Good results among the secrecy

Two former halfway houses in North Melbourne fetched a combined $1.865 million at auction on Saturday.

Two former halfway houses in North Melbourne fetched a combined $1.865 million at auction on Saturday.

The unrenovated terraces at 51-53 Chapman Street were auctioned separately on Saturday by Nelson Alexander agent Tom Roberts.

They were sold as part of a deceased estate and had been privately operated boarding houses for mostly alcoholic homeless people over a number of years. The terraces have no dividing fence between the deep backyards.

The first to go to market, No. 53, was on a 325-square-metre block and it fetched $965,000. It was followed by No. 51, which was on a smaller 265-square-metre allotment but had rear access. It sold for $900,000.

Nelson Alexander agent Luke Sacco said both houses had reserves of $800,000. "There were three or four bidders for both of them and they were pretty hotly contested," he said.

They were among several strong results over the weekend across the city, but a significant number were undisclosed: the final prices of 71 of the 475 sold properties were withheld.

In Hawthorn, all six properties that went to auction sold, but not a single price was made public.

Jellis Craig director Alastair Craig (whose agency handled five of the Hawthorn sales) strongly supports public disclosure but said some buyers and vendors insisted on it for privacy reasons.

"But if you are trying to get a view of the marketplace, it's most frustrating," Mr Craig said.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria spokesman Robert Larocca said people's desire for privacy had to be respected.

"It makes a lot of sense to attend an auction if you want to buy a house - not just because of the price, but you can see how many bidders and what the bidding is like," Mr Larocca said. While the prices were undisclosed to the public, the REIV could still use them to create its median house price figures, he said.

Another strong clearance rate of 71 per cent was recorded from 670 results, slightly higher than last week's 69 per cent and better than the 57 per cent a year ago.

Of the 195 properties passed in, 121 did so on a vendor bid. There are 61 results outstanding.

The biggest property to pass in was 23 Hill Street, Toorak. Kay & Burton director Gerald Delany held the auction inside, out of the cold drizzle, and started the auction with a vendor bid of $5 million. But there were no bidders for the four-bedroom house, which is on 1150 square metres, with a pool and tennis court.

There was hot competition, however, for a double-storey house in the north-west suburb of Niddrie where Barry Plant agent Bill Karp sold 48 Jackson Street for $1.16 million.

Four bidders competed for the property, two of whom were locals and the others from further out, in Roxburgh Park and Oak Park, Mr Karp said.

"We are getting more buyers coming through from the outer suburbs for the schools, trams and shops," he said.

The six-bedroom house, with a pool, on a 640-square-metre block, is not the first seven-figure sale in Niddrie and it was priced accordingly.

Mr Karp said the quoted price range was lifted to between $1.05 million and $1.15 million in the week before the auction and reserve on the day was $1.4 million.

A new double-storey house at 2 Mackia Court sold for $1.21 million last December and 5 Hutchison Street fetched $1.148 million.

Niddrie, which has a median house price of $632,000, is benefiting from its proximity to higher-priced Essendon with its median of $910,500.

The Reserve Bank of Australia meets on Tuesday to discuss the cash rate and economists are divided on whether rates will remain steady or take another cut. But there are expectations of another cut later in the year.

Jas H. Stephens director Craig Stephens said his clients in the western suburbs were not expecting another cut in the next three to six months.

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