market as borrowers' loan capacity is increased and the amount of interest expense for existing borrowers falls.

The prudential regulator's likely removal of a 7 per cent interest serviceability test on home loans as well as the pending stimulus of a first home buyer deposit scheme has experts tipping the house prices falls to stop within the second half of this year.

▲ This time last year, 2,002 homes were taken to auction but the clearance rate was only 52.4 per cent.

Over the previous week, the final clearance rate dipped to 48.3 per cent across 805 auctions, with the lower volume of auctions attributed to the Queen’s birthday long weekend across most of the capitals.

Despite the low volume of stock for auction, buyers re-emerged in greater numbers, stirred into action by the run of promising news for the property market.

In Sydney, 74.7 per cent of homes under the hammer in the city sold from 522 auctions. One year ago, Sydney reached a clearance rate of just 49.4 per cent across 708 auctions.

Corelogic recorded a 67.9 per cent clearance rate in Melbourne based on the confirmed results of 574 auctions while another 151 were not included in the figures. Melbourne’s clearance rate has held above 60 per cent for three of the last four weeks.

In Brisbane, a 37 per cent clearance rate based on the confirmed results of 46 auctions out of a total of 92 held across the city.

Across the other auction markets, Adelaide and Canberra saw an increase in the number of homes taken to auction in the past week, with a 54.5 per cent and 47.1 per cent clearance rate respectively.

Brisbane auction numbers declined, with the weekend's total of 92 down from 117 in the same week last year and 151 at the same time two years ago. The city recorded a clearance rate of 37 per cent for the week.

Corelogic noted that the top end of the housing market continued to lead the way with the first signs of recovery emerging.

“While values are broadly continuing to fall, the rate of these falls on a monthly basis has been slowing,” Corelogic economist Cameron Kusher said.

“After having seen much larger corrections than the other two segments, the most expensive segment of the market is seeing its rate of decline slow.”

“This is a trend that has played out before whereby premium housing values fall the fastest initially but also sees the falls cease earlier than other market segments.”

“It is still early days but with the housing market expected to trough in late 2019, the premium housing sector may find a floor first and start to show some level of recovery before the other segments.”


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