Property market weakens as social distancing takes hold

31 March 2020

Ever-tightening social distancing measures saw a good portion of Australia’s auctions withdrawn on the weekend, weakening the property market.

Last week auction gatherings and open homes were banned meaning agents were forced to head online or over the phone to conduct business.

On the weekend there were 3,203 homes scheduled for auction around our capital cities but 40 per cent of them were pulled from the market according to CoreLogic.

The auction clearance rate dropped again to 51.4 per cent which is the lowest it has been since mid-2019.

CoreLogic says they are expecting a substantial drop in new property listings until some certainty returns to the market and economy and until then online and over-the-phone sales would replace traditional auctions.

Here in Melbourne we recorded an auction clearance rate of 58.6 per cent on the weekend of the 1,517 auctions held after 32 per cent were withdrawn from the market.

David de Garis is from NAB and spoke to the ABC.

“CoreLogic reports that the demand for their Comparative Market Analysis reports, reports sought by agents ahead of property listings, fell a further 38 per cent in the week to 25 March,” he said.

“This meant requests were down 20 per cent on year earlier levels when the property market was in downturn.”

“It’s hard to see buyers and sellers as anything other than very cautious until there is more clarity about COVID-19 and what it means for social distancing, the economy and job market conditions.”


The Federal Government is considering cash grants for new homes to help stimulate the economy and support the building industry hit hard by the coronavirus.

Read more

Coronavirus restrictions have been eased around Melbourne auctions and clearance rates have seen an immediate jump.

Read more

Loan payment deferrals have seen a take-up rate of around 10 per cent according to the Reserve Bank, a point they highlighted at their May meeting.

Read more

Melbourne public auctions returned on the weekend after coronavirus restrictions were eased, returning a modest clearance rate of 52.9 per cent.

Read more