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Auction clearances lower than last year

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auction.pngHousing auction clearance rates were lower last week than at the corresponding time last year, despite an improvement in most capitals last week.

The exceptions to last week's pickup were Sydney and Adelaide.

The average clearance rate in the week ending Sunday was 67.8 per cent, according to CoreLogic RP Data's weekly report on Monday.

That's up from the previous week's 66.6 per cent.

But it was well down from the 77.2 per cent clearance rate of a year earlier.

As well the stock of housing waiting for a buyer is up.

There were 105,239 unsold homes on the market at the end of last week, up from 100,616 a year before, a five per cent rise.

That's mainly down to Sydney, where sellers are not having such an easy run as they are used to enjoying.

There the clearance rate edged back to 67.4 per cent last week, from 69.8 per cent the week before, and well below the extraordinarily high 83.4 per cent a year ago.

At the same time, the overhang of supply on the Sydney market extended further, to 20,780 unsold homes last week, from 18,019 a year before, a rise of 15 per cent.

That's despite a six per cent fall in the number of homes being newly listed on the Sydney market.

The number of purchases in Sydney is lagging well behind the number of homes being listed for sale.

But the steepest drop in clearance rates was in Adelaide, where the proportion of homes sold slumped to 25.0 per cent, from 71.2 per cent the week before, amid anxiety over the future of the South Australian steel industry.

Aside from Sydney, shifts in supply and demand have been evenly matched over the past year in the capital cities, with the number newly listed homes and the stock of unsold homes both up by two per cent.

Even so the CoreLogic RP Data figures also show the national market is generating smaller price rises in most mainland state capitals.

The average gain has been just 1.8 per cent in 2016 so far, compared with an increase of 3.5 per cent through the corresponding part of 2015.

Adelaide, where confidence was hit last year by news of the demise of motor vehicle manufacturing in South Australia, the only capital is doing significantly better this year than at the corresponding point in 2015.

But the steel industry's problems could soon change that.

HOUSING PRICE RISES IN 2016 SO FAR

Sydney: +3.1 pct (same part of 2015 was +6.4 pct)

Melbourne: +1.5 pct (+3.9 pct)

Brisbane: +0.3 pct (+0.1 pct)

Adelaide: +3.1 pct (-0.2 pct)

Perth: -1.5 pct (-1.6 pct)

Average: +1.8 pct (+3.5 pct)

Source: CoreLogic RP Data

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