Brighton agent takes a dive to save auction from bombing

Brighton agent takes a dive to save auction from bombing

A Brighton auction on the verge of bombing still made a splash after the agent offered to take a dive.

While Nick Johnstone boss Nick Johnstone is no stranger to trading a post-auction swim in the backyard pool for a bid, he said it was the first time he’d offered to do so just to get an auction started.

“I was struggling. It looked like we weren’t going to get a bid,” Mr Johnstone said.

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But his offer to take the plunge worked and a local couple, with a baby due in about two weeks, made a $1.75 million bid for 55 Durrant St, which had a $1.8-$1.9 million price guide ahead of the auction.

The semi-detached home on an about 400sq m block passed in, but sold shortly after auction for $1.815 million — to the couple who were the only ones to bid. And after pushing themselves to buy the home, they got the chance to push the auctioneer into the pool.

A handful of other buyers were unable to bid for the home.

Despite the hard sell, Mr Johnstone said there were signs Brighton might have turned a corner.

“My feeling is that we could have seen the bottom of the market,” he said.

“Brighton was average for the back end of last year, but quite a few sold today.”

Another classic Brighton pad, the childhood home of famous composer Percy Grainger, hit the right note.

The three-bedroom cottage at 301 New St passed in to a buyer’s advocate on a $1.5 million bid.

Hocking Stuart Brighton’s Maria Hunt said it sold at the top of the $1.45-$1.595 million price guide.

“It has very good bones and a contemporary renovation inside that has been done really well,” Ms Hunt said.

“The vendor is moving back to the UK, but that’s the only reason it’s up for sale because she has enjoyed her time at the property.”

The heritage-protected home, which was sold in conjunction with Kay & Burton, has been subdivided and updated since Grainger was born there in the 1880s. It still retains its original facade and bluestone-paved courtyard.

— with Nathan Mawby


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