Both the capital and non-capital markets recorded a decline in clearance rates and an increase in auction volumes in the three months to December, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

Combined capital city clearance rates declined to 43.6%, down from 53.6% over the previous quarter and 62.3% over the same period in the prior year.

The lowest weekly clearance rate for the quarter was 40% across 2,406 auctions recorded over the week ending December 16. The highest clearance rate, on the other hand, was 49.5% across 1,817 auctions logged over the week ending October 7.

CoreLogic found that individual capital cities experienced a decline in clearance rates except for Tasmania, which remained unchanged at 50%. The fall was led by Canberra (-13.4%), followed by Adelaide (-12.2%), Perth (-11.9%) and Melbourne (-11.2%). These cities posted the largest drop in clearance rate among the capitals across the nation.

Activity tracked upwards, rising over the quarter with 25,894 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities (up from 20,653 over the September quarter). However, current volumes are still scarce compared to the past year when 32,408 homes were taken to auction.

The trends were the same for non-capital city markets. Auction volumes increased across all five regions over the December quarter when compared to the previous quarter, while clearance rates have slid over the same period.

The largest fall in clearance rates was observed across the Hunter region, down -18.8%. This was followed by Geelong (-17.3%), Wollongong (-10.2%), Gold Coast (-5.9%) and the Sunshine Coast (3.1%).

Gold Coast (616) topped the list of regions with the highest number of auctions over the 3 months to December 2018. Geelong (579) came second.