New year’s auction clearances still soft

CoreLogic released its auction report yesterday, which reported a stable preliminary national auction clearance rate at 67.7% – exactly the same as last weekend but significantly below the 73.2% in the same weekend last year:

However, as you can see above, the trend clearance rate has bounced.

Auction volumes nationally were at at 1,464 – also below the 1,591 recorded in the same weekend last year:

As shown above, clearances in Sydney (-12.0%), Melbourne (-3.4%), Brisbane (-0.7%), and Canberra (-13.8%) were below the same weekend last year, whereas they are higher in Adelaide (+2.2%), Perth (+4.0%), and Tasmania (+12.5%).

The below tables show the breakdown by houses and units:



  1. All we need is for enough potential buyers to start doubting, and with luck a few investors taking their profits and leaving.

    • In Perth these past few days and happened to read local rag over some coffee in a cafe. There was a big spread article that Perth will see some 10,000 Chinese visitors over the next few weeks. Bigger joke was the paper portrayed that all of them will be looking to buy property LMFAO. Even guessing the suburbs most to their fancy. Kind of delusional and highly optimistic prediction …..

    • we will have to wait until Friday report on weekly price movements. This will give us an indication of where the market is heading.

      Edit – but I think you are right even though I hope you are wrong. Volumes increased and I expected to see decrease in clearance rates. That did not happen.

      • Weekly price movements have a 6 week lag on them. This week’s data reflect the beginning of Jan.

    • So what I’m not understanding is the numbers… say for nsw 465 results available against 677 scheduled auctions. So 68% available. And off that 465, 68% cleared (oddly same number). But then the breakdown says:
      132 sold prior to auction
      178 sold at auction
      4 sold after auction
      33 withdrawn
      118 passed in

      Those numbers don’t add up do they? Or am i reading this wrong?

      • Those numbers add to 465. It is stunning that mb reports on this meaningless number. Report on Thursday when the final numbers are in which will still be missing 10/15% of auctions and always include an extra statistic how many auctions were not reported.

      • Ah thanks!
        Right, so it’s 314/465 (67.5%) that is the clearance rate? But that’s only off 68% of the reported results until Thursday when they all come in? OK. Is it normal for the sunday ones to be 68% reported? Sorry, haven’t been following this number, usually there isn’t much of a difference I thought between Sunday and Thursday. Seems lately it makes a difference which one you look at.

      • The more auctions missing ng initially, the more the final clearance rate falls. Thursday likely see it drop to 60% with still 15% not reported. In strong results less than 5% of auctions are missing so safe to assume most of the 15% missing are fails. So the real number is sub 50%.

    • Corroborated by my planner son who sees large building site purchasers by offshore interests in Victoria

    • There is still pent up demand. A dead cat bounce in Sydney wouldn’t surprise me. However I expect that will lead to a rate hike, and then its all over.

      • Pent up demand in Feb, and an influx of foreign buyers in Feb, happens every year and should surprise no-one. That is why we have seasonally adjusted data.

        Unless the foreign effect is larger than in previous years, then the overall figures will still be down year on year given the other things dragging on the sector (lending restrictions for Australian buyers, low wage growth, sentiment softening, etc).

        I find it hard to believe that the Chinese bid is stronger this year than last year, given:
        – our currency is higher (hence we are more expensive)
        – new / increased taxes on foreigners
        – Chinese controls will slow (though not halt) the flow of money out of China.

        So on balance – worse than last year.

      • Unless the foreign effect is larger than in previous years, then the overall figures will still be down year on year

        First quarter last year was truly spectacular – almost 5% growth in Syd/ Melb. Simply failing to be as good again will see Sydney prices at least record sub-zero growth, probably pulling nation-wide growth down below zero also. Chinese buyers would need to be more hungry for Australian property than they have been at any other time before to prevent that sort of result from here.

  2. Chinese demand for new apartments is virtually unlimited. There will never be a glut. And, as long as Chinese are allowed to purchase real estate in Australia, there will be no property crash in Melbourne or Sydney. Property developers are king in this country and control all levels of government from local council to the prime minister. I’m a mid 30s male with a pretty decent income, born here and ancestors have been here for over 150 years, never bought property. The market consists of existing owners that sell their residence to buy (inflated prices are largely irrelevant to these people – e.g. purchase price could be $3m.. doesn’t matter if you’re selling one for a stupid high price also); builders/developers that buy blocks to print money (doesn’t matter the price because the new homes built will be sold at stupidly high prices also); some investors; and a small proportion of first home buyers that are being expolited as the bottom of the Ponzi (but are not really needed anyway when we have Chinese making 80% of new property buys and thousands of Indians making outer suburb developments their new homes each week feeding the base of the scheme). I have plans to migrate out of this country. I frankly can’t wait. Good riddance.

  3. On another note, I sometimes just ask for indicative price across suburbs in Sydney. Has anyone lately been sent responses to enquiries you never made?? I get a “thank you for your enquiry re: *property I have never searched for before*. The indicative price is *something silly high*” from RE agents. I don’t know if there’s a bug in I didn’t think too much when it happened once, but then it’s happened for the 4th time now.

    • They are just fishing. I get the same, in addition to unsolicited “follow-up” from Russian beauties desperate for my body, and a constant stream of cheap Viagra offers.

      • lol. Fair enough. But I had never received these before and so, I’m not sure how they have my email address other than the realestate website now selling the info…