Finance Property Top-end auction clearance rates point to continued falling prices, buyers agent says

Top-end auction clearance rates point to continued falling prices, buyers agent says

A South Yarra property was Melbourne's highest disclosed sale at $4 million. Photo: Marshall White
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A leading Melbourne buyers’ agent Mal James described the weekend Melbourne prestige auction results as “awful”.

The agency attended 33 auctions. Only four houses sold, meaning that prices are continuing to fall, he suggested.

“Twenty seven of the 33 auctions we covered had zero or one bidder,” said Mr James of James Buyer Advocates.

“One or less is not an auction – it’s a charade.”

The Bayside offerings were “holding up surprisingly well … but Boroondara’s Scotch Hill was like a cemetery.”

This three-storey property in Hawthorn was just one of the failed auctions this weekend. Photo: Marshall White
Even Italian stone benchtops weren’t enough to tempt bidders. Photo: Marshall White
The house boasts a cinema, as well as a library and wine cellar. Photo: Marshall White

An auction offering at 64-66 Berkeley Street, Hawthorn, with a price guide of $8.7 million to $9.5 million, passed in on a vendor bid of $8.3 million, with no bids.

The Marshall White marketing said the three-level home had a distinctive, vine-clad Mount Gambier limestone facade over two titles.
“It represented the pinnacle of Scotch Hill living and entertaining,” agent James Tostevin suggested.

Saturday was not a good day for auctions in Hawthorn’s Berkeley Street. Photo: Jellis Craig
The property now re-enters the market with a reduced sale price. Photo: Jellis Craig
Agents were hoping the property’s ‘blue chip’ location would entice buyers. Photo: Jellis Craig

There was also an unsuccessful auction five doors away at 54 Berkeley Street.

It now has a $2,975,000 asking price, having had a $3 million to $3.3 million pre-auction price guide through Jellis Craig.

Melbourne’s top disclosed sale was in South Yarra, where a four-bedroom 1920s home was sold after auction.

This South Yarra abode was the top seller for Melbourne’s auctions. Photo: Marshall White
5 Gordon Grove eventually sold for $4 million. Photo: Marshall White

The 5 Gordon Grove offering was sold for $4 million having been passed in at $3.925 million, the only bid after the opening $3.9 million vendor bid.

The pre-auction price guide had been $3.9 million to $4.29 million.

There was an undisclosed post-auction sale at South Melbourne, where the property was passed in on its only bid of $4.95 million.

46 Howe Crescent sold for an undisclosed amount post-auction. Photo: Marshall White
The home was designed by Charles Webb, the Hotel Windsor architect. Photo: Marshall White
It offers a range of living spaces – from studies to libraries. Photo: Marshall White

The 46 Howe Crescent auction vibe was described as “quiet” by one buyers agent. The price guide had been $5 million to $5.5 million.

The renovated Hazelwood Terrace offering dates back to its 1864 design by Charles Webb, the architect of the Hotel Windsor.

There had been an update by Anna Vaughan Architects.

A sprawling five-bedroom home was Sydney’s top seller at the weekend. Photo: Chadwick
The Wahroonga home sold for just over $5 million. Photo: Chadwick
The Braeside Street home was designed for “live-work-play”, agents say. Photo: Chadwick

The highest auction sale in Sydney was a house at 8 Braeside Street, Wahroonga, which sold for $5.02 million through Chadwick Real Estate agent Lynette Malcolm.

Set on almost 2000 square metres of gardens, the double brick, five-bedroom P&O-style home has 409 square metres of internal living space. There is an oversized double garage designed to house a boat.

69A Drumalbyn Road was Sydney’s second-highest selling property. Photo: Phillips Pantzer Donnelley
The four-bedroom home sold for $5 million. Photo: Phillips Pantzer Donnelley

Sydney’s next highest sale was 69A Drumalbyn Road, Bellevue Hill, which sold for $5 million through PPD Real Estate.

There were fewer capital city homes taken to auction week on week and year on year, CoreLogic noted.

There were 2204 capital city homes taken to auction, returning a preliminary clearance rate of 55 per cent.

It was slightly lower than last week’s 2293 auctions, which was the busiest week so far this year.

Volumes are significantly lower than the 3026 homes taken to auction over the same week in 2018.

“Given the combined capital cities posted another month-on-month decline in home values in February, it’s expected vendors will remain reluctant to auction their property while selling conditions remain challenging,” CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan noted.

“Year-on-year volumes will continue to trend lower throughout the year.”

Melbourne’s preliminary auction clearance rate of 54.9 per cent was recorded across 1046 auctions this week, up from the 50.6 per cent final clearance rate last week when volumes were at 1128.

A Pascoe Vale unit was Melbourne’s cheapest sale. Photo: O’Brien Real Estate
The unit sold for more than its $220,000 price guide. Photo: O’Brien Real Estate

Melbourne had the cheapest property reported sold at the weekend, a two-bedroom unit at 5/562 Pascoe Vale Road, Pascoe Vale, which fetched $241,000 through O’Brien Real Estate.

There had been a $200,000 to $220,000 price guidance.

It last sold in 2006 at $168,000.

There were 799 auctions held in Sydney, returning a preliminary auction clearance rate of 61.3 per cent. It increased from the 50.1 per cent final clearance rate last week when 801 Sydney homes were taken to auction.

Adelaide was the best-performing smaller capital with a 47.9 per cent success rate.

There was 44 per cent in Canberra and 33 per cent in Perth.

Brisbane was the weakest-performing auction market with only 32.9 per cent of homes selling.

Brisbane had the weakest-performing weekend of auctions, with a post-war home selling just for over $1 million. Photo: Ray White Real Estate

Brisbane saw a post-war house on 810 square metres at Alderley sell for $1,015,000.

There were nine registered with the opening bid at $915,000 for the tenanted 55 Alderley Avenue.

It was a $355 rental in 2015.

There was keen interest in a non-beachfront house on Mermaid Beach’s Millionaires’ Row on the Gold Coast.

It changed hands for the first time in six decades at $1,771,500.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reported five of the eight registered bidders placed a total of 28 bids were placed.

The property was announced on the market at $1.75 million and the hammer fell eight bids later to a buyer from Melbourne who already owned nearby.

There was some excitement on the Gold Coast, around a deceased estate last sold in 1956. Photo: John Henderson Real Estate
The home was sold for $1.7715 million. Photo: John Henderson Real Estate

The three-bedroom house at 46 Hedges Avenue was a deceased estate that last sold in 1956.

Professionals John Henderson partner Luke Henderson said the buyer was unsure if it would be a holiday house or permanent residence.

Jonathan Chancellor is editor at large at Property Observer

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