A derelict former Victorian residence with no roof was Melbourne’s most expensive sale at auction at the weekend – fetching $2.815 million.
The four-bedroom heritage home in Hawthorn had been decaying over the past decade, before almost being destroyed by fire two years ago.
Most Melbourne agents – and their vendors and buyers – took the weekend off for the start of the Spring Racing Carnival.
But Marshall White agent Duane Wolowiec saw the opportunity to run a lengthier five-week marketing campaign for his tricky listing that gave prospective buyers extra time to become convinced it was a punt they’d be prepared to take on.
The 1000 square metre Lisson Grove estate lies in what had been regarded as one of Hawthorn’s most fashionable avenues, given the lovely Victorian homes set in large gardens.
Number 65 was a single-storey villa built in the mid-1880s for the Trood family featuring a symmetrical façade with double bay windows.
“We have five young families bidding” Mr Wolowiec said.
“There are strict heritage restoration conditions including the need to install slate roofing.”
Most buyers thought the restoration would cost at least $1.5 million, he added. Hawthorn’s median house price currently sits at a record $1.85 million, according to CoreLogic.
The final weekend of October had the national clearance rate remain high across all the capital cities, recording above 70 per cent for the 14th consecutive week.
There were 2246 auctions held across the capital cities, with a preliminary auction clearance rate of 77 per cent, slightly down over last week’s 78 per cent across 2680 auctions.
Sydney has been the proven spring stayer this year with its auction clearance rate remaining above 80 per cent.
The most expensive house sold was a newly-built six-bedroom Strathfield home.
The sale at 115 Homebush Road for $5.65 million was $300,000 over reserve through agents Joseph and Sam Georges of Georges Ellis & Co. They said prices were up about 30 per cent in the last year.
The 1120 sq m building block had cost $1.7 million in 2014.
“The strong clearance rate continues to be supported by exceptionally strong auction market conditions in Sydney,” CoreLogic’s Kevin Brogan said.
Across Sydney, 1096 homes were taken to auction with a preliminary clearance rate of 84.4 per cent across 906 reported results.
Last week, the final clearance rate for Sydney was 82.6 per cent, across 897 auctions.
Like Melbourne, Sydney’s Paddington had its own dilapidated terrace story.
The 45 Iris Street offering sold for $1.19 million – $190,000 more than it was purchased for just eight months ago.
The uninhabitable two-bedroom terrace on 55 sq m had three bidders and it was eventually sold to an investor who will implement the building’s recently obtained $600,000 development approval.
The terrace had been the home of the late artist Christina Coombes who bought it in 1965 for £3200.
The distraction of the Spring Racing Carnival saw Melbourne listings down – and the preliminary clearance rate dipped from 80 per cent to 78 per cent, though remaining well above the 65 per cent clearance rate for the city one year ago.
Melbourne hosted around 629 auctions, lower than the 1377 held last week and consistent with the same period last year.
There were 192 Brisbane homes taken to auction this week, with 114 results reported so far. The preliminary clearance rate for the city is 52 per cent, up from 50 per cent last week and also higher than one year ago, when 48 per cent of the 188 properties taken to auction were successful.
Brisbane’s top weekend result was $5.3 million in Paddington.
The tri-level 2009-built contemporary home at 171 Fernberg Rd sold to a Toowong family.
There was also the $5.225 million sale of the former home of the late Sir John Pidgeon, a respected leader in the construction and property industry.
The home at 14 Otway St, Holland Park on 5275 sq m was purchased by a local buyer.
Sir John passed away in June.
The auction, through Dixon Family Estate Agents, attracted 36 registered buyers, according to the Courier Mail.
The living room fireplace is an authentic George III white marble inlaid chimney piece, the jamb centred with a relief of Diana and her Hound.
Adelaide recorded a clearance rate of 75 per cent across 166 auctions this week, including the nation’s cheapest sale at $246,500 in Elizabeth.
The mid-1960s three-bedroom brick home had been listed with $210,000 hopes, having last sold for $92,500 in 2002.
Canberra’s preliminary auction clearance rate of 71 per cent this week matched the 71 per cent recorded last year.
Perth and Hobart were the capitals with lower clearance rates than one year ago.
Jonathan Chancellor is editor-at-large at Property Observer.