Property market a mixed bag: Real test a month away

This Sydney terrace sold for $1.21 million – well below the $1.45 million hoped for.

This Sydney terrace sold for $1.21 million – well below the $1.45 million hoped for. Photo: Ray White

The nation’s cheapest weekend auction sale was a three-bedroom house in Adelaide that fetched $273,102.

The final action at the auction included a series of $1 bids.

The auction of 6 Miller Crescent, Parafield Gardens had 18 registered parties with eight participating bidders.

weekend property wrap July 13

The pre-auction price guide had been $199,000. Photo: Ray White

There was a $208,900 reserve for the modest 1960s, three-bedroom brick and tile home.

The contest was reduced to $1 bids just before the hammer dropped at $273,102.

“It reflected on the nature of the auction, which was a drawn-out fight to the finish,” Ray White agent Ryan Stapleton said.

“The closing stages became a nail biter,” he said.

The $3.3 million sale of a Surry Hills terrace for $700,000 above reserve at auction included a final $50,000 knockout bid.

The three-level Bourke Street terrace sold after competition from eight of the 14 buyers registered.

There were four bidders in the final $150,000.

Agent Michael Kirk of BresicWhitney said the property’s position near the soon-to-be-completed Sydney Light Rail was “a considerable draw.”

weekend property wrap July 13

The terrace sold for $700,000 above reserve. Photo: BresicWhitney

“Now that the light rail is starting to near completion it’s starting to benefit a lot of the nearby housing,” Mr Kirk said.

He added that he had known the property would attract strong bidding in the post-election market, but was surprised just how competitive the auction had turned out for 625 Bourke Street.

It had a $2.4 million price guide. There had been a nearby sale of $3.05 million early last year.

The weekend offering was a five-bedroom corner terrace, just four doors from Devonshire Street, which had appeal to investors and part-owner occupiers since it had been converted to two apartments.

Investors were anticipating a rental return of $1850 a week.

Not all Sydney terrace auctions had prices flying past reserve.

At Glebe, $1.21 million was paid for a two-bedroom terrace on Lyndhurst Street, which was below its $1.45 million hopes when it failed to sell last July.

weekend property wrap July 13

The terrace house had a $1.1 million price guide. Photo: Ray White

Its price fell short of doubling its last sale price of $635,000 in boom time 2003.

Matthew Carvalho and Jason Ballo, of Ray White, were quoting a $1.1 million guide for the weekend auction, with it announced on market at $1.205 million.

The national preliminary clearance rate sat at 69 per cent across the combined capital cities.

There were 854 homes taken to auction, down slightly on the prior week’s 953 homes when there was a 64 per cent final clearance – the highest final clearance rate since April last year.

The final clearance rate has held above 60 per cent for the past four weeks.

Over the same week last year, auction activity was higher with 1178 homes taken to auction, returning a clearance rate of 52 per cent.

Melbourne was the busiest with 352 auctions, returning a preliminary clearance rate of 73.6 per cent.

The volume in Melbourne was down on the 388 offering from last week, but up on the final clearance rate of 67.2 per cent.

“Melbourne’s final clearance rate has held above 65 per cent for the last three weeks, and it’s looking like this week will return a similar result,” CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan said.

Over the same week last year, Melbourne had a clearance rate of 56.2 per cent recorded across 559 auctions.

Melbourne’s top weekend result was at Malvern at $2.555 million. The 43 Cawkwell Street, Malvern, offering had $2.32 million to $2.4 million price guidance from its selling agent Barbara Thomas at Thomas Moreland.

There was no heritage overlay on the three-bedroom house set on 618 square metres.

weekend property wrap July 13

The house last sold in 1981 for $75,000. Photo: Thomas Moreland

There were $1000 bids when the auction at 14 Woodhouse Grove, Box Hill, helped Ray White agent Hugh Francis secure $1.09 million, some $150,000 above reserve with six bidders.

“At $1.02 million, it got down to $1000 and $2000 bids,” agent Hugh Francis said.

weekend property wrap July 13

The price guidance on the Box Hill home had been $880,000 to $968,000. Photo: Ray White

Sydney recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 77.2 per cent across 318 auctions.

Over the previous week, 71.3 per cent of the 359 auctions were successful, the highest final clearance rate the city has seen since in over two years.

“This week’s final figure may just hold above 70 per cent again as remaining results are collected,” Mr Brogan said.

One year ago, 408 auctions were held across Sydney, returning a final clearance rate of 46.9 per cent.

Across the smaller auction markets, Brisbane had higher volumes week on week while all other cities had fewer homes taken to auction.

Dr Andrew Wilson, chief economist at said  lowering weekend auction volumes had declined “to what are now remarkably low levels – particularly in Sydney and Melbourne – even for the typically quieter mid-winter housing market”.

Buoyed by lower interest rates and a well-overdue easing in lending conditions, Dr Wilson said the “acid test” for a recovering market will, however, come in just over a month.

Jonathan Chancellor is editor at large with Property Observer

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