Saturday was Melbourne’s biggest auction day of the year so far, with some 1500 properties put under the hammer in a test of the housing market’s recent recovery.
The 77 per cent success rate was a strong result.
“The Melbourne auction market passed its biggest test with flying colours, despite the flood of listings,” housing economist Dr Andrew Wilson, from My Housing Market, said.
“Vendors are now moving back into the Melbourne market keen to take advantage of strong selling conditions with rising prices,” he said.
Melbourne’s top notified result was $5.425 million in Kew. It was a resort-style house at 3-5 Rimington Avenue, which was sought by just the two bidders.
Set over two titles, the six-bedroom, four-bathroom home featured a salt-water pool, floodlit north-south tennis court and self-contained club-house.
It has views to the north and east.
There was higher bidder at a Toorak offering, which was passed in on a $6.4 million vendor bid.
And also whispers of an $8.18 million sale in Hawthorn.
The four-bedroom 1887 Kooyongkoot Road home on its 1254-square-metre Scotch Hill holding had last sold at $377,000 in 1985.
A $170,000 sale was the nation’s and Melbourne’s cheapest at 13/11-13 Cooma Street, Preston.
The studio apartment had been listed with a $165,000 to $180,000 price guide.
The top sale across the nation was in Sydney when a $10.1 million bid secured a historic Bellevue Hill home, Cliff Hall.
There were seven registered bidders for the 1916 home that sold through Peter Starr, at Raine & Horne, in conjunction with Sotheby’s agent Harriet France.
There were five bidders following the $7 million opening offer.
Cliff Hall, with views of the harbour and ocean, was last sold for $770,000 in 1983.
The next priciest Sydney weekend sale was at Hunters Hill, where $5.5 million was paid for a five-bedroom 1885 sandstone house.
The 58 Mary Street offering through BresicWhitney went to a young couple from Sydney’s east.
BresicWhitney agent Nicholas McEvoy said there were four registered bidders, with the final two couples coming from Sydney’s east, after bidding had opened at $5 million.
The downsizing vendors had paid $920,000 in 1995.
There were 2610 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities, with volumes up 33 per cent on the prior week, according to CoreLogic.
It was the busiest week for auctions since early December 2018, CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan said.
The higher activity returned a preliminary auction clearance rate of 75.3 per cent, which was only slightly lower than the prior week’s preliminary figure of 75.6 per cent, which later revised down to 72.1 per cent at final figures.
“Compared to one year ago, volumes are lower than the 2928 auctions held over the same week last year when a much lower 47 per cent cleared,” Mr Brogan noted.
The higher volumes can be mostly attributed to the surge in activity across Melbourne, in the the pre-Spring Racing Carnival period.
There were 1528 Melbourne homes taken to auction with volumes reaching their highest levels since this time last year, when there was a higher 1701 properties.
The preliminary Melbourne auction clearance rate maintained strength against the higher volumes, returning a 77 per cent success rate, up on last week’s 73 per cent across a lower 915 auctions.
Sydney recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 79 per cent across 761 auctions this week, after last week’s final clearance rate of 79 per cent which was the strongest final result the city has seen since early 2017.
“One year ago, 798 auctions were held across Sydney returning a final clearance rate of 45 per cent,” Mr Brogan noted.
Results were varied across the smaller auction markets last week, with Adelaide returning the strongest preliminary clearance rate of 68 per cent, across a higher volume of auctions week on week.
Adelaide sales included 57 Victoria Street, Queenstown, which came with a granny flat.
“There’s no way this property would have drawn so many people, or achieved this price without the separate accommodation,” said Ray White Woodville agent Peter Kiritsis.
The auction attracted “a good-sized Adelaide crowd of 35”, with three bidders taking the sale price to $555,000 for the 1970s three-bedroom brick house.
Brisbane and Perth saw less than 50 per cent of homes successful at auction.
Brisbane saw a $1.9 million top sale at Balmoral.
The five-bedroom 45 Olive Grove contemporary house was sold by Ray White agent Brandon Wortley, who announced it on the market at $1.85 million.
There had been four registered bidders.
The land had cost $675,000 in 2016.
Its investor landlords put it up for rent at $1800 a week in 2017, when they sought to find buyers at $2.1 million plus.
Jonathan Chancellor is editor at large with Property Observer