A nondescript $5.71 million Kew home topped the nation’s weekend auction results with most of the six bidders planning to bulldoze the 1950s five-bedroom, two-storey brick home.
Just kilometres away from pricey 78 Sackville Street, a Brunswick offering was the nation’s cheapest result.
It was the rather plain $216,000 one-bedroom, single-storey townhouse at 16/6 Garnet Street. Something of a pass-the-parcel seems to be going on as it had sold only two years ago at $229,500 and even higher at $240,000 in boomtime 2010, being a $240 a week rental in the meantime.
So all the attention fell on a contemporary Hawthorn East offering that was briefly the backdrop on the reality show The Real Housewives of Melbourne, as the rental home of Jackie Gillies, the wife of Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies.
A glamorous 1888 Victorian era home – with a 2010 extension by architect Steve Domoney – was their $2500 a week rental.
Marshall White agent James Tostevin expected 2A Harcourt Street to sell for $3.5 million plus with it fetching $4,105,000, some $400,000 over reserve at its weekend auction.
Nothing so over the top in Sydney where the strengthening hammer success rate is mostly seeing results within the pre-auction price guidance.
The Sydney clearance rate sat well above 70 percent for the third successive weekend as early-bird sellers secured strong buyer interest.
When it came to affordability, however, there were just the four reported sales at $500,000 or less across Sydney.
A $488,000 sale of a two-bedroom fibro at Bradbury, near Campbelltown, was the cheapest result with 15 Bland Street selling to an investor.
It appeared that the weekend auction buyers ignored the week-long headlines around the negative gearing policy uncertainty.
The CoreLogic RP Data capital city results pointed to a continuing or resurgent seller’s market, though auction bidders are being more measured to avoid runaway prices.
Sydney ranked as the strongest mainland capital city over the past week with a 77 per cent success rate.
The scarcity of early February listings has seen the clearance rate bounce off the canvas, well up on being in the 50s last December.
Next strongest mainland capital over the past week was Melbourne at 73 per cent.
Melbourne sales on Saturday included the longtime Albert Park home of retired radio medico personality Dr Paul Nisselle – broadcaster on 3LO from the early 1980s – which fetched $2.72 million.
But Michael Wipfli, the current-day Nova FM breakfast presenter, couldn’t sell his Armadale home which was passed in at $1.8 million. It had been listed through Jellis Craig agent Simon Dale with price expectations above $1.7 million, and now listed at $1.95 million.
Last week auction volumes almost doubled in Canberra, with 104 homes taken to auction. Despite the rise in auction activity, Canberra’s preliminary clearance rate has remained steady at 71, now with four consecutive weeks of clearance rates above the 70 per cent mark, similar to early 2015.
The overall national clearance rate of 72 per cent compared to last year’s results of 77 per cent, with Brisbane’s results especially dragging the national figure down.
But only Adelaide’s 70 per cent clearance rate was above the same level last year.
There are 1200-plus auctions scheduled for next weekend in Melbourne, suggesting an interesting few weeks as auction stock levels face the traditional pre-Easter escalation. Sydney sees 1000-plus weeks coming up.
“Auction activity will continue to ramp up which will test the resilience of auction markets on higher volumes,” CoreLogic RP Data’s Kevin Brogan noted.
Jonathan Chancellor is editor-at-large at Property Observer.