The risk of auctioning on a subdued Labour Day long weekend paid off for more than half the Melbourne homeowners who took it.
CoreLogic recorded a preliminary 53.5 per cent clearance rate from 170 reported results last week.
A final figure will be released on Thursday, after more results are collected by the property data firm from the total 215 auctions held.
But as it stands now, the clearance rate is Melbourne’s highest reported by CoreLogic in months.
It was up from 52 per cent from 1039 auctions the week prior, but still a long way off the 70.8 per cent from 453 auctions notched on the same week last year.
Melbourne’s clearance rate has remained above 50 per cent for five straight weeks now — a clear improvement on the nine consecutive weeks below the pass-mark last spring — with CoreLogic Australian head of real estate Geoff White declaring a pattern was forming.
“On December 16 last year, we were 43.8 per cent from 1200 auctions,” he said.
“We are nearly 9 per cent up in clearance rate and generally it speaks well going forward.”
A Malvern East Edwardian was last week’s top auction seller, according to CoreLogic, fetching $1.66 million.
Jellis Craig, Stonnington, partner Kevin O’Brien said the result proved “good property will go well regardless of whether it’s a long weekend”.
A local investor placed two bids before the renovated four-bedroom house at 69 Tooronga Rd was passed into him at $1.65 million, with a post-auction negotiation sealing the deal in the middle of the $1.6-$1.7 million quoted range soon after.
Mr O’Brien said “the location, the quality and the amount of accommodation” sold the property, which had been a family home and then a rental since its previous $775,000 sale in 2007.
It had been earning about $1000 per week in rent.
Mr O’Brien said the market in Malvern East and surrounds had been “stable” in 2019.
Property prices had “adjusted”, but were now starting to settle, with the playing field level between buyers and sellers.
Advantage Property Consulting director Frank Valentic said he generally cautioned against auctioning on a long weekend — and it was especially risky in a downturn.
But he conceded “if you’re interested (in a property), you’re still going to turn up”.
The buyer’s advocate watched two first-home buyers tussle for a two-bedroom, ground-floor apartment at 4/12 Warrigal Rd, Parkdale, on Saturday.
He said it sold for $582,000 against a $570,000 reserve.
The investor vendor paid $345,000 for the renovated pad, with a generous front courtyard garden and kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, in late-2014.
“It was a pretty strong result for an apartment, Mr Valentic said.
Melbourne auction volumes are set to spring back up to 847 this week.