The auction market remains subdued, with 526 capital city homes taken to auction at the start of the year— down by nearly 34% from the same week last year, when 790 auctions were held. 

The preliminary clearance rate, meanwhile, rose to 47.8% over the period but is expected to dip to the usual low- to mid-40% range as final results are collected. The figure is much lower than both the combined capital city preliminary clearance of 67.7% and the final clearance rate of 62% recorded in the same period last year.

CoreLogic’s first week of auction reporting for 2019 showed that Sydney returned the strongest clearance rate of 53.7% across 129 auctions. Melbourne, on the other hand, posted the highest number of homes auctioned (156), but only had a preliminary clearance rate of 44.1%.

Adelaide held a total of 102 home auctions with a clearance rate of 52.8%, making it the second-best performing auction market this week.

Perth was the worst-performing auction market, with only 25% of the 30 homes taken to auction successfully bought.

Volumes are significantly lower than the numbers generated at the end of last year, and clearance rates are generally less indicative over periods of such low activity. As the number of auctions records rises over the next few weeks, an improved perspective on auction conditions for 2019 will be available, according to CoreLogic.