Tasty result for chef

VUE de Monde chef Shannon Bennett has snagged between $1.6 million and $1.7 million for his renovated Victorian house in Kensington in Melbourne's inner west.

VUE de Monde chef Shannon Bennett has snagged between $1.6 million and $1.7 million for his renovated Victorian house in Kensington in Melbourne's inner west.

Mr Bennett and his wife, actor Madeleine West, who is putting her 6/200 Lennox Street apartment in Richmond on the market this weekend, are believed to have already purchased a new home in the South Yarra-Toorak area.

Their four-bedroom house at 5 Bruce Street is the original wheat master's residence on the Kimpton estate, a former flour mill. It has been renovated with a suite of luxury fittings - particularly in the kitchen - and includes a lap pool.

Rendina Real Estate director Lou Rendina declined to comment on the private sale but he was enthusiastic about the confident start to the market. "The heat didn't deter attendance at open for inspections or even rentals. We had 47 people through one property in Kensington," Mr Rendina said.

Melbourne and Sydney each turned in strong auction clearance rates over the weekend as some much-welcome confidence returned to the property market.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria reported a 70 per cent clearance rate from 437 reported results, with 131 properties passed in - 82 of them on a vendor's bid.

The REIV is awaiting the results of only five auctions, an unusually low number at the close of the weekend, which are unlikely to change the final clearance figure.

The clearance rate compares favourably with the 67 per cent of sold properties recorded last weekend and the 64 per cent on the equivalent weekend last year. The real test comes next Saturday and on March 2 with about 950 properties scheduled for auction on each weekend.

In Hawthorn's Scotch Hill precinct, RT Edgar agent Glen Coutinho sold 14 Kembla Street (on 636 square metres) under the hammer after a single $2 million knock-out bid and, in East Ivanhoe, four bidders competed for a 1960s house on a 923-square-metre block at 190 The Boulevard.

Miles Real Estate agent Helen Witchell said: "The price was where it should be - not over the top but competitive."

Not everyone had a great day and despite the hot weather, Nick Johnstone agent David Urquhart passed in beach box 72 on Brighton beach at $176,000 - some way short of its $190,000 reserve. "We didn't even really have an auction but we have got some interest and are in discussions with someone," he said.

Yesterday's sales results

BRIGHTON

PI 46A Sussex St B 5rm 510sqm $2,200,000 VB res undisc

Nick Johnstone Real Estate

CAULFIELD

SO 17 Hillside Av B 7rm 537sqm $1,280,000 Gary Peer &

Associates

CAULFIELD NORTH

SO 7/9 Kooyong Rd B 3rm strata $488,000 Woodards

CAULFIELD SOUTH

SO 1/16 Griffiths St BV strata undisc

PI 18 Dover St WB 6rm 620sqm $875,000 res $925,000

Gary Peer & Associates

FLINDERS

SO 12 Spindrift Av WB 7rm 2308sqm undisc

TOORAK

SO 4/512 Toorak Rd B 5rm stratum $820,000 Rodney

Morley Persichetti

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