Properties with spacious backyards and strong appeal to young families prompted the hottest bidding duels at auctions in Melbourne at the weekend.
The Domain Group reported a solid clearance rate of 74.8 per cent from 732 reported auctions on Saturday. This was lower than the previous weekend’s season-high 78.3 per cent result and also lower than the 77.9 per cent reported over the same weekend last year.
Even so, low turnover in many inner and middle suburbs is helping to push up selling prices for larger houses.
The upward pressure on prices showed at the auction of a tired former housing commission house at 392 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne.
Advantage Property Consulting managing director Frank Valentic said the four-bedroom duplex home drew spirited bidding from six upsizing families, with the property selling for $1,642,000 or 31 per cent above the $1.25 million reserve.
“The beauty of these houses is that they come with a bit of dirt,” he said. “This one had 440 square metres of land, whereas in most parts of Port Melbourne and Albert Park, little terrace homes are on 150 to 200 square metres of land.”
He said the bidders were all trading up from a smaller property and the Buxton-listed house was in need of a $300,000-plus renovation.
For growing families, climbing the property ladder to the next level is becoming increasingly problematic. Related: Toorak tennis court nets $7.8 millionRelated: Click here for Saturday’s auction resultsRelated: Click here for the Market Snapshot
That’s because suburbs within 20 kilometres of the CBD are experiencing unusually high levels of market inactivity in two key demographic age groups. Families opting to stay put and build up or out and reluctant downsizers are both restricting the supply of larger homes for sale, contributing to the escalating trend of less stock being available in popular areas.
Domain Group data shows that auction listings in Melbourne are 20 per cent up on last year but most of the new listings are in the outer suburbs.
It’s little wonder that real estate agents active in inner Melbourne say they see more prospective buyers looking for properties priced between $1.5 million and $2.2 million than they do people with a lower or higher budget.
In addition to the 732 reported auction results on Saturday, agents did not report the results of another 191 scheduled auctions.
Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said Saturday’s mid-70 per cent clearance rate was a healthy market indicator for sellers that pointed to a vibrant spring selling season.
“In Melbourne, prices are growing quite sharply and clearance rates are now pushing up to 80 per cent,” he said. “That really is quite strong in a market that hasn’t had recent interest rate cuts. There is only one weak link and that is the inner east. And there is a lot of stock coming into the inner east, so that market is going to be very interesting to watch over spring.”
One south eastern-located house in the $1.5 million-plus price band that fared well at the weekend was an Edwardian property lacking a contemporary extension, at 4 College Street, Elsternwick.
Offered by Biggin & Scott, the three-bedroom house drew offers from three parties. On the market at $1.6 million, it sold for $1,725,000 to a young family from Elwood looking for larger digs and a decent-sized backyard.
Meanwhile, a double-fronted, three-bedroom house at 81 Erskine Street, Middle Park, also did well when offered by Chisholm & Gamon.
The property had a reserve of $1.85 million but sold for $2,090,000. According to the buyers’ advocacy firm Property Mavens, two bidders competed and the strength of demand for scarce Middle Park real estate helped to push both bidders over the $2 million mark and return about $10,000 per square metre to the vendors.
Other top sales reported at the weekend included a four-bedroom home at 16 Bailey Avenue, Armadale, which sold for $4,060,000 through Marshall White, and a three-bedroom house at 2 Thanet Street, Malvern, sold by Kay and Burton for $3,610,000.
Added to this, a number of high-end houses sold before their scheduled auctions on Saturday, including a four-bedroom extended Californian bungalow at 6 Carson Street, Kew. It sold in the middle of last week for $3.3 million through Jellis Craig.
Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs assumed the top spot for regional results at the weekend although all areas recorded healthy results for most sellers.
Dr Wilson said the strength of the outer-suburban, lower-priced markets probably reflected increased activity by first-home buyers keen to take advantage of the recent cuts to stamp duty for this group.
The south-east produced a robust result at the weekend with an 85.3 per cent clearance rate with the outer east also strong at 81.5 per cent. The next highest region was the inner city with 77.8 per cent followed by the west with 77.3 per cent, the north-east with 73.2 per cent and the inner east with 71.7 per cent.
Somewhat surprisingly, the northern suburbs were down at the weekend to 71.4 per cent and the inner south was also down with a 70.7 per cent clearance rate.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.