The harbourfront Rose Bay trophy home of property developer Stephen Burcher was passed in at weekend auction on a bid of $23.25 million.
It ranked as the highest bid ever made at a home auction, but it fell short of the $25 million being sought by its listing agent Ben Collier, of The Agency.
Sydney’s previous auction record of $23 million was set by the sale under the hammer of the Le Manoir estate in Bellevue Hill in 2009.
The Rose Bay auction reportedly had just the one bidder, a local Chinese family.
There were four or so other interested buyers for the three-level residence redesigned by architect Bruce Stafford, amid landscaped gardens by Wyer & Co’s Anthony Wyer.
The five-bedroom, five-bathroom “battle axe” residence is set on a waterfront block with a boat shed and pool.
Meanwhile, the highest residential sale in Sydney was 10 Seaview Street, Waverley, which sold for $4.3 million through Phillips Pantzer Donnelley in conjunction with Richardson & Wrench.
The four-bedroom property last sold for $470,000 in 1994.
There had been a $4 million price guidance.
Sydney was again the stronger of the two major auction capitals, hosting 795 auctions with preliminary results showing a 58.6 per cent clearance rate, up from 54.6 per cent across 523 auctions last week.
Over the same week last year 1259 homes were taken to auction across the city returning a clearance rate of 65.1 per cent.
There were 1144 auctions held in Melbourne this week with preliminary results showing a clearance rate of 53.1 per cent, increasing from last week when the final clearance rate was recorded at 52.5 per cent across 657 auctions.
Over the same week last year, the auction clearance rate was significantly higher with 70.6 per cent of the 1606 auctions returning a successful result.
Melbourne’s top revealed price was in Middle Park at $3,645,000.
The price guidance had been $3 million to $3.3 million for 144 Canterbury Road. There were four bidders.
The four-bedroom brick Edwardian home last sold for $400,000 in 1992.
A Toorak home was passed in at $3.66 million, and sold after auction at an undisclosed price.
Melbourne has the nation’s cheapest advised sale when 904/19 Hall Street, Moonee Ponds sold for $300,000.
The one-bedroom unit on the ninth floor of the One9 apartment complex was sold pre-auction through Frank Dowling Real Estate, which had a $300,000 to $320,000 price guidance.
It last sold for $400,000 in 2014, according to CoreLogic.
Across the smaller auction markets, Brisbane and Canberra were the only cities to see a rise in clearance rates week on week, while auction volumes increased everywhere except Perth and Tasmania over the week.
There was a $2.39 million sale in Adelaide, which had the strongest clearance rate sitting in the 60s.
The $2.39 million sale was for the three-bedroom house at 21 North Esplanade, Glenelg North.
It was a mortgagee offering through Jamie Brown at Bernard Booth.
The new beachfront residence came with some 600 square metres of living space and views of Gulf St Vincent across three levels.
Auction clearance rates, albeit preliminary with many results yet to be advised, remained resilient despite the jump in auction stock.
The national auction volumes across the combined capital cities rose above 2000 for the first time this year, according to CoreLogic.
There were 2303 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities returning a preliminary auction clearance rate of 54.1 per cent, while the prior week saw 1450 auctions held and a 51.2 per cent clearance rate.
Over the same week last year, 3313 auctions were held and a clearance rate of 66.8 per cent was recorded.
Last week’s final clearance rate marked the second week in a row where the final clearance rate held above 50 per cent, an improvement given the weekly auction clearance rate sat at or below 42 per cent for five consecutive weeks in November/December 2018, CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan noted.
“It will be interesting to see how clearance rates hold up now that auction volumes have started to pick up,” Mr Brogan said.
“The seasonal pattern over previous years has seen a similar bounce back in the auction clearance rate in February through to mid-to-late March before trending lower into autumn and winter.”
There is a later Easter this year, which will see a clear run through to late April.
“Considering advertised stock levels remain high and most other indicators are soft, it’s possible a similar weakening trend in auction markets will become evident next month,” Brogan tipped.
The number of properties pulled from auction remains high, with CoreLogic calculating 67 were withdrawn from weekend Sydney auctions.
There had been progressively more withdrawals every Saturday so far this year with 12 on February 2, 26 pulled on February 9, and 42 on February 16.
The redundant Malabar home of My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans and wife Nicola Robinson was among those withdrawn from weekend auction.
The five-bedroom house is still up for sale through Peter Goulding and Nick Ujvary of NG Farah Little Bay.
The couple have built a new home nearby.
Jonathan Chancellor is editor at large at Property Observer