Auction listings double as sellers rush to beat Christmas

The number of homes scheduled to go under the hammer has surged to a record 4354 this week, as Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra posted their largest auction volumes ever, CoreLogic data shows.

Auction listings have jumped by 17 per cent nationwide over the week and more than doubled the number recorded this time last year, as vendors rushed to get deals done before the holidays and take advantage of the remaining heat in the market.

This week also marks the first time auction listings across the combined capitals will exceed 4000, eclipsing the previous high of 3990 recorded during the week ending March 25, 2018, when house prices started falling sharply.

Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra are set to host their highest auction volumes on record this week with 1656, 308, and 183 homes, respectively, scheduled to go under the hammer.

Melbourne is expected to host the largest number of auctions this week, with 1,898 homes – a 14.5 per cent rise over the week and more than double the number of auctions recorded this time last year.

Auction volumes nationwide have risen strongly since it bottomed out in September. Since then, the number of homes taken to auction had climbed by around 10 per cent each week for a total increase of more than 200 per cent.

Tim Lawless, CoreLogic’s research director, said auction volumes could rise further in the weeks ahead.

“Historically, auction volumes peak sometime between the final week of November and the second week of December,” he said.

“Considering the selling season was pushed back a little due to lockdowns, along with the strong selling conditions, it’s likely we will see auction activity peaking a little later this year.

“At the moment it’s looking like the week of December 6 and 12 could see an even larger number of auctions held, potentially setting a new record for the volume of auctions held.”

The high number of properties for sale has started to temper the frenzied competition between buyers, resulting in falling clearance rates.

Since its recent peak of 83.2 per cent in October, clearance rate has dropped to 70.3 per cent this week – a similar level achieved last year.

Across Sydney, the clearance rate had dropped to 68.7 per cent last week – its lowest level so far this year.

Melbourne’s clearance rate has also trended lower since the recent peak of 85.3 per cent in early October. Last week, clearance rate had fallen to 68.6 per cent from 71.8 per cent in the previous week.

The falling clearance rate has already weighed on CoreLogic’s home value index.

“Tracking the rolling monthly change across CoreLogic’s daily index shows a further fade in the pace of capital gains across Sydney and Melbourne,” Mr Lawless said.

“Based on the trend to-date, it’s looking like both cities will finish November with a monthly growth rate lower than 1 per cent.

“Growth rates are fading across the largest cities, but in Brisbane and Adelaide the pace of gain seems to be gathering some momentum as the monthly growth rate remains at cyclical highs with values rising at a monthly rate of more than 2 per cent according to the daily series.”

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