IT was a start to the Sydney house auction season that had something for everyone — buyers and sellers alike.
There was early morning success for first homebuyer Ben Cividin, who snapped up a one-bedroom unit in Lane Cove for $686,000. A short time later a Willoughby apartment sold to a young family for $65,000 over reserve.
Later in the day, a rundown four-bedroom terrace in Surry Hills sold under the hammer for $1.82 million, $170,000 above the reserve. It last sold for just $35,000 in 1977.
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Agent Christopher Breedon of BresicWhitney brought the auction forward by a fortnight due to significant interest. He said: “It’s been really good, I’ve noticed a surge in buyer activity.”
It wasn’t as easy for others. A recently updated 1870s Millers Point terrace passed in at $2.45 million on its only bid. It had last sold at $2.48 million in 2016 in an unrenovated condition by the state government. It sold following the auction for around $2.7 million.
Overall, there were 105 properties scheduled for auction yesterday, a modest number compared to the 165 on the same weekend last year. CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan said the low numbers made it difficult to get a real read on the clearance rate.
“I think if they show better than expected results it’s not significant, there are so few it’s just too early to tell,” he said. “We are a couple of weeks off being statistically relevant.”
Richardson and Wrench chief auctioneer Peter Baldwin said it had been a late start to the year, with many homes having just held their first open.
“The first big Saturdays are on February 23 and March 2,” he said.
Speculation surrounding the state and federal elections, as well as the results of the banking royal commission was also impacting the sentiment of many within the market.
Despite this, overall inspection numbers through open homes in the first few weeks of the year have generally been positive, with many people were looking for the opportunity to grab a competitive price, Mr Baldwin said.
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“There is an interesting dynamic, buyers are coming in at or below the price guide,” he said.
McGrath agent Todd Moore, who saw the property he was selling in Mona Vale pass in on Saturday, said restoring confidence was key in getting the market started again.
“There are a lot of buyers trying to pick the bottom of the market and sellers are waiting for it to turn,” he said. “We need a bit of stability to give people the confidence to buy.
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