Auction clearance rates, prices climb

School holidays may have reduced the number of properties for auction over the weekend but buyer activity held steady.

School holidays may have reduced the number of properties for auction over the weekend but buyer activity held steady.

Melbourne's auction clearance rate of 71 per cent, based on 344 results reported to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, is substantially better than the 58 per cent recorded this time last year.

While 180 properties sold at auction, nearly a third, 62, sold before auction; and 101 passed in, 56 of them on a vendor's bid. A further 36 results are yet to be reported to the REIV.

An 11th-floor apartment in the 18-level Robin Boyd-designed building at 193 Domain Road in South Yarra, overlooking the Botanic Gardens, fetched $1.45 million after bidding by three parties.

The auction, conducted by Barry Marshall of Barry Marshall Real Estate, started with a $1 million bid from a buyer's advocate. A vendor bid of $1.2 million followed. A second party then offered $1.3 million and the flat was declared on the market. A third bidder then entered the auction and shortly after secured the property for $1.45 million.

Built in 1962 by Lend Lease, it has three pokey bedrooms, one bathroom and a large living and dining area. The ageing kitchen has views of Port Phillip Bay.

A sub-penthouse apartment on the 17th floor sold in December 2011 for $2.25 million but two of its three small bedrooms had been consolidated into one large bedroom and it boasted a private elevator entrance.

Mr Marshall said properties in the building came up only rarely and most transfers occurred within families. The building is owned through a company share structure.

In Prahran, a single-fronted brick terrace house at 40 Chatsworth Road sold for $1.325 million, 38 per cent above its $960,000 reserve.

Woodards director John Piccolo was taking a long time over his auction preamble and was hurried up by an unsolicited $900,000 bid from the 200-strong crowd.

Seven bidders competed for the property, which last changed hands in 1986 for $140,000.

Mr Piccolo said the owners had been advised not to buy the house in the 1980s because the price was too high.

It was one of the top five most expensive properties sold over the weekend.

"For a single-fronted property, that's just extraordinary. All the fundamentals - low interest rates; stable employment; and lack of quality stock - contribute to consumer confidence and that's reflected in the pricing," he said.

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