Neighbours take a squiz but no buyer

The prospect of owning a getaway tunnel used by 1930s gangster Squizzy Taylor was not enough to draw out the bidders at an auction in Richmond at the weekend.

The prospect of owning a getaway tunnel used by 1930s gangster Squizzy Taylor was not enough to draw out the bidders at an auction in Richmond at the weekend.

The remarkable 884-square-metre property at 11 Goodwood Street is just a few minutes' walk from Bridge Road and the former Griffiths Tea Factory where a two-up school operated in the 1920s.

The property includes a dilapidated Victorian house with a vintage shop front, a two-storey warehouse and several industrial sheds.

It was passed in on a vendor bid of $2.5 million, short of its $2.99 million reserve, in front of about 50 people, many of them neighbours.

A single family had controlled the property for more than 115 years and had manufactured acetate film, theatre lights and other materials on the premises.

It is now for private sale through Jellis Craig Bennison Mackinnon. Agent Hayden Reed said he was in discussions with two developers and a person planning a dream home for the site.

It was one of hundreds of properties that were passed in at the weekend as more than 1500 properties flooded the market. It was the sixth weekend in a row of 1000-plus auctions. A further 500 properties are set for auction next weekend.

The auction clearance rate ranged as high as 72 per cent from 956 results reported to Australian Property Monitors (owned by Fairfax Media) to RP Data's 66.6 per cent from 1244 results. The Real Estate Institute of Victoria posted a 70 per cent clearance rate derived from 1320 auction results.

According to the REIV data, 191 properties were sold before auction; 398 were passed in - 214 of them on a vendor's bid - and a further 192 results are yet to be reported.

RP Data spokesman Robert Larocca said: "Two-thirds selling under the hammer is a solid outcome after the six biggest consecutive weeks in the history of auctions in Melbourne."

While some auctions ended with a whimper rather than a bang, there were some unexpectedly strong results.

Bidding for an unrenovated 1940s-era two-storey house at 3 Malonga Court in North Caulfield flew past the $1.4 million reserve and it was sold under the hammer at $1.733 million.

Rodney Morley Persichetti agent Leonard Persichetti took more than 90 bids over 45 minutes from seven different bidders.

The property, sold under instructions from State Trustees, is on 956 square metres but, as it is covered by a single-dwelling covenant, it cannot be redeveloped for units.

"It just shows what a good location, on the cusp of Armadale and near good schools, can do for a price. This result was far beyond the valuation," Mr Persichetti said.

Chambers agent Stephen Scalise sold a single-fronted weatherboard worker's cottage at 566 Rae Street, North Fitzroy.

"It was a good quality renovation, about 85 per cent finished, but quite a few people thought it was too much of a risk to finish someone else's job," Mr Scalise said.

But, on the day, three parties bid and it was sold for $1.137 million.

Mr Scalise said there was a lack of good quality stock in North Fitzroy and some buyers were prepared to pay over the accepted market value to secure a property.

"What the market says it's worth and what they are willing to do to get a property in that location, can be two different things," he said.

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