Finance Property Clearance rates hold firm as property market shrugs off coronavirus fears

Clearance rates hold firm as property market shrugs off coronavirus fears

This Thornbury home set a suburb record over the weekend. Photo: Jellis Craig Hawthorn
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First-home buyer hopes were dashed and renovator dreams realised as Australia’s auction market clocked in another strong performance this weekend.

Buyers turned up in their droves to the almost 3000 auctions that took place across the nation, despite global sharemarkets this week suffering their worst losses since the global financial crisis.

Under the shadow of a potential virus-induced recession, Sydney and Melbourne bore witness to 1045 and 1567 auctions respectively.

The former reported a preliminary clearance rate of 81.4 per cent and the latter reported a success rate of 77.1 per cent.

In a sign of the market’s strength, more than 30 bidders turned up to the auction of a one-bedroom unit at 404C/8 Loveridge Street in Alexandria, NSW.

This 86-square-metre unit in Alexandria sold for $135,000 above reserve. Photo: McGrath Coogee

Selling agent Nick Lennan of McGrath Coogee had advised buyers in before the auction the property was expected to sell for roughly $750,000, according to Domain.

The first bid came in at $720,000 – $20,000 above its reserve.

Moments later, a second bidder upped the price to $830,000 to scare off the competition.

The massive jump was met with shock and disbelief and dashed the hopes of most registered bidders. But it wasn’t enough.

Domain reported that a third bidder responded with an increase of $5000 and snapped up the property for $835,000.

The vendor had bought the property off the plan in 2000 for $325,000.

At the other end of the market, the Harbour City’s most expensive sale of the week came on Saturday when Monika Tu of Black Diamondz Property Concierge sold a four-bedroom, three-bedroom penthouse at 1701/30 Glen Street, Milsons Point for $7,250,000, according to CoreLogic.

The property last sold for $2.88 million in 2014 but has undergone significant renovations since then.

This penthouse in Milsons Point was Sydney’s most expensive sale of the week. Photo: Black Diamondz

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, the most expensive sale recorded by CoreLogic was in Canterbury, where Jellis Craig Hawthorn sold a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house at 8 Stanley Grove for $3,780,000.

Down the road in Thornbury, two young renovators also hit the jackpot.

After buying 63 St David Street in an “almost unliveable” condition, vendors Ben and Alexa Clark transformed the four-bedder into a contemporary home complete with a renewed heritage facade and glamorous outdoor pool.

The couple sold the home for a suburb-record $2.31 million.

They had bought it for $1.14 million in 2016.

Vendors Ben and Alexa Clark sold this Thornbury home for $2.31 million. Photo: Jellis Craig Hawthorn

Elsewhere, Adelaide’s most expensive sale over the weekend was a four-bedroom, three-bedroom house at 33 Surrey Street, Grange ($1,340,000), and Canberra’s was a three-bedroom, one-bedroom house at 15 Francis Street, Yarralumla ($1,450,000).

The results reflect strong demand across all segments of Australia’s runaway housing market.

Although some of the recent pick up in activity is seasonal – with auction activity typically building in February after falling over Christmas – CoreLogic’s auction commentator Kevin Brogan said the results were strong and reflected the uplift in demand seen since June.

As of the end of January, national property prices had climbed 6.7 per cent since finding their recent trough.

Mr Brogan expects the next round of house price figures, to be released on Monday, to show prices rising higher still, albeit at a slightly slower pace.

He told The New Daily this week’s results showed demand was strong enough to meet the recent pick up in auction volumes, which are now much higher than the 2201 that took place last year and just a fraction below the 3300 auctions that took place at the equivalent weekend in 2017.

But, in line with other commentators, Mr Brogan said the pace of recovery would slow over the coming months as wages had stagnated.

“The growth is still there, the market is still strong, interest rates are still low, clearance rates are still high,” Mr Brogan said.

“But [the rise in median values is] probably a little bit more moderated than the rapid growth we saw in the final quarter of last year.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Brisbane’s most expensive sale over the weekend was a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house at 63 Churchill Circuit, Banyo.

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