Canberra’s clearance rate is down 24 per cent on this time last year, new data shows.
From 320 reported results, only 43 per cent of properties auctioned in March sold under the hammer according to Domain. Of those 32 sold prior and 35 were withdrawn.
It is the lowest monthly result since December 2013.
The performance was dragged down by units, where only 25 per cent sold under the hammer over the month. This is the softest performance for unit auctions in more than two years.
Auction clearance rates have been lacklustre over the past five months, despite a slight spike last month.
Domain senior data analyst Nicola Powell partly attributed the monthly fall to increased auction numbers.
“Clearance rates have sunken following the slight bounce in February, with auction volumes tracking higher over March and likely to be weighing on performance,” Dr Powell said.
“A slowdown in market activity will be hindering auction success, with the need for vendors to readjust expectations to meet the prices that buyers are willing to pay.”
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Ray White Canberra auctioneer Alec Brown said a “new market” was coming into play.
“It’s definitely not the same level of activity in 2017 and 2018 where clearance rates were reported as famously high,” he said.
“Compounding the market is the lending and the appetite of the market.”
On a district level, Belconnen recorded the strongest clearance rate at 51 per cent, but it was down 28 per cent year-on-year.
Queanbeyan’s clearance rate was the lowest at 25 per cent, but the Inner South had the greatest year-on-year fall down 44 per cent with only 27 per cent of auctioned properties selling.
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“When you look at the performance of Belconnen as a region over the past years, it has come into form. Buyers appreciate the value on offer and the lifestyle the region offers,” Mr Brown said.
“The Inner South’s performance somewhat surprises me. I would suggest the heat has come out of that market to some degree, perhaps the access to lending at that particular price point is more tricky than it once was.”
In the wake of lower clearance rates, many agents have been banking on post-auction sales. Taking into account post-auction sales, 63.3 per cent of auctioned properties in February have since sold. The original clearance rate for the month was 50 per cent.
Unsurprisingly, sales supply and days on market are up year-on-year for both houses and units.
House sales supply was up 33 per cent year-on-year for March at 1756 and for units, it was up 24 per cent at 1631.
Average days on market for houses was up 30 per cent at 79 days and for units, it was up 3 per cent at 91 days.