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Slow start to spring selling season

By Staff Reporter
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Capital city auction markets suffered under the weight of increased listings during the first month of spring, with one exception.

A high volume of sales listings looks to be having a dramatic impact on auction clearance rates across the country, according to the Domain Auction Report.

Sydney and Brisbane suffered the worst results of all the cities included in the report.

Brisbane’s clearance rate dropped to 46.2 per cent in September, down from August’s 57.4 per cent and 46.3 per cent the same time last year.

Sydney’s clearance rate dropped to 69.8 per cent over September – down from 73.9 per cent in August and 76.9 per cent the year prior.

Australia’s largest city may be set for a further decline, particularly if the volume of stock for sale continues to increase, according to Domain’s senior economist Andrew Wilson.

“The high volume of listings will continue to test the Sydney market. September alone recorded a record average of 859 weekend auctions. This is well ahead of the August average of 738 weekend auctions and the 590 conducted over September 2014,” he said.

Canberra also suffered a decline in fortunes in the month-on-month stakes, down from 70.7 per cent in August to 64.3 per cent in September.

That figure still saw the national capital ahead year-on-year, with a September 2014 clearance rate of 56.3 per cent.

Melbourne’s September clearance rate of 73.2 per cent represented a slight decrease from August’s 75.2 per cent and last September’s 73.7 per cent.

The city, known for its traditionally strong auction market, had the largest number of listings, according to Mr Wilson. 

“With a remarkable number of auctions – nearly 1,000 per weekend over the month of September – Melbourne’s auction market is well ahead of where it was last year. The city averaged 977 auction listings every weekend over September, up from the average of 830 over August and significantly higher than the average of 640 over September last year,” he said.

Only Adelaide was able to buck the downward trend – by the slightest of margins. 

Its September clearance rate increased by 0.1 per cent since August to sit on 65.3 per cent, slightly down from the 2014 figure of 66 per cent.

The results are indicative of the Adelaide market’s resurgence, according to Mr Wilson.

“Not only was there an increase in Adelaide’s clearance rates over September, but there was also a significant increase in auction volumes. This reflects the growing confidence of sellers in the local market conditions,” he said. 

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