A heritage Flemington shopfront residence, most recently known as Macca’s Milk Bar, fetched $936,000 at a weekend auction.
The offering at 31 Dover Street, in Melbourne’s north-west, went to auction with an $800,000 to $880,000 price guide through Jellis Craig.
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom residence that last sold for $107,000 in 1988, operated as a business, with a popular lolly counter, until 1999.
Its sale came as momentum returned to the improving national housing market on the first big auction weekend since the Reserve Bank’s sugar hit, a cut in the cash rate to a record low of 1.25 per cent.
“The post-election and rate-cut bounce is continuing,” said AMP Capital chief economist Dr Shane Oliver, adding he estimated Sydney’s final tally would see the best clearance rate in two years and Melbourne’s best in 15 months.
Melbourne hosted 725 auctions, with preliminary results returning a 67.9 per cent clearance rate.
Volumes are still well down compared with this time last year, with 992 homes taken to auction in Melbourne. It had a final clearance rate of 56.2 per cent.
“Melbourne’s final clearance rate has held above 60 per cent for three of the last four weeks and this week will be no different,” CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan said.
Melbourne’s top sale was $2.56 million in St Kilda West.
The seven-bedroom terrace at 18 Park Street had been tipped by Wilson Real Estate to fetched between $2 million to $2.2 million.
Sydney was the leading market with a 74.7 per cent preliminary clearance rate, with 522 homes were taken to auction this week, up from 313 last week.
The preliminary clearance rate came in up from the prior weekend’s 56.2 per cent.
“Even after we see the usual downwards revision over the week it’s looking like this week will be the most successful result the city has seen since at least April last year, or possibly longer,” Mr Brogan said.
One year ago, a clearance rate of just 49.4 per cent was recorded across 708 auctions.
Sydney’s top sale was a near harbour-front property at Lavender Bay, where a three-bedroom, two-bathroom property at 20 Bay View Street fetched $6.71 million.
It was for sale the first time in more than four decades having last sold in 1977 for $80,000.
There were 14 registered bidders, eight of whom participated in the auction in which the reserve was exceeded by $1.2 million.
It sold with architectural plans by Allen Jack+Cottier to local downsizers, who plan to rebuild on the 373-square-metre block.
There was a $5.9 million sale at Pymble, on Sydney’s upper north shore.
The five-bedroom, three-bathroom home at 62 Pymble Avenue was sold by Di Jones agent Tim Fraser about $100,000 over reserve.
CoreLogic advised 13 of the 15 Sydney sub-regions returned preliminary clearance rates over 60 per cent, 10 of which returned over 70 per cent.
There were three Sydney sub-regions with a preliminary clearance rate over 80 per cent, Ryde, the inner west and the Hills district.
Across the smaller capital-city auction markets, Adelaide and Canberra saw an increase in the number of homes taken to auction, while Brisbane and Perth saw lower volumes week on week.
Deception Bay, a 40-minute drive from Brisbane, secured the nation’s cheapest auction outcome when $250,000 was paid pre-auction for 5 Hughes Street, Deception Bay.
The sale of the three-bedroom home through Ray White agent Tiffany Franklin was at $27,000 higher than its last sale in 2004.
There were no auctions in Tasmania this week.
After the long weekend slowdown, national auction volumes increased week on week with 1487 auctions held across the combined capital cities, returning a preliminary auction clearance rate of 66.4 per cent.
Over the previous week, the final clearance rate dipped to 48.3 per cent across 805 auctions.
“It’s likely that as the remaining results are collected, the final result will still hold above 60 per cent for the first time in over a year,” Mr Brogan suggested.
Over the same week last year, auction volumes were higher at 2002, with the clearance rate a weaker 52.4 per cent.
Domain recorded similar numbers to CoreLogic with a 65 per cent preliminary national clearance rate, 70.6 per cent in Sydney and 65 per cent in Melbourne.
Domain economist Trent Wiltshire said the market had picked up, but market conditions were still soft, he warned, with the clearance rate still below the decade average and auction volumes also down 20 per cent year on year.
Jonathan Chancellor is editor at large at Property Observer