Tungamah church leads auction faithful in weekend auctions

Tungamah church leads auction faithful in weekend auctions

A few homesellers might be praying for a result this weekend, but a former church in Tungamah has had buyers flocking to it online.

It’s one of almost 200 Victorian properties going under the hammer this Saturday, February 2.

Elders Real Estate Yarrawonga’s Rod Leslie said the Uniting Church at 5 Barr St had attracted “enormous” interest ahead of auction.

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“We have had an enormous amount of emails,” Mr Leslie said.

“Even from Queensland, and Melbourne, Bendigo and Geelong.”

But there has been a test of his faith, with just two groups having had a look at the property in person.

“But we have had a few people who have indicated that they will be there on the day,” Mr Leslie said.

“If it sells it will be someone who gets the romance of it, and wants to convert it into a home.

“If it doesn’t sell on the day it will be very close to the day.”

The church, which dates back to about 1930, hasn’t been used for about two years — and with their rarity in the region pricing it has been difficult.

Tungamah’s typical house price sits around the $180,000 mark, and the market has been good lately — with nearby Yarrawonga about as strong as Mr Leslie has ever seen it over the past 18 months.

In Melbourne, the first auction of 2019 in Cheltenham will set the tone for the suburb, according to OBrien’s Trevor Bowen.

The three-bedroom house at 13 Shipston Rd, Cheltenham has been popular with family buyers and those looking to upsize from one of the area’s townhouses.

With three bidders likely to turn up, he’s expecting his fourth auction in the street to follow suit and end with a sale under the hammer.

“It’s a great, honest family home and it’s in an ideal location,” Mr Bowen said.

“If we fire, it’s all go for Cheltenham. But if we don’t, it won’t be a good sign.”

His last sale in the street, at 19 Shipston Rd, notched a $1.24 million sale basically on land value — with the home later bulldozed.

This weekend the price guide has been set for $1-$1.05 million.

“That tells you how the market has changed,” Mr Bowen said.

This Saturday Melbourne will host about 150 auctions, and a further 35 will be held across the state, well below the 292 hosted on the same weekend a year ago.

Last weekend a lower number of auctions returned a 52 per cent clearance rate on preliminary CoreLogic figures, a solid step up on where 2018 ended.

A year ago the Australia Day weekend started the year off with a 78 per cent clearance rate, but the figure had waned to below 70 per cent by March.

“I wouldn’t get too carried away at this point,” CoreLogic’s Australian head of real estate Geoff White said.

Auction numbers are expected to build to a peak a week ahead of the Labour Day long weekend in March.

“And then we will start to get a real handle on what the market is doing,” Mr White said.

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