It was a quiet day for home sales across Sydney today as many real estate agents held off auctions to avoid clashing with the federal election.
Less than 170 houses went under the hammer, down from about 500 over the same weekend last year, and early numbers suggested just over half sold successfully at auction.
Among the homes that passed in were an assortment of properties that had attracted strong interest during the lead up to auction, but failed to attract buyers willing to pull the trigger on the day.
A two-bedroom unit in a sought after pocket of Mosman attracted nearly 125 groups of keen house hunters at open for inspections, but passed in at auction on a bid of just over $1.37 million.
Five potential buyers registered for the auction of 2/2 Upper North Avenue Rd, with two groups taking an active part in bidding.
Listing agent Jon Snead of The Agency-North said the home, which included a rare 60sqm garden, was certain to sell in post-auction negotiations but just couldn’t get over the line.
“A lot of buyers were perhaps thinking they could get a bargain,” Mr Snead said, adding that price expectations for the property remained at about $1.4 million.
It took nearly five minutes for auctioneer Thomas McGlynn to receive an opening bid, which came in at $1.1 million.
The auction continued at a slow pace, with bidding increasing in increments of mostly $2000-$10,000 over nearly an hour.
“It took quite a while to get going,” Mr McGlynn said.
The wait to see if the property would sell seemed too long for some in the crowd of nearly 40 onlookers, with many leaving midway through the auction.
Eventually the auction was called off once offers ground to a halt at $1,371,000 and Mr Snead entered negotiations with the highest bidder — a woman submitting offers on behalf of her adult son.
Mr Snead said he doubted the election was a factor in the sale. “It was a good crowd and the fact that five buyers registered showed there was still good interest … in this market, quality properties are still selling well, but I think a lot of buyers start to think they will get a really good bargain once they see they are up against only one or two other bidders, but it’s not always the case.”
The auction of a two-bedroom house at 8 Cumberland Rd in Lane Cove proved more successful, with the property selling under the hammer for $1.48 million.
The price was $180,000 above the $1.3 million reserve and $430,000 above the $1.05 million opening bid.
Nine buyers registered for the auction and three took an active part in bidding.
Ray White-Lane Cove agent Peter Nees said much of the interest was from local families with hopes of upgrading to something larger.
The buyer has family living next door and is considering renting the home out before later moving in, Mr Nees said. “It was a good price for a home with a decent block,” he said.
CoreLogic research showed the north shore remains one of Sydney’s strongest auction markets. Last week the local clearance rate was 77.6 per cent — well above the 59 per cent clearance rate for Sydney as a whole.