Chock-a-block: bidders pour in to fight for former beauty

Nine bidders slugged it out for a dilapidated double-storey terrace in East Melbourne, with the new owner paying $1.49 million under the hammer.

Nine bidders slugged it out for a dilapidated double-storey terrace in East Melbourne, with the new owner paying $1.49 million under the hammer.

"It rained bids," Dixon Kestles agent Kizzy Okoukoni said.

The four-bedroom terrace at 160 Powlett Street was sold as a deceased estate, although the mortgagee had already claimed the property before the owner died.

"It's a heart-wrenching story. He was a hoarder and the place was full of stuff," Mr Okoukoni said.

More than 200 people passed through the 10-room house, attracted by its remnant period features and undeterred by the scale of the future renovation.

"These television renovation shows have a big influence. It's a big aspect of real estate at the moment. They see people doing it on TV and they think they can do it too," he said.

Melbourne's auction clearance rate was 71 per cent for the weekend based on 506 results reported to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

In Melbourne, 148 properties were passed in, 97 of them on a vendor's bid. A further 69 sold before auction and 42 results are yet to be reported.

Late results last week resulted in the clearance rate falling to 68 per cent. On the same weekend last year, a 62 per cent clearance rate was recorded but auction volumes have been 10 per cent greater this year.

Next week, 560 auctions are scheduled, with 630 on the cards for the following weekend. Hocking Stuart agent Andrew James said he expected the volume of auctions to remain stable until after the AFL grand final in late September or the election.

"I think the market is looking for a signal there. We are talking to a lot of people and it's at the forefront of their thinking - although it's not stopping them from buying," Mr James said.

"It bodes well for the last quarter of the year but there might be a bit of a rush at the end like last year," he said.

Buxton agent Arthur Apostoleros said young women were dominating the St Kilda apartment market.

"We thought this market would have dropped off when the first home buyer's grant ran out but they're out in force," Mr Apostoleros said.

The St Kilda apartment market went through a very quiet period during the recent market trough but has started to attract renewed attention.

"Prices aren't flat any more. Some of the places we sold over the weekend went 10-15 per cent over reserve," he said.

He auctioned 1/5 Mary Street in St Kilda on Saturday in conjunction with buyer's advocate Frank Valentic's company Advantage Property Consulting.

The 1970s-era one-bedroom flat fetched $471,500 - well over its $420,000 reserve.

Mr Valentic said his client had paid $375,000 for the flat three years ago.

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