Buyers dash to grab first-home grant

First home buyers, keen to take advantage of the final days of a state government grant, underpinned strong results at the weekend.

First home buyers, keen to take advantage of the final days of a state government grant, underpinned strong results at the weekend.

The auction clearance rate was 73 per cent on the 601 results reported to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria. Lower-priced properties dominated, which was reflected in the lower median price of $680,500, from $766,500 the previous weekend.

It was the last weekend that buyers could take advantage of the Napthine government's first home buyer's grant on existing homes.

The fall was replicated in the median price of units, which was $510,000, compared with $525,000 the previous weekend.

Of the 164 properties that were passed in, 76 did so on a vendor's bid. A further 54 results are outstanding.

Despite the mass of lower-priced properties, some big prices were achieved. RT Edgar agent Glen Coutinho sold 7 Austin Street in Hawthorn for $2.6 million.

The house was previously on the market in February but attracted just seven people, no bids, and was passed in for $2.4 million.

"Four months later, exactly the same property ... in front of 60 to 70 people, and it got three bidders," Mr Coutinho said. "The market's picked up. Once people realise the market's not going down, they jump back in."

Similar confidence was demonstrated on the metropolitan fringe, where three parties fought for 12 hectares at 183-195 A'beckett Road in Narre Warren North. The winning bidder paid $2.26 million.

First National Neilson Partners agent Graeme Curtis said the property included a 100-year-old oak and elm tree-lined driveway that once led to the original homestead owned by the Robinson family.

The property was in a green wedge zone and the buyers planned to build a new home, Mr Curtis said.

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