Sydney trumped Adelaide in the auction game in February, as it achieved its best clearance rate since October 2021.

According to Domain’s latest auction report, February was a busy month for auctions, with success rates at healthy levels across capital cities and regional markets.

Capital cities witnessed 64.8% of all auctions proceeding to sale over the month, currently at a twelve-month high. Regional markets’ clearance rates also increased over the month to 52.1%.

Here are some capital city highlights in February:

  • For the first time in eleven months, Sydney reported a clearance rate of above 60% — it achieved its highest success rate since October 2021 at 69%, making it the best-performing capital city auction market.
  • Melbourne had its best auction performance since March 2022 but on annual terms, clearance rates in the city are on a downwards trend.
  • Brisbane reported its highest success rate since May 2022, but, similar to Melbourne, it continues to underperform on an annual basis.
  • Adelaide was dethroned by Sydney as the best-performing auction market. Still, it had a high showing during the month at 68%.
  • Canberra registered the biggest annual decline among all capital cities — in February last year, it had an astonishing clearance rate of 77.1%, significantly higher than the 58.2% it recorded this year.
Auction volume
Sold at auction
Passed in
Sold prior
Location Clearance rate Monthly change Annual change
Combined Capitals 64.8% 16.4ppt -2.1ppt 6700 3843 1345 21.6% 12.5%
Combined Regionals 52.1% 18.9ppt -6.6ppt 1215 461 266 17.8% 17.8%
Sydney 69.0% 17ppt 2.5ppt 2612 1598 343 30.1% 16.2%
Melbourne 63.8% 10.5ppt -1.7ppt 2707 1587 623 16.3% 11.1%
Brisbane 51.5% 20.7ppt -16.7ppt 449 183 138 17.5% 9.6%
Adelaide 68.0% 21.6ppt -5.4ppt 442 263 112 12.1% 3.1%
Canberra 58.2% 9.2ppt -18.9ppt 429 199 108 19.0% 10.2%
Perth 50 7 19
Hobart 1
Darwin 10 6 2
Geographies are based on ABS GCCSA geography. Auction reporting rates are 88.7% in Sydney, 91.8% in Melbourne, 79.1% in Brisbane, 87.6% in Adelaide and 79.7% in Canberra.
Data Source: Domain

Domain said the lift recorded in February aligns with the post-January increase in auction listings, which began to pick up after the lull of the school holidays.

Amid price downturns and rate hikes, clearance rates are a good indicator of the strength of the property market.

“Historically, clearance rates tend to bounce early in the year, and they are often higher than the previous year had closed — it is too early to use this as a measure of green shoots within the property market, given the normal seasonal bounce that occurs in February,” the report said.

In terms of auction volume, both capital cities and regional markets reported higher listings compared to January. On an annual basis, however, auction listings were down.

One auction indicator, however, that indicates concern is the number of homes sold prior from auction. 

Across combined capital cities, the share of properties sold prior to auction day was at its highest level since April 2022. This could suggest that sellers are willing to accept offers due to a weaker demand and the uncertainties around future rate hikes. 

On the other hand, it would appear that seller confidence is improving as the number of withdraw auctions plunge to the lowest point since September 2021.


Photo by Tourism Australia on Canva.