Auction scene springs into overdrive
The opening weekend of the bumper spring auction market has been very successful.
Sydney sold 84 per cent of 418 properties reported to Australian Property Monitors (owned by Fairfax Media) and Melbourne sold 76 per cent from 832 auctions, according to Real Estate Institute of Victoria data.
Sydney's auction clearance rates have been running over the 80 per cent mark for the past 10 weeks and Melbourne's rates have hovered at 70 per cent and above all year.
RP Data spokesman Robert Larocca said Melbourne "wasn't seeing the boom-time-type clearance rates of Sydney but nor were the results the anaemic ones of a couple of years ago".
"We are really seeing the effects of the last interest rate cut. This is a sustainable market but we won't be seeing rampant price growth," Mr Larocca said.
Castran Gilbert director Paul Castran said economic indicators suggest there could be another one or two interest rate cuts from the Reserve Bank before Christmas.
"We are at the beginning of the next cycle," he said. "People are more confident and confidence is infectious. If you were a genius you would have bought between May and September last year."
In Sydney, McGrath agent Ben Collier was involved in the auction of two properties on Woollahra's consular belt on Wallaroy Road on Saturday - one sold under the hammer and the other passed in on a vendor bid.
Mr Collier said four bidders put their hands up for the Luigi Rosselli-designed contemporary house at 63 Wallaroy Road and it sold under the hammer for $7.13 million, just above its $7 million reserve. A renovated property at 31 Wallaroy Road, on 904 square metres, passed in at $5.9 million. Mr Collier said he was confident of an offer during the week.
"The big difference is getting that first bid which shows there's someone else there," he said.
Properties priced appropriately are selling, he said. "But if you are 5 to 10 per cent above the market then you will still be there for a while."
But Melbourne's clearance rate could yet fall a few points after 105 missing results are chased up mid-week.
Of the 201 properties passed in, 101 did so on a vendor bid.
While strong clearance rates were reported in Camberwell, Glen Waverley and Preston, there were some very patchy results elsewhere.
Just five of 10 properties sold in Brighton; a quarter of properties in the solid eastern suburban family areas of Surrey Hills and Templestowe; and only one of the three auctions in blue chip East Melbourne was successful.
Caine Real Estate director Paul Caine sold a renovated terrace at 114 Hotham Street for $3.81 million, $210,000 above its $3.6 million reserve, after bidding from two parties.