GUN-shy homeowners remain reluctant to sell by auction, with volumes significantly falling in the nation's capital cities.
Auctions are traditionally an attractive avenue for motivated owners to sell if they have a unique home that sits at the premium end of the market.
But RP Data analyst Cameron Kusher says there has been a "steady decline" in volumes.
"I think it's a reflection that the premium housing market has been the weakest, it's usually those unique and higher-priced houses that do go to auction," he says.
"If you look at most of last year and early this year, you are sitting at essentially a 50/50 chance of selling in Melbourne or Sydney (by auction) and typically a lot less than that in the other capital city markets.
"Perhaps people feel the 50/50 chance is not worth all the extra spend that typically goes into the auction campaign of advertising, and they'd rather go for a private treaty sale."
Real Estate Institute of Australia president Pamela Bennett says the decline in auction volumes coincides with a dip in the number of people able to bid on the day.
"A big impact on auctions has been having financial availability and ability to lock that in so you can bid and go unconditional," she says.
Jason Andrew, from Jason Andrew Auctioneers in southeast Queensland, says he believes auction numbers are on the way up.
"But ... the numbers are very clear, people are avoiding them like the plague," he says. "People were shying away from the auction method of sale ... because a lot of the success rates were down around the 20-30 per cent rate.
"Because such a big shift was required of sellers' expectations, the clearance dropped ridiculously last year and agents became disheartened by the process."