The self-isolation measures and the ban on public gatherings have continued to take their toll on the auction market, but buyer demand has remained high, particularly for reasonably-priced homes, according to the latest market report from CoreLogic.

Jade Harling, analyst at CoreLogic, said the strong market confidence and the rising home prices led to a surge in scheduled auctions over the past two weeks. However, around 45% of auctions were withdrawn from sale over the weekend, while 84% were sold prior to the event.

There were supposedly 3,092 auctions scheduled for the week. Due to the withdrawals and the pre-auction sales, the preliminary auction clearance rate went down to 48%.

"A rapid change of conditions and plunging confidence related to the impact of COVID-19 has changed the auction landscape, with less than half of these homes selling," Harling said.

The recent preliminary success rate came off the back of the 37.3% clearance rate, the lowest final rate since 2008. This was due to the high rate of withdrawals in the two biggest capital city auction markets: Sydney and Melbourne.

Also read: COVID-19 and the property market

In Melbourne, 1,248 homes were scheduled to go under the hammer. However, 40% of auctions were withdrawn from the market. Furthermore, 89% of successful auctions in Melbourne were sold prior to the auction.

The same situation occurred in Sydney, where 45% of the scheduled 1,437 auctions were withdrawn. Of the successful auctions, 84% were sold before the event.

Harling said the high rate of pre-auction sales indicates that buyer demand remains high for appropriately priced properties.

The table below shows the performance of each capital city auction market:

High levels of withdrawal and pre-auction sales affected the overall clearance rate.