Analysts say a Melbourne-driven property surge has lifted the national clearance rate to its best week of the auction season so far, though house sales across the country are still in a rut amid a wider downturn.
CoreLogic’s preliminary auction data released on Monday shows 2,919 homes went under the hammer in capital cities last week – up 36 per cent on the week before – but still well down on the 3,713 that were up for sale 12 months ago.
CoreLogic put the weeks’ higher volume down to a Melbourne bounce, as vendors rush to auction prior to the Melbourne Cup Carnival slowdown, where volumes will temporarily plummet across the city.
Melbourne hosted 1,706 auctions last week, making it the second busiest week of the year for the city, while preliminary results show a clearance rate of 49.8 per cent, up from last week when just 45.7 per cent of auctions were successful.
That was the city’s lowest clearance rate since June 2012.
Nationwide preliminary results show a clearance rate of 50.2 per cent for last week, which is likely to drop below 50 per cent for the fifth consecutive week when final results are released on Thursday.
There were 796 auctions held in Sydney, up from 675 the week prior, although substantially lower than the 1,215 homes last year.
Preliminary results show that 50.7 per cent of Sydney auctions were successful this week, up from 44.6 per cent last week.
Adelaide had less auctions than same point last year but a better clearance rate, while Brisbane, Perth, and Canberra had less auctions and a worse clearance rate.
Melbourne home values are down 4.9 per cent on the same point last year, while Sydney values are down 4.7 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Housing Industry Association says the downturn in new home sales paused in September following a three per cent decline in each of the previous two months.
Only Queensland registered a decline in new home sales for the month, down 10.8 per cent.
‘Despite the monthly pause, the longer term trend of decline in sales remains in place,’ HIA Economist Diwa Hopkins said.
‘We still expect new home building to decline in 2019.’