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Australian auction clearance rates declined last week, as activity in the major east coast housing markets remains subdued.
Data from CoreLogic showed an average preliminary clearance rate across the combined capitals of 56.2%, down from 58.4% in the week prior.
The result came despite a slowdown in volumes, as a total of 1,316 homes were taken to auction — down 14% from the previous week’s total.
“Auction volumes were down from last week when 1,536 auctions were held, however the preliminary clearance rate is higher than last week’s final clearance rate which was 55.6%,” CoreLogic said.
Preliminary clearance rates typically fall slightly once the finalised data is compiled later in the week.
“Over the same week last year, auction volumes were higher with 1,857 homes going under the hammer across the combined capital cities, returning a clearance rate of 68.2%,” CoreLogic said.
As usual in recent months, the preliminary clearance rate for units outpaced houses, with 59.5% clearing against 54.7% for houses.
In Sydney, there were 456 auctions returning a preliminary clearance rate of 56.1%, down from the previous week’s rate of 56.6% when 465 properties went under the hammer.
Finalised clearance rates in Sydney for the prior week amounted to 52.4%. It marked the fourth straight week that the Sydney market was host to less than 500 auctions.
Melbourne recorded a preliminary auction clearance rate of 57.9% across 628 auction, down from 58.5% across 802 auctions last week.
One year ago, preliminary clearance rates for Sydney and Melbourne were 66.4% and 73.9% respectively.
Across the smaller markets, Adelaide recorded the best preliminary clearance rate last week, with a 73.2% success rate across 56 auctions.
Data last week that Australian house prices fell sharply in July, recording the largest monthly drop in almost seven years.
The Melbourne market is leading recent declines, having recorded the largest quarterly drop in the the three months since the start of May.
We’ll get another update on Australia’s housing downturn when CoreLogic releases weekly house price data this morning.