School holidays put a slight dampener on the improving property market over the weekend.
An auction clearance rate of 65 per cent was recorded from 443 results reported to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, close to the March average.
Last month's clearance rate was 67 per cent from 3187 auctions, a seven-point increase on the March 2012 clearance rate. Three weekends of bumper auctions mixed with two weekends of public holidays produced a moderately healthy result.
Over the weekend, 157 properties were passed in, 90 of them on a vendor's bid; 59 properties were sold before the scheduled auction and a further 10 results are pending.
While the clearance rate for the same weekend in 2012 was 59 per cent, a more appropriate comparison is for the weekend after Easter, when a 54 per cent clearance rate was recorded.
But auction volumes are starting to rise again. The REIV expects about 570 auctions next weekend as the school holidays end.
Attention will be focused on house prices this week as the institute releases its quarterly median house price figures. Last week, research house RP Data found Melbourne's median house price increased by 2.5 per cent to $475,000.
Reservoir, in the northern suburbs, offered the greatest number of auctions this past weekend. Nine of the 17 sold at auction and one unit before the day.
The biggest sale for the weekend was a five-bedroom 1980s-era house at 18 Raheen Drive, Kew, which fetched $2.415 million through Marshall White.
One of the surprise results was at 200 Main Road East, St Albans, where a 35-year-old two-storey house, previously owned by its builder, fetched $823,000. The six-bedroom house is on a 950-square-metre block that includes a four-car garage and rear access.
Douglas Kay Sunshine agent Doug Kay said it was a "big price" considering the median for the area was about $369,000, but such a large house was a local rarity.
"We expected somewhere around the $700,000 market maximum and there was no reserve price, although the vendor hoped to get $800,000," Mr Kay said.
The auction started with a genuine offer around $680,000 and bidding continued "briskly" from five parties.
The property was bought by local businessmen with shops in the nearby shopping strip, he said.
"It was unusual to get that sort of interest in tough times. It's not that buoyant out here and I've been in the area for 32 years," he said.
Hotly contested properties were usually in the middle of the shops, not on the outskirts like this one, he said.
Harcourts Judd White sold an unrenovated two-bedroom Edwardian at 16 Edna Street, East Malvern, before auction for $1.075 million, not the $1.75 million reported in yesterday's auction results.
SO 5/169 Hotham St C 4rm strata $502,000 Greg Hocking Gardiner
SO 59 Fawkner Av 5rm 1011sqm $700,000 hockingstuart
SO 18 Shipman St 5rm 659sqm $461,500 hockingstuart
PI 63 Lansdowne St 8rm 900sqm $750,000 VB res undisc R T Edgar
PI 2/15 Edinburgh Av BV 7rm strata $1,400,000 VB res
$1,490,000 Gary Peer & Associates
SO 1/16 Glencoe St B 4rm strata undisc Gary Peer & Associates
SO 14 Marlborough St B 5rm 378sqm $980,000 Gary Peer & Associates
SO 3/198 Orrong Rd B 5rm strata undisc Gary Peer & Associates
SO 1/37 Wanda Rd B 6rm strata undisc Rodney Morley Persichetti
PI 4/5 Kiers Ct B 3rm $541,000 lo $550,000 res
$595,000 Gary Peer & Associates
SO 117 Booran Rd B 8rm 638sqm undisc
SO 2 Royal Pde BV 7rm 517sqm undisc Gary Peer & Associates
SO 61 Teak St B 6rm strata $957,000 Gary Peer & Associates
PI 115 Nepean Hwy 6rm $630,000 VB res $670,000 hockingstuart/Ian Reid Vendor Advocacy
SO 835 Esplanade BV 8rm 979sqm $1,900,000 McEwing Partners
PI 7 Stonecutters Rd WB 8rm 2884sqm $1,520,000 lo
$1,550,000 res $1,800,000 Bennison Mackinnon RYE
SO 2707 Point Nepean Rd 5rm 1126sqm $880,000 Bennison Mackinnon
ST KILDA EAST
SO 3/41 Raglan St B $366,000 Wilson