John Khoury, a business associate of Mick Gatto, made a tidy profit at the weekend, flipping a large Princes Hill property he had owned for six months.
Four bidders pushed the price to $3.85 million in front of a crowd of about 150 people, many of them neighbours keen to spot the new owners.
Mr Khoury purchased the six-bedroom Edwardian at 29 Wilson Street for $3.3 million in late May, in a private sale brokered by Woodards.
Nelson Alexander agent Tom Roberts said the vendor had changed his mind about moving after renovating the property.
The house, which is on 840 square metres of land, had been owned for 40 years by a surgeon who operated at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
After five straight weekends with more than 1000 auctions on offer, Melbourne's auction clearance rate slipped again.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria recorded a 66 per cent success rate from 1237 reported auctions. RP Data posted a 64.1 per cent clearance rate from 1315 auctions and Australian Property Monitors (owned by Fairfax) produced a 67 per cent rate from 962 results. The REIV reported 170 properties sold before auction, 420 properties passed in - 213 of them on a vendor bid - and a further 262 results are outstanding.
The 70 per cent figure recorded last weekend by the REIV was reduced to 68 per cent after late results were counted. On this weekend last year, the clearance rate was 59 per cent.
Despite the proximity to Christmas, there is no let up on properties going to market. Next weekend the REIV expects around 1610 auctions and more than 400 on the following weekend.
RP Data spokesman Robert Larocca said buyers will have the upper hand in the next two weeks.
"After an unprecedented five consecutive weekends of 1000-plus auctions, it's no surprise the market has continued to cool, especially as the current rise in listings is outstripping the broader rise in transactions," Mr Larocca said.
Wakelin Property director Richard Wakelin said first home buyers have a small window of opportunity to get into the market in the next two weeks as their main competitors - investors - may be distracted by coming holidays.
"The buyers are thinning out under the weight of property on the market. It's levelling - it's not a boom market - and investors' minds are turning towards Christmas and New Year," Mr Wakelin said.
In the primary down-sizing markets in the eastern suburbs, units performed more strongly than houses: the inner east area recorded a 78 per cent clearance for units compared with 68 per cent for houses and in the outer east, 80 per cent of units sold at auction compared with 74 per cent of houses.
The biggest auction of the weekend was a large 1950s-era house on a 3276 square metre parcel of land at 37-39 Rochester Road in Canterbury. Jellis Craig agent Alastair Craig took bids from four parties and the property sold under the hammer at $5.76 million, a staggering 37 per cent higher than its $4.2 million reserve. "To find a land holding of that size in a top suburb like Canterbury is almost unheard of," Mr Craig said.
Real estate sales results
SO 15 Marriot Rd 6rm $931,000 hockingstuart
SO 1/675 Inkerman Rd B 5rm strata undisc Gary Peer &
SO 3/41 Northcote Av 2rm strata $300,000 Hodges
SO 50 Norwood Rd B 5rm 309sqm $790,000 Gary Peer &
SO 247 Bambra Rd 5rm $891,000 hockingstuart
SO 12 Feodore St B 6rm 580sqm $1,190,000 Gary Peer &
SO 26 Keeron St B 5rm 748sqm $1,515,000 Gary Peer &
SO 2/31 Trevascus St B 7rm strata undisc Gary Peer &
PI 21A Saturn St B 6rm $910,000 lo $960,000 res undisc
SA 35 Cedar St WB 4rm 305sqm undisc Gary Peer &
SO 140A Mitford St $1,080,000 Pride Real Estate
PI 2/34 Keith St B 5rm $600,000 res $639,000 Buxton
SO 1/7 Greta Ct B 5rm s/div $602,500 Buxton
SO 25/1 Flagstaff La strata $1,270,000 Biggin & Scott
PS The Ridge $821,000 Point2 Real Estate
SO 388 North Rd B 10rm 794sqm $1,210,000 Hodges
ST KILDA EAST
SO 286 Inkerman St B $1,031,000 Wilson
SO 1/300 Inkerman St BV 4rm strata $760,000 Rodney
SO 4 Milburn Gr B 5rm 820sqm undisc
SO 2/273 Orrong Rd B 4rm strata $580,000 Gary Peer &
SO 339 Orrong Rd B 3rm 364sqm $932,500 Gary Peer &
Associates/Castellan Real Estate
SO 11 Wilgah St B 4rm 270sqm $881,000 Gary Peer &
PI 29 Bass Horizon Promenade undisc VB res $250,000