Clearance at auctions remains steady

The election may have cut back the number of auctions at the weekend but it had little impact on the steady clearance rate.

The election may have cut back the number of auctions at the weekend but it had little impact on the steady clearance rate.

Agents reported improved levels of confidence, spurred by low interest rates and the welcome end to a long election process.

The 74 per cent clearance rate, from 441 auctions reported to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria is the same since the start of August, bar two weeks ago when it shot to 79 per cent. Last year the equivalent weekend had a 61 per cent clearance.

There are only 12 unreported results from the weekend's auctions, which is unlikely to affect the final result. Of the 113 properties that passed in, 64 did so on a vendor's bid.

Marshall White director John Bongiorno said his agency had had a solid weekend but he warned high vendor expectations were producing some passed-in results.

Mr Bongiorno sold 202 Page Street, Middle Park, after auction for an undisclosed price over $5 million. The large renovated Edwardian on 512 square metres passed in at $4.95 million despite strong bidding by three parties.

"Vendors might be getting a little ahead of themselves and expecting too much," Mr Bongiorno said. Low interest rates are also drawing investors keen to park their cash in a rising market. An investor paid $1.51 million for a rare late Federation-style property at 476 Gore Street, Fitzroy.

Three bidders fought for the 400 sq m block on the corner of Westgarth Street, which had been in the same Italian family for several decades. It had an unusual open floor plan and period features.

Nelson Alexander agent Peter Stephens said it was put on the market at $1.47 million and was bought by an investor who was looking for an unique property.

"The market is good but not in every segment. It's by no means a hot market," Mr Stephens said.

Developers are taking advantage of the low interest rates and improving confidence to land bank residential land.

Northern suburbs agent Brad Teal said six developers pursued a property at 963 Mount Alexander Road, Essendon, paying $1.535 million for the 694 sq m site, well past its $1.1 million reserve.

The property is poised to be rezoned from residential 1 to business 2, which will allow higher density development to take place. Mr Teal said there is more stock on the market in the north and high levels of inquiry.

Biggin & Scott agent Angelos Stefanis said stock levels could remain low in the bayside area.

Mr Stefanis had four parties bidding for 32 Murray Street in Elsternwick on Sunday who pushed the sale price above its $2.8 million reserve to sell for $3.195 million.

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