The first weekend of September saw far fewer auction listings and even fewer willing sellers than the opening salvo of spring last year.
But an Abbotsford veggie garden, with chook pens, water tank and a shed, attracted three bidders to fetch $1.26 million.
The 305-square-metre potential building site has been in the Harold family since 1936, when the now-rare patch of greenery was next door to their former shoe factory.
The building-family buyer will construct townhouses with views back towards the Melbourne CBD skyline.
It had been given $1.1 million to $1.2 million price guidance.
The weekend national tally was 1752 capital city auction listings, a decrease on last week’s 1915 auction offerings on the final Saturday of winter.
It was substantially lower than over the same time last year when 2074 homes went to auction.
The lower week-on-week volumes returned a preliminary auction clearance rate of 58.2 per cent, up at this stage on the 54.6 per cent final clearance rate over the week prior.
But after late results the final clearance rate will likely revise lower, according to CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan.
This time last year the success rate was 66.4 per cent.
It has been tracking in the low-to-mid 50 per cent range each week since May this year, Mr Brogan said.
“The softness continues into spring,” AMP Capital senior economist Shane Oliver noted.
Melbourne’s top recorded sale was in Toorak, where 12 Edzell Avenue sold for $3.68 million through Marshall White.
It last sold in 1999 at $770,000.
The English-style 1932 maisonette residence had pre-auction price guidance of $2.75 million to $2.85 million, with Domain reporting it was $680,000 over its reserve.
A South Yarra property sold at an undisclosed price post-auction after being passed in at $4,010,000 through Kay & Burton.
The 32 Avoca Street offering attracted just the one bidder.
It had last sold at $3.02 million in 2014.
Melbourne’s top offering at 12 Hill Street Toorak was passed in on a $6.7 million vendor bid. The Tudor-style home is now listed at $7,195,000.
Its pre-auction price guidance for the five-bedroom, three-bathroom house had been $6.7 million to $7.37 million.
Last traded at $3.9 million in 2007, it has been a $1900-a-week rental.
There were at least 18 no-bidder prestige auctions, according to the Melbourne buyers’ agent Mal James.
Melbourne was host to 810 auctions returning a preliminary clearance rate of 59.1 per cent, compared to last week when 56.5 per cent of the 899 auctions cleared.
One year ago, there were 976 auctions held in Melbourne, returning a much higher clearance rate of 71.3 per cent.
There were 662 auctions held in Sydney returning a preliminary auction clearance rate of 58.6 per cent.
Last week there were 721 auctions held with 53.2 per cent successful, while this time last year, 65.5 per cent of the 779 auctions held were successful.
The highest auction sale was 24 Narooma Road, Northbridge which sold for $4,460,000 through Richardson and Wrench.
The modern five-bedroom home was constructed since the 765-square-metre block sold three years ago for $2,450,000.
But there was no sale nearby when there was just one registered bidder for the five-bedroom home at 11 Dalkeith Street, Northbridge, which now has a $3.8 million asking price.
One of Queenscliff’s finest trophy homes sold pre-auction for $12 million through Jake Rowe Partners agents Jake Rowe and Nathan Tse.
They had an $11 million to $12 million guide, with it sold within days of its first open for inspection.
Renovated since last traded for $3.8 million in 2008, the tri-level home on its 805-square-metre Pavilion Street block has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and two home offices.
The lounge with gas log fireplaces, and the glass-framed dining and living rooms flow to seaside terraces featuring a fire pit and heated plunge pool.
Across the smaller auction markets, the highest preliminary clearance rate was recorded in Canberra, where 63.3 per cent of auctions were successful. It was followed closely by Adelaide, where 61.7 per cent of homes sold.
Brisbane, where the clearance rate was the nation’s weakest at 45.9 per cent, had the nation’s cheapest sale.
It was $210,000 for a two-bedroom townhouse at 11/30 Holland Crescent, Capalaba.
It had sold at $166,000 in 2003.
It has been for sale three times over recent years seeking $300,000.
Its most recent asking rental was $330 a week.
Jonathan Chancellor is editor at large at Property Observer