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Auction clearance rates succumb to another lockdown

31 August 2021

Melbourne’s terrific auction clearance rates have finally succumbed to the latest lockdowns and delta outbreak.

Around two-thirds of our city’s scheduled auctions had the plug pulled on them by nervous vendors who were no doubt watching the daily rise in case numbers.

Nationally we recorded an auction clearance rate of just 55.4 per cent thanks to the struggles of Melbourne and Sydney. That’s the worst result since April last year.

SQM Research’s Louis Christopher spoke to Australian Financial Review.

“What many vendors are doing is saying we cannot conduct this auction, let’s reschedule it for another four weeks,” he said.

“We’re seeing a high proportion of that.”

In Sydney there was a solid percentage, over half in fact, of homes that sold ahead of their scheduled auction.

“Selling prior, taking a bid prior, is not exactly a sign of massive strength in the market,” Mr Christopher said.

He was unsure, however, of why the same thing wasn’t happening in Melbourne.

“Is it because sold prior bids are too low? Or that there is no sold prior bid going on and buyers are holding back? We don’t know for sure yet,” he told AFR.

Mr Christopher said he thinks activity in Melbourne will pick right back up again once the current restrictions are once again eased.

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