Melbourne's property market held firm at the weekend despite last week's plunging sharemarket and employment jitters.
While auctions in the inner and eastern suburbs performed strongly, several stand-out results were achieved outside the usual blue-chip suburbs and their neighbours.
In Carnegie's dress circle, at 18 Mile End Road, a renovated double-fronted Edwardian house which fetched $1.22 million at the peak of the market in 2010, sold for $1.255 million.
Marshall White agent Josh Hommelhoff said there were three bidders for the property, which carried a reserve of $1.15 million.
"We've got a lot of buyers in this price bracket looking for the right home and they have been looking for a while," Mr Hommelhoff said.
Around the corner, another four-bedroom Edwardian, 34 Munster Avenue, sold for $1.213 million in March.
"People have called and say they cannot believe this house got more than that but it was testament to the home and the big block," he said.
Carnegie's median house price as measured by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria has recovered from dramatic falls in 2011 and 2012. Twelve months ago, the median house price had fallen 22 per cent since March 2011. This year, it recorded a 13.2 per cent rise to $810,000, with the median price for its upper end hovering around $1 million.
"It's a fair market. There are still a lot of buyers in the market at the $1 million price point who are limited by the number of good homes available," he said.
An even better price was achieved for a five-year-old double-storey house in Hughesdale, a small pocket a few suburbs away that is squeezed between Murrumbeena and Oakleigh.
Five bidders fought for the nine-room property at 6 Dalston Street, with the winning bidder paying $1.32 million.
Woodards agent Chris Karantzas said the big new family house was near two zone-one stations, schools and the Oakleigh mall.
"You don't usually get big homes on big blocks; usually there's only a postage-sized backyard left so that's what attracted a lot of bidders to this one," Mr Karantzas said.
The Hughesdale median house price is $682,000, according to Australian Property Monitors, but some properties command similar prices to 6 Dalston Street.
"We are finding that confidence is up, numbers at auctions and inspections are up and vendors are meeting the market - and that's the difference between last year and this year," he said.
The weekend's auction clearance rate of 71 per cent was derived from 665 reported results (compared with 60 per cent last year and 71 per cent last weekend).
There are only 40 results yet to be reported which is unlikely to affect the final overall rate by more than a percentage point. Of the 192 properties that passed in, 110 of them did so on a vendor's bid. House sales in the inner metro area recorded a very strong 88 per cent clearance rate, with 80 per cent in the inner south and 78 per cent in the eastern suburbs.
Investors are active buyers and sellers in this improving market. A double-storey Victorian terrace at 74 Wilson Street in South Yarra, near Hawksburn station, fetched $1.37 million through Biggin & Scott.
Biggin & Scott director Andrew Crotty conducted a brisk bidding war between three parties that took the final price beyond its $1.1 million reserve.
In Northcote, half of the 10 properties were sold before their scheduled auction at the weekend, including 25 Hillside Avenue, which fetched $1 million.
The 1930s-era house was on a big block for Northcote - 560 square metres - and the new owner plans to knock it down and build a new home.
SO 18 Sycamore Gr B 5rm 204sqm $856,000
PI 9 Balwyn Rd B 8rm 1486sqm $2,400,000 VB
res $2,675,000 Marshall White & Co
SO 29A Bambra Rd 5rm 369sqm undisc
SO 32 Howitt Rd B 5rm 1092sqm undisc Gary Peer
SO 50 Orrong Cr B 6rm 540sqm undisc Gary Peer &
SO 2/20 Kean St B 5rm strata undisc Gary Peer &
SO 6/11-15 Roselea St B 5rm strata $854,500
Gary Peer & Associates
PI 9 Olive St B 8rm 335sqm $1,200,000 VB res undisc Gary Peer & Associates
SO 2/54 Orrong Rd BV 4rm stratum undisc Gary Peer & Associates
SA 7 Leslie St WB 6rm 358sqm undisc Jellis Craig
SO 527 Browns Rd 5rm 4502sqm $666,000
ST KILDA EAST
SO 8/218 Alma Rd B 4rm undisc Wilson
SO 1/224 Alma Rd B 5rm strata $551,000 Gary
Peer & Associates