Auction clearance rate rebounds, activity still down
Auction clearance rates strengthened on the first weekend of relaxed social distancing restrictions, but overall activity is still being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Preliminary data from CoreLogic showed 73 per cent of the weekend’s auctions in Sydney produced a sale, while 60.2 per cent of auctions in Melbourne were successful, with the nation’s two biggest markets surpassing the results recorded at the same time last year.
Total numbers, however, were well down on 2019, with auctions in Melbourne down 72 per cent, and Sydney down 30 per cent.
Across Australia, there were 400 auctions at the weekend, with a weighted average clearance rate of 64 per cent.
With fewer buying opportunities available, real estate agency Ray White NSW chief auctioneer Alex Pattaro said those auctions that did go ahead were well attended, particularly in Sydney, with crowd sizes averaging around 30 people per property.
Ray White managing director Dan White said 80 per cent of the agency’s Sydney auctions cleared, as registered bidders hit an average of 9.1, up from 5.1 last year.
“We are not surprised by the strong activity at our auctions,” Mr White said.
“Bidding activity remains well up on where we were last year.”
In Melbourne, Ray White Glen Waverley area manager Calvin Huang said one auction attracted 15 registered bidders, 10 of which attended on site, with 5 using online bidding platforms.
“I think buyer confidence is back in the market and I don’t think we would have had more than 15 bidders even pre-COVID,” Mr Huang said.
“There’s been a big bank up of buyers who have been holding off in the last few weeks, and now they’ve come back to the market in force and are ready to buy.”
Brisbane’s auction market remained subdued, with CoreLogic data showing the city’s 28 auctions had a clearance rate of 25 per cent.
There were an average of 3.3 registered bidders at Ray White’s auctions, the company’s Queensland chief auctioneer Mitch Peereboom said.