Capital city auction volumes dipped at the start of April but clearance rates should remain above 50 per cent for the third straight week.
Property analyst group CoreLogic on Monday said 1,978 auctions were held across Australia’s combined capital cities in the week to Sunday, down 8.5 per cent from the final figure of 2,164 the week before.
The total number of Sydney auctions dipped from 801 to 740, and Melbourne’s total fell from 978 to 899.
The preliminary auction clearance rate was 57.2 per cent and, while it is expected to drop back in line with a three-week trend, CoreLogic said it will likely remain above 50 per cent.
Auction volumes were slightly lower over the same week last year at 1,839, but the clearance rate was stronger back then at 62.8 per cent.
“The final clearance rate in Sydney has held above 52 per cent for the last five weeks so it will be interesting to see if this continues once the remaining results are collected,” Corelogic said.
“Across the smaller auction markets, Canberra, Perth and Tasmania saw an increase in the number of homes taken to auction this week, while Adelaide and Brisbane saw lower volumes week-on-week.”
Domain Group researcher Nicola Powell said the decline in auction volumes in Sydney reflected a slowing market and a rise in pre-auction sales.
Home prices across Australia fell for the 17th consecutive month in March, with CoreLogic recording values dipping 0.9 per cent in Sydney and 0.8 per cent in Melbourne.
But a PwC report released on Sunday said “key workers” – those employed in professions such as nursing, teaching and emergency services – were still unable to afford to buy a home in the two cities.
“House prices would need to fall at least another 60 per cent in Sydney and 50 per cent in Melbourne to enable single key worker households to save a 20 per cent deposit within five years,” according to The Deposit Gap Dilemma report.