Melbourne’s auction market appears to have “bounced back” from a miserable end to 2018, with agents reporting strong bidder numbers and sales well above reserve.
The city’s clearance rate has also risen above 50 per cent for consecutive weeks, with CoreLogic recording a 54.2 per cent preliminary figure from 657 auctions last week and 52.4 per cent from 350 the week before.
While the market is still well behind where it was a year ago — when 69.8 per cent of 932 auctions resulted in sales — it has improved from a dire spring dubbed the worst since the 2008 global financial crisis, with nine straight weeks of sub-50 per cent clearance rates.
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Jas Stephens, Yarraville, agent Marina Condic sold a tired century-old Footscray house on Saturday for $1,230,250 — a hefty $80,250 above the reserve price — following competition from six bidders.
She said this bumper result, along with a Yarraville house that attracted four bidders to soar $241,000 past reserve to $1.041 million last weekend, were good omens for the 2019 auction market.
“There are a lot of buyers out there — a lot more people coming through open for inspections as opposed to the much slower last quarter of last year,” Ms Condic said.
“(The market) feels invigorated.”
The agent said househunters were relieved to see the end of the royal commission into banking, which had contributed to extreme difficulty obtaining finance.
“Stabilising” property prices had also given them confidence that buying a home was no longer out of reach.
A young couple bought the Footscray property at 66 Newell St from a woman in her 90s who’d lived there for about six decades, making her the street’s longest resident.
Ms Condic said the buyers planned to renovate and move into the house on an attractive 594sq m block near the Barkly St precinct, public transport and Footscray Market.
In Flemington, a renovated four-bedroom house with a pool, and in a tightly held pocket near Newmarket train station, smashed its reserve by $143,500 to fetch $2,223,500.
McDonald Upton, Essendon, agent Julia Murphy said up to five bidders competed for the rare offering at 1 Brixton St, which had been inspected by more than 100 groups during its four-week campaign.
A young family won the keys from owners who’d renovated the large home seven years ago.
“I was blown away by the numbers throughout the campaign,” Ms Murphy said.
“We’re getting 10 to 20 groups through most opens, when last year it was one to two. It seems to have bounced back.”
National Property Buyers director Antony Bucello said early signs suggested quality property priced correctly would perform well under the hammer, particularly if it was “close to the main amenities and in the sub-$1 million range”.
On the weekend, he watched a “well-located and well-presented” three-bedroom Art Deco house at 17 Francis St, Coburg, fetch $935,500 after being announced on the market at $905,000.
Five bidders pursued the pad on 549sq m, with participants eking out $2000, $1000 and even $500 bids at the end, Mr Bucello said.
“The auctioneer did a great job extracting everything he could from the buyers in order to achieve this result,” he said.
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