Property Market Review as of 13/02/2023: RBA’s rate hike pulls preliminary clearance rates down

As the RBA tightens monetary policy and warns of further rate hikes, preliminary clearance rates fell by -2.2% across the combined capital cities.

February 13, 2023


As the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) tightens monetary policy and warns of further rate hikes, preliminary clearance rates edged down across the combined capital cities.

Auction activities ticked up by 11% this week, but the RBA’s rate increase dampened early clearance rates by -2.2%. With signals pointing to more rate rises, how will the market pan out in 2023?

Preliminary total auctions

total-auctions-feb 13-2023

Australia recorded 1,467 auctions across the combined capitals – up by 11% from the 1,322 auctions held in the previous week. Compared to last year’s record (2,401), the number of homes taken to auction this week is below expected.

According to Kaytlin Ezzy, CoreLogic’s economist, “With just shy of 2,000 capital city auctions expected, next week will provide a timely test of market demand.”

Based on CoreLogic’s current data, Sydney led this week’s auctions with 606 homes, a bit of improvement from 424 last week but still below this time last year when 886 auctions took place.

Following Sydney was Melbourne with 543 auctions, up by 31.5% from 413 the previous week. However, this was down by -47.7% from this time last year (1,039).

Of the smaller capitals, Brisbane (-49.0%) and Canberra (-27.1%) recorded declines in auction volumes as both cities hosted 102 auctions this week.

In Adelaide, 99 homes went under the hammer, which was -23.8% lower compared to last week’s numbers. Meanwhile, Perth held 13 auctions while Tasmania only had two.

Preliminary total clearance rate 

clearance-rate-feb 13-2023

While auction activities rose, preliminary clearance rates across the combined capitals slumped. Of the 1,125 results collected so far, 65.2% turned successful. This was down by -2.2% from the previous week’s preliminary rate of 67.4%, which was revised to 61.9% in the final figures.

An increase in the withdrawal rate, from 9.3% to 13.4%, this week could signal a worsening in vendor confidence following the more pessimistic inflation outlook and expectation for further rate hikes from the RBA,” said Ezzy.

Down by -3.2%, Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate fell to 67.4% after recording 70.6% (revised to 65.6% at the final tally) in the past week. According to CoreLogic, the city’s withdrawal rate this week also hiked to 17.9% from 12.5% last week.

Tailing Sydney was Melbourne with 63.8% successful auctions so far. This was -3.3% lower than last week’s as the city’s early clearance rate continued to fall.

Up by 11.5% to 63.4%, Brisbane was the only one that had an increase in the preliminary clearance rates among the smaller capital cities.

Adelaide’s record fell to 71.2%. Meanwhile, Canberra had a success rate of 60%.

Also declining, Perth recorded four successful auctions of the 11 results collected so far. However, Tasmania’s two auctions turned out unsuccessful.

Property price predictions plunged by 20-25% in 2023

Following RBA’s latest cash rate increase and forecasts of more rate hikes, experts weigh down on Australia’s property market outlook.

After forecasting a 15-20% fall in house prices, Jarden analysts revised the numbers and suggested that national house prices could plummet by 20%-25% this year as they “believe the RBA’s hawkish shift risks upending this budding optimism, seeing prices decline further.”


Louis Christopher, SQM Research founder, also shared, “If we have a pause [in rate increases] by May, if we don’t go over 4 per cent [official cash rate], I’m quite confident the market will bottom out on that pause and we’ll see its recovery in the second half of the year,”

If, on the other hand, they keep raising through to May inclusive and we go over 4 per cent, I think that’s the crunch point. That’s where the risks start to exponentially rise of a hard landing in the housing market and a hard landing in the economy.”

Joseph Daoud, It’s Simple’s founder and managing director, reveals why property prices are falling amidst rate hikes. You can watch the full video below:

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Source: CoreLogic

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