Hungry developers looking for good sites are moving back into the residential market after a long pause caused by lack of cash.
Last weekend, a Brunswick family doubled its money selling its unrenovated, double-front Victorian villa at 287 Brunswick Road.
Hocking Stuart agent Rob Elsom said the family paid about $700,000 for the property, on 616 square metres, in 2008. It sold on Saturday after bidding from five developers for $1.43 million.
"To get $1.43 million was a stunning result and the guy who bought it said he was a fair bit over what he had planned to pay," Mr Elsom said.
A dozen developers were at the auction, with five bidding. Some of them were left scratching their heads at the final price. "We thought it was worth about $1 million and the family was hoping for about $1.1 million and that rose to $1.15 during the campaign, and that's what the reserve was," Mr Elsom said.
"They had bought it planning to renovate it and initially we thought someone else would do that, too. But it soon become clear that developers were the ones who were really interested."
The property, which was last renovated in the 1960s, is just west of the railway line near Jewell station and close to the intersection with Royal Parade.
Developers were also out at Newport in the inner western suburbs where there are plenty of large blocks of land
Four developers bid for 71 Elizabeth Street, which sold for $1.073 million, just over its $1 million reserve.
The rather tired four-bedroom house was on 1011 square metres across the road from Newport Primary School. Sweeney agent Ben Watson said it was the first time the house had been sold since 1948.
"Developers have come back in force in the past few months. There's a lot of big blocks in Newport," Mr Watson said.