The number of weekend auctions in Sydney was 18 per cent higher than last year while Melbourne has virtually dried up as vendors pulled their properties from the market en masse and the extended lockdown will be devastating.

Across smaller capitals, Brisbane recorded a 60 per cent auction clearance rate, 78.6 per cent were cleared in Canberra and 69 per cent were successful in Adelaide.
A total of 882 properties were taken to auction across the country, a 22 per cent drop from last week and 24 per cent lower from a year ago. Of the 696 reported results, more than two in three (67.5 per cent) were cleared.
Melbourne grinds to a halt
By contrast, market activity came to a virtual halt in Melbourne, with just 28 homes taken to auction – an 83 per cent drop in volume from last week and 96 per cent slump from a year ago.
Of the 24 results collected so far, only eight were sold, with all but one, sold prior to auction day.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said the stage four lockdown has taken a huge toll on the housing market.
“Melbourne’s auction market was dead on arrival this weekend,” Mr Christopher said.
“This is an absolute disaster for the economy and for the state government revenues. It’s catastrophic for real estate agents who are getting smashed right now, as they rely heavily on sales turnover for income and currently not getting any sales.”
Mr Lawless said the number of auctions to be held in Melbourne next week will be even lower – with only 13 homes scheduled so far. Normally, around 700 to 1000 properties go to auction this time of the year.
“We haven’t seen auction numbers this low, outside of the early January and easter periods where numbers just drop to almost nothing,” Mr Lawless said.
Melbourne extends ban on auctions
Things could get even worse after the Victorian state government extended the ban on onsite auctions and property inspections until October 26 or until virus cases fall below five.
Ray White group managing director Dan White said the next seven weeks would be “pretty tough” for real estate agents.
“It looks like we’re going to be without revenues for at least another seven weeks, so that’s going to be pretty brutal for agents,” Mr White said.
“We’ve been getting ready to go, with photographers booked for this week and campaigns ready to start, but they will just have to go on hold for a bit longer, so we’re bracing for another seven weeks of no activity.”
Melbourne-based buyer’s agent Cate Bakos said she and other people in the industry will not be able to work until next month as a result of the extension.
“It’s just devastating,” Ms Bakos said. “I think it’s terrible. I feel like real estate is just kind of lost in all of these. I don’t understand how you can go to Bunnings or go to the mall, and it’s not okay to go to an open home one person at a time. The rules are out of whack.”