New life is being injected into the Sydney real estate market, with savvy buyers willing to pay well over reserve at auction to secure deceased estates in desirable locations.
There are around 40 Sydney properties currently listed as deceased estates on realestate.com.au, some in popular lifestyle suburbs like Darling Point, Neutral Bay, Bellevue Hill and Palm Beach.
They are often highly sought-after by buyers as they provide an unrenovated shell that can be attractive to both builders potentially wanting to knockdown and rebuild and owner occupiers looking to renovate and move in.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said deceased estates often provided house hunters with an opportunity to find a rare untouched home in a tightly-held location.
“Often the suburbs they are located in have grown in popularity over many years, with a lot in the inner and middle suburbs giving buyers a big opportunity,” she said.
“To find a house that hasn’t been renovated is getting harder. It could already be a solid house but it gives people the chance to put their own stamp on it.”
Another attractive feature is they also provide surety for buyers as there is greater need to sell a deceased estate as beneficiaries look to offload the property.
Just two weeks ago a red-brick Castle Hill house sold $425,000 above the reserve price in an auction that attracted 24 registered bidders, while another in Emu Plains sold to a first homebuyer for $527,000 after having around 100 people through the inspections.
Daphne Sauvage of Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty is selling a waterfront one-bedroom deceased estate in Darling Point and said interest from all buyers groups had been very high.
“It is very popular,” she said. “The magic of this one is a large cross section of the market is keen.”
Agent Peter Gordon of Cobden and Hayson sold a deceased estate last weekend in Balmain $20,000 above the reserve and said the they often attracted more interest as parties were aware of the urgency to sell.
“Buyers naturally feel they will be sold at auction and that the beneficiaries aren’t holding out for an unrealistic price,” he said.
“They often expect good value but in actuality they often end up selling for a higher price through the increased competition.”
Despite the number up for sale, these properties are becoming rarer, Mr Gordon added, as every time they sell they are given a makeover, making them more popular when they hit the market.
“When I started I sold a lot of these uncut diamonds,” he said.
“A lot of these homes are owned for generations and their kids grew up in them. Generally a lot will sell to young couples looking to buy, then renovate and sell in a few years, while other professional couples are also interested.”
Jenny Eisner sold the Balmain property on Waterview St on behalf of her late mother, who was born in the home 88 years ago.
The original condition of the home was a big factor in the sale, according to Ms Eisner, with the property being snapped up by a family planning to renovate and move in.
“There were six registered bidders and given the state of the property and the market we did very well,” she said.