A much loved Willoughby home owned by the same family for almost 70 years has sold under the hammer for nearly $200,000 above the reserve price.
The final bid of $1.622 million for the three-bedroom home at 10 Wallace St was placed in front of a packed out auction attended by an estimated 200 people.
The crowd included more than 21 registered bidders, three of who actively took part in the auction.
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The home was being sold off by the children of the late owner, who died last year aged 94.
Daughter Merryn Truskett said she had fond memories of the property and was “extremely happy” with the result.
“There was lots of history on the street,” she said. “We knew all the neighbours. Some of them still live here. It was a wonderful place to grow up.”
The property sold to a young couple with plans to gradually renovate the home.
They faced competition from a rival bidder who opened the bidding at $1.35 million before dropping out of contention for the property when offers hit $1.4 million.
Another bidder joined the fray and pushed up the price to nearly $1.62 million before also dropping out. The final price left many onlookers stunned, with one neighbour telling the Sunday Telegraph she was “shocked”.
Selling agent Rick D’Amigo said there had been strong interest in the property, which went to auction with a $1.4 million price guide.
“The home had room for improvement and that really captured the imagination of buyers,” Mr D’Amigo said. “This isn’t a doomsday market … there was plenty of interest.”
Auctioneer Simon Jaeger of Auction Works said there was a phenomenal turnout at the auction which helped push the result higher and well over the reserve price. “There are still plenty of buyers out there,” he said.
The property was one of nearly 565 Sydney homes scheduled to go under the hammer today — an unusually low number for this time of year.
CoreLogic records showed close to 1000 auctions were scheduled for the same weekend last year.
The research group’s auction analyst Kevin Brogan said many would-be sellers were holding off on auction campaigns until the market became more certain.
“Clearance rates appear to be firming up and they are better than we would have predicted last year, but they are still low,” Mr Brogan said.
Last week 50.2 per cent of the nearly 580 homes that went under the hammer sold.
This weekend’s auctions would likely have a similar success rate, Mr Brogan said.
“There’s nothing to suggest the numbers will improve,” he said. “Vendors are being more realistic with their prices, and that could drag the numbers up, but overall most buyers are struggling to get financing and that’s making it harder for sellers.”