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Auction buzz hints at a heated start to February in Australia’s property market


The Australian property market is witnessing a significant uptick in activity as February commences, with CoreLogic reporting a robust number of 1,706 homes slated to go to auction across the combined capital cities in the week concluding on February 4. Representing a wave of activity that is poised to compensate for January’s quieter pace, which saw 803 properties go up for auction, this week is predicted to be the second-busiest start to February on record.

The previous year’s robust conditions, which saw 1,779 homes auctioned off in the initial week of February, seem to be carrying into 2024 with a 29 percent surge in volumes over the same period in the prior year.

Melbourne leads the race as the busiest capital, hosting auctions for 608 homes, which significantly outpaces last week’s figures of 192 and the entire January count of 313. The projected numbers for Melbourne mark a 47 percent jump from the comparable week in the previous year. Meanwhile, Sydney is not too far behind, preparing to auction 591 homes, indicating a 28 percent increase over the same week last year. In contrast, January was considerably quieter for New South Wales’ capital, with only 151 auctions held.

Considering the smaller capitals, Adelaide stands out with 144 homes up for auction and a 19 percent year-on-year increase in auction volumes. Brisbane is expected to maintain consistent activity with 207 auctions aligned with the previous year’s numbers, while Canberra anticipates 133 homes to be put up for sale, a slight 5 percent decrease from last year’s figures.

Perth has nine scheduled auctions, and Tasmania will see three homes auctioned.

CoreLogic posits that while fluctuations are anticipated throughout the month, these initial numbers may serve as a barometer for gauging buyer demand. CoreLogic economist Kaytlin Ezzy shed light on the market’s dynamics, noting, “This week’s results could help indicate whether the weaker selling conditions seen towards the end of last year have persisted into 2023, or if sentiment has lifted with earlier expectations of rate cuts following [this week’s] inflation update.”

Ezzy’s comments indicate that industry observers are keenly awaiting the ripple effects of the week’s performance to understand the trajectory for the property market in the near term. This bustling start to February’s auctions may thus offer some insights into the potential trends as the year progresses.

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