Buyer confidence gives market a boost

Rainy weather failed to dent buyer confidence as yet another super Saturday passed a tough test with a 69 per cent auction clearance rate.

Rainy weather failed to dent buyer confidence as yet another super Saturday passed a tough test with a 69 per cent auction clearance rate.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria reported the results of 804 auctions over the weekend, of which 247 properties were passed in, 134 of them on a vendor bid. The outcome of 46 auctions is still to be reported.

However, the most expensive house sold recently slipped in as a private sale. Downsizing mining executive Peter Reeve and his wife Anne are understood to have finally sold their double-storey six-bedroom house at 10 Blairgowrie Court, Brighton, for about $6 million through JP Dixon director Jonathan Dixon.

Mr Reeve, an executive director at Havilah Resources, put the property on the market in October with Marshall White after earlier soft campaigns failed to find a buyer at their price.

The palatial 1920s-era property, which is on 2700 square metres of land and includes a pool and tennis court, carried a $7.5 million price tag but lacked buyers.

The Reeves paid $7.05 million at the peak of the market, 14 per cent more than this year's price.

Brighton was also the location of the most expensive house to sell at auction over the weekend. On the Golden Mile, down the road from St Ninians Road where retired Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting is believed to have paid $10million, a mock-Victorian mansion at 24 Bay Street fetched $4.85 million.

Buxton director Leigh Hallamore, who auctioned the property, which is on 1800 square metres with a pool and tennis court, said the style meant it was not the easiest property to sell.

"The reserve was $4.6 million and the dream price would have been $5 million but that was on the high side," Mr Hallamore said.

The most expensive house in North Balwyn maintained its value over the weekend, with the contemporary mansion on the Balwyn Road hill fetching close to $4.4 million after auction.

The double-storey five-bedroom house at 60 Tuxen Street is on a 1346-square-metre parcel of land, with a pool and four-car garage.

Hocking Stuart agent Laurence Murphy said the property was built by a developer and last sold, brand new, for $4.3 million in March 2010.

Three years later, it passed in at $4.315 million after bidding from two parties, one local and the other Chinese. Mr Murphy refused to confirm the final purchase price on the instructions of the buyer.

The REIV has reported an increase in the total value of residential sales at auction, with properties worth $1.8 billion selling compared to $1.5 billion at the same time last year. The value of private sales is estimated to have increased to $4.5billion from $3.9billion.

February recorded an average clearance rate of 71 per cent, compared to 62 per cent in 2012.

So far this year, Camberwell has had the most auctions, with 43 properties going under the hammer and achieving a strong 90 per cent clearance rate.