The momentum from last year’s record high auction volumes has continued into 2022 

Real estate sales are facing headwinds as buyers and sellers grow more wary ahead of the federal election campaign and the possibility of rising interest rates.

In the first three months of 2022, 23,748 homes went under the hammer, making it the busiest March quarter since records began in 2008. For comparison, there were 19,004 capital city homes taken to auction in the first quarter of 2021 and 18,902 over the March 2020 quarter.

The combined capital city clearance rate of 69.9% for the March 2022 quarter was down from the December result of 71.3% and weaker again when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2021 when the clearance rate was 80.0%.

While the number of auctions held reached a March quarter high, the clearance rate gradually drifted lower through the quarter. The higher overall listing numbers and a slowing rate of sale in Sydney and Melbourne was also impacting market conditions. Sydney’s auction clearance rate over the March quarter was 69.1%, compared to 69.9% over the previous quarter, and 84.5% over the March quarter 2021.

There were 8,283 auctions held in Sydney in the first three months of 2022.

Overall, Melbourne’s clearance rate was recorded at 68.5% over the March quarter, down from 69.7% over the previous quarter and 77.5% over the March 2021 quarter. In terms of auction volume, there were 10,315 homes taken to auction across the city over the March quarter.

Of the smaller capital city markets Adelaide was the top performer with a clearance rate of 80.6% for the March quarter from 1,797 auctions. Canberra recorded a clearance rate of 77.9% from 1,227 auctions and in Brisbane 1,916 homes went under the hammer resulting in a clearance rate of 67.9%.

The smaller auction markets were generally stronger through the quarter, especially Adelaide where clearance rates held above the 80% mark. With such strong selling conditions, we’ve seen a progressively larger portion of homes being taken to auction in Adelaide; a city that has historically favoured sales campaigns by private treaty rather than auctions.

This is a seasonal trend we see through the winter months, but as selling conditions gradually swing towards a buyer’s market, we could also see clearance rates trending lower.

Sydney sub-region summary

North Sydney and Hornsby recorded the highest clearance rates this quarter (73.4%), followed by Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury (72.7%) and Sutherland (72.5%). North Sydney and Hornsby was the busiest sub-region this quarter, with 1,205 homes taken to auction, followed by City and Inner South (913) and Inner South West (894).

Melbourne sub-region summary

In Melbourne, the Inner region was the busiest spot for auctions with 2,049 auctions held over the quarter, up from 1,987 over the March 2021 quarter. All nine of Melbourne’s sub-regions recorded a fall in clearance rates over the quarter compared to the same quarter last year. The Mornington Peninsula was the best performing sub-region over the March quarter (76.5%), followed by the Outer East (74.0%) and Inner South (72.0%).

First home buyers 

Almost 60 percent of first home buyers are receiving financial help from their parents to get a start in the property market following the price boom of the past two years . Parents are the ninth biggest lender and parents are gifting or lending a record average of $100,000 to help with the deposit.