A new growth trajectory was apparent throughout in-demand areas on the weekend, as Melbourne property buyers competed hard for well-located houses and units.
Single-fronted cottages in good locations, warehouse apartments, older-style flats and detached homes on blocks with redevelopment potential all did well at weekend auctions.
The shortage of quality homes in Bayside suburbs at present — a situation tipped to worsen over autumn — contributed to a main road property in Brighton East selling for the highest reported price at auction on Saturday.
The time capsule home sold for $1.92 million. Photo: Nick Johnstone Real Estate
Three bidders stepped forward out of a crowd of 80 to compete for 200 South Road, which has a time-capsule-like 1950s house on a 1000-square-metre site. The Nick Johnstone-listed home was quoted at $1.7 million-plus but sold for $1.92 million, said selling agent Miriam Carraro. The neatly kept home was also marketed to land buyers and developers.
High demand and tight supply is turbo-charging most segments of the market. Some properties exceeded their reserves by 25 per cent and a high percentage of auctions attracted three or more bidders.
“Demand has not slackened,” said John Sommers, of the buyer’s advocacy firm McRae Property. “If anything, it has increased, and prices may well have firmed slightly since last year.”
The neatly kept home, which sold for nearly $2 million, was marketed to land buyers and developers. Photo: Nick Johnstone Real Estate
The Domain Group reported a weekend auction clearance rate of 78.7 per cent from 330 reported results. The results of a further 132 auctions were not reported by agents.
On Saturday, Mr Sommers bid unsuccessfully on behalf of a client for a single-fronted Victorian house with three bedrooms at 47 Brougham Street, Kew.
Quoted by Caine Real Estate at above $1.5 million, the timber cottage near Kew Junction drew a big crowd of 120 onlookers, including three bidders. On the market at $1.53 million, it sold for a bullish $1,668,000.
“It was a good house, but that was a very strong result,” Mr Sommers noted. “Brougham Street is a one-way street at the point where the property is and carries a fair bit of traffic.”
Buyers and sellers won’t get a real insight into the state of price growth for this year until the major real estate data companies release their first-quarter price-performance results in April and May. But in many pockets of Melbourne at the weekend, positive signals for vendors abounded.
Entry-level properties were prized on the weekend. In Windsor, six bidders targeted the one-bedroom 6/10 Wrexham Road, one of seven 1970s units. It was knocked down by Marshall White One for $452,000, according to Wakelin Property Advisory.
The market is in a “wait and see” mode for changeover buyers seeking freestanding homes. They will mostly hold back from making offers until listings, particularly of the good homes, ramp up over the next four weeks.
Nelson Alexander sales director Arch Staver said February 25, when well over 1000 properties will go under the hammer, would be the first real test of buyer sentiment.
“It might determine how this market is going to play out,” he said. “I think any clearance rate above 70 per cent on February 25 will underpin the market. It will say to us, ‘We’re in for a good strong autumn.'”