Sydney’s auction market turned into a pressure cooker for buyers Saturday as home seekers scrambled to secure properties before the Christmas holidays.
Nearly 500 properties went under the hammer, representing one of the last chances for buyers to snare a home this year. Most agents won’t resume sales until late January.
The closing window of opportunity for buyers helped vendors secure big wins under the hammer.
A three-bedroom townhouse on Hume St in lower north shore suburb Wollstonecraft sold at auction for $1.8 million after going to market with a price guide of $1.5 million to $1.6 million.
This was about $250,000 over the sellers’ reserve and more than $1 million above the price they paid for the property in 2006, sales records showed.
Eleven bidders registered for the auction with Raine and Horne HM Group agents David Hill and Hugh Macfarlane.
Mr Hill said the well-located but otherwise unremarkable home attracted considerable interest in the lead up to the auction.
More than 200 groups of buyers came through the property and 43 requested contracts of sale. A crowd of about 50 people attended the auction.
“There are not many townhouses in the area, most of the properties are units, but there also isn’t much stock at all so we are getting a lot of buyers coming through,” Mr Hill said.
Auctioneer Jake Downs received an opening bid of $1.3 million, with the offers going up in initial increases of $50,000.
Nine of the registered bidders submitted offers, with one attempting a knockout increase of $70,000 but it failed to discourage the other bidders.
“I would have thought that bid would have won it but the auction just kept going. It’s a real reflection of the market right now,” Mr Downs said. “You can try various different strategies but when so many people register the winner will be the one with the most to spend.”
On nearby Wollstonecraft street Milner Crescent, a four-bedroom house sold under the hammer for $2.855 million.
The property was marketed with a guide of $2.625 million with Belle Property-Neutral Bay agent Tom Scarpignato.
In nearby Riverview, a three-bedroom house on Flaumont Ave sold for $2.075 million after going to market with a $1.7 million guide.
Sydney’s lower north shore has been one of the strongest auction markets since the federal election.
Weekly auction clearance rates have hovered around the 80 per cent mark for much of the period and last week 82 per cent of auctions cleared. A similar proportion of sales were expected to be a success this week.
With time running out before the real estate industry goes into hibernation for Christmas and January, many vendors in Sydney’s east pushed through midweek auctions with great success.
A two-bedroom unit on Vicar St in Coogee sold under the hammer Wednesday night at a packed out auction house in Double Bay for $1.127 million.
A one-bedroom unit on Warners Avenue in Bondi Beach sold at the same event for $770,000.
But easily the biggest sale of the evening was the $5.235 million paid for a “fixer upper” on Cambridge Ave in Vaucluse.
The buyers paid the bumper price knowing they would have to spend about $1 million to restore the home to a modern standard.
Three buyers registered for the auction with selling agents Gavin Rubinstein and Oliver Lavers, who quoted a guide of $5 million during the marketing campaign for the five-bedroom property.
On Saturday a one-bedroom unit on Goulburn Lane in Surry Hills sold for $787,000 after attracting the interest of four registered bidders.
Selling agent Mark Foy of Belle Property-Surry Hills said there was a lot of interest from first homebuyers but the home was snapped up by an investor.
The opening bid was $1.3 million and three of the registered bidders submitted offers.