COVID Withdrawals Drag Clearance Rates Down | Kanebridge News
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COVID Withdrawals Drag Clearance Rates Down

A deluge of sellers brought auction activity to unprecedented levels.

By Kanebridge News
Mon, Jun 7, 2021 10:44amGrey Clock 2 min

A steady stream of sellers continues to flood national auction markets in record numbers as the winter selling season kicked off on Saturday June 5.

A total of 2697 homes were reported listed by the national auction capitals on Saturday – higher than the previous weekends 2505 – a record June offering and the second highest for the year so far.

National clearance rates, however, eased once again, reflecting the surge in listings alongside high withdrawals in a Melbourne market impacted by the COVID-related lockdown measures.

Saturday’s national clearance rate of 80.7% was the lowest of the year so far, below the previous weekend’s 82%.

The Sydney auction marked hosted another remarkable number of listings on Saturday to smash the June record for the number of properties auctioned. The city reported 1048 auctions on Saturday, higher than the previous weekend’s 981, and the second highest of the year so far.

The clearance rate lowered to 80.8% in Sydney on Saturday, lower than the previous weekend’s 82.2% but higher than the 57.9% recorded over the same weekend last year.

Despite the result being the lowest for the Harbour City this year, it marked the 17th consecutive weekend of clearance rates above 80%.

Sydney recorded a median price of $1,605,000 for houses sold at auction at the weekend which the same as reported over the previous Saturday but 17.8% higher than the $1,362,500 recorded over the same weekend last year. 

Melbourne reported a clearance rate of 72.2% which was lower than the 76.5% recorded the previous weekend and the lowest result since the 66.9% recorded over October 24th last year – also impacted by lockdown at that time.

Further, Melbourne reported a remarkable 1379 auctions on Saturday which was well ahead of the 1272 conducted the previous weekend and the second highest for the year so far.

Melbourne recorded a median price of $1,046,000 for houses sold at auction on the weekend which was higher than the $987,500 recorded over the previous weekend and 25.6% higher than the $833,000 recorded over the same weekend last year.

Data powered by Dr Andrew Wilson of My Housing Market.

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House values continued to fall last month, but the pace of decline has slowed, CoreLogic reports.

In signs that the RBA’s aggressive approach to monetary policy is making an impact, CoreLogic’s Home Value Index reveals national dwelling values fell -1.0 percent in November, marking the smallest monthly decline since June.

The drop represents a -7.0 percent decline – or about $53,400 –  since the peak value recorded in April 2022. Research director at CoreLogic, Tim Lawless, said the Sydney and Melbourne markets are leading the way, with the capital cities experiencing the most significant falls. But it’s not all bad news for homeowners.

“Three months ago, Sydney housing values were falling at the monthly rate of -2.3 percent,” he said. “That has now reduced by a full percentage point to a decline of -1.3 percent in November.  In July, Melbourne home values were down -1.5 percent over the month, with the monthly decline almost halving last month to -0.8%.”

The rate of decline has also slowed in the smaller capitals, he said.  

“Potentially we are seeing the initial uncertainty around buying in a higher interest rate environment wearing off, while persistently low advertised stock levels have likely contributed to this trend towards smaller value falls,” Mr Lawless said. “However, it’s fair to say housing risk remains skewed to the downside while interest rates are still rising and household balance sheets become more thinly stretched.” 

The RBA has raised the cash rate from 0.10 in April  to 2.85 in November. The board is due to meet again next week, with most experts still predicting a further increase in the cash rate of 25 basis points despite the fall in house values.

Mr Lawless said if interest rates continue to increase, there is potential for declines to ‘reaccelerate’.

“Next year will be a particular test of serviceability and housing market stability, as the record-low fixed rate terms secured in 2021 start to expire,” Mr Lawless said.

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week also reveal a slowdown in the rate of inflation last month, as higher mortgage repayments and cost of living pressures bite into household budgets.

However, ABS data reveals ongoing labour shortages and high levels of construction continues to fuel higher prices for new housing, although the rate of price growth eased in September and October. 

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