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WINTER SELLING SEASON HEATS UP

By Natalie Fasham

WINTER selling season got off to a roaring start with Australasia’s largest real estate group reporting a preliminary national clearance of 84 per cent, despite Melbourne’s second week in lockdown.

The unwavering surge in demand from buyers meant reserve prices were knocked out of the park, with record breaking bidding action.

On Saturday the group recorded an average of 7.2 registered bidders across 413 scheduled auctions for the day. The resounding feedback from agents, auctioneers and vendors was that taking the property all the way through to auction day paid huge dividends. On average, vendors received 13.54 per cent more under the hammer today nationally, compared to the highest offer prior. And yet, some 21 per cent of all auctions booked today, still sold prior.

The standout market of the day was Melbourne where stoic Victorians demonstrated their well-honed online auction skills with the group’s auctioneers selling in a covid-safe way over the internet from their lounge rooms, spare bedrooms and even make-shift garages after long down was extended due to the virulent virus.

Some 68 per cent of the auctions booked for Melbourne today did not proceed, however of the ones that did proceed, 90 per cent sold.

Ray White Victoria and Tasmania CEO Stephen Dullens said all auctions which were moved online performed extremely well.

“It has been a hectic few days for our agents who once again had to convert auctions online, but there was no stress or pressure and all our auctioneers once again took over their spare bedrooms and living rooms to ensure the real estate activity could continue.”

“We are grateful we can still trade during the extended lockdown, and it was once again pleasing to see our agents do whatever was required to ensure our customers could still transact, most importantly in a safe environment,” Mr Dullens said.

“In the last 15 months, we’ve called well in excess of 2,000 online auctions across Victoria, more than any other group, and we are confident we can assist our customers no matter the circumstances.”

Ray White New South Wales Chief Auctioneer Alex Pattaro said the Sydney property market continued to radiate with heat.

“Auctions continued to be fast paced with strong bidding activity, although we have noticed that opening bids have started slowing down,” Mr Pattaro said.

“There has been a slight cool off at open for inspections, although the buyers coming through are genuine, cashed up and ready to make some strong decisions,” he said.

“While we see these strong clearance rates and low interest rates, it is a great time to get involved, whether that means buying or selling.”

The largest auction sale for the day nationally was this stunning four-level Victorian terrace in the heart of Kirribilli Village at 38 Fitzroy St which sold for $6,850,000, leaving both sellers and buyers very pleased.

Ray White Lower North Shore agents David Gillan and Carlos Gonzalez marketed the property, which they said drew in hundreds of buyers because of how tightly held the pocket is.

The winning bidder was a downsizer from the Upper North Shore.

Another of Sydney’s standout sales was 21 Battle Blvd, Seaforth which sold for $5,600,000. The solid brick home on a huge 1,037sqm harbourfront block smashed its reserve price by a huge $1,100,000.

Ray White Seaforth Principal Mark Griffiths said the auction drew four registered bidders, with two of them being knocked out after the opening bid of $4,500,000.

“It really came down to the wire with the two remaining bidders battling it out,” Mr Griffiths said.

“We are thrilled for the winning buyer, a hardworking gentleman who purchased the home for him and his family to knock down and eventually live in.”

The downsizing sellers were “absolutely pumped” after the auction.

Mr Griffiths said his market showed no signs of slowing down, particularly with the current stock shortage.

Ray White Auctioneer James Kerley said today was a great example of competition creation which showcased the continued strength of the Northern Beaches market.

“Fear of paying over is at an all time high, with buyers’ cards being held close until auction day,” Mr Kerley said.

“We hit $1 million over reserve and saw a chance to get another $100,000 for our sellers,” he said.

In Sydney’s inner west 19 Alexander St, Surry Hills sold for $1,920,000, way up past its reserve price of $1,550,000. The two bedroom terrace home was sold by Ray White Surry Hills agents James Natoli and Peter Natoli.

“The vendors are over the moon. This is the house they grew up in and it belonged to their parents. They were thrilled to pass it on to the buyers, a lovely young first home buyer couple,” Mr Natoli said.

The auction saw a huge 20 registered bidders, with bidding opening at $1,400,000.

“The two bedroom terrace market is performing extremely well. The apartment market is also extremely strong at the moment in this area,” Mr Natoli said.

Ray White Drummoyne agent Fiona Hellams sold 19 Lenore St, Russell Lea for $3,285,000, nearly $300,000 above its reserve price. The campaign attracted nine registered bidders, with strong bidding throughout.

“The bidding started at $2.8 million and jumped straight to $3 million,” Ms Hellams said.

“We had lots of family buyers there, who were fighting hard for their dream family home. It is a beautiful, wide, sought-after street,” she said.

“The buyers were a local family wanting a little more space, and they wanted this particular street more than anything.”

In a cracker to finish the day in Sydney, 24 Douglas St, Putney went under the hammer and sold for $3,300,000, smashing the reserve by $400,000.

The brick home on a large block was marketed by Ray White Gladesville Director Robert Cassidy, and it was the first time offered in 74 years.

Ray White NSW Chief Auctioneer Alex Pattaro said the 11 registered bidders fought hard which pushed up the price.

“The 98 year old owner now lives in aged care, so the family were there and all in tears over the outstanding result,” Mr Pattaro said of the emotional sale.

As Victoria pushed through its extra week of lockdown, Melbournites rose to the challenge, with a huge number of auctions moving swiftly to the now well-perfected online format.

Auctioneers across the city set up shop in their living rooms and spare bedrooms, utilising the technology the group honed during last year’s extensive lockdowns.

Ray White Glen Waverley were already well versed in quickly switching to the online format after the events of 2020, and their sale of 15 Jarrah Ct, Glen Waverley was no exception. The home sold for $1,270,000, smashing the reserve price of $1,165,000.

The marathon auction went for a huge 1 hour and 30 minutes, with hundreds of bids among the seven registered bidders.

Ray White Glen Waverley Area Manager Cristine Jones said she was incredibly proud of her extended team and the vendors for pushing ahead with the auction.

“We actually ended up with extra registered bidders, because of other agents in our area cancelling their auctions when lockdown was announced,” Ms Jones said.

“It was a long time to spend in my freezing home office set up in the garage,” she said.

Ms Jones said the vendors placed their trust in her team and the online auction format, and were grateful for the three weeks of physical inspections that took place prior to lockdown.

“Even during the lockdown weeks, we had a tonne of interest via our walkthrough videos,” she said.

“We fought tooth and nail to give confidence to our vendors, and reassured them that we had been through this before and could achieve a great result despite the circumstances.”

The buyers were a young family who had missed out on multiple other properties, and were grateful for finally having a place to call home after renting.

In a huge result for the Ray White Clayton team, 9A Mowbray St, Hawthorne East sold for $2,300,000, beating the reserve price by $100,000.

Ray White Clayton Agent and Auctioneer Jonathon Eaves said the result showed just how successful the online format could be, regardless of whether it was a $500,000 home, or a $2 million plus.

“Because we only had two weeks of open homes, the sellers were definitely nervous, so you can imagine their delight with the end result today,” Mr Eaves said.

“The winning bidders were a young couple who have been living in an apartment, looking for something bigger after the year of lockdown we have had.”

Meanwhile, 10 registered bidders logged in for the auction of 30 Hick St, Spotswood, which saw the two bedroom home on a large block sell for $1,402,000, smashing its reserve price of $1,100,000.

Ray White Seddon Director Peter Gindy said the seller was hesitant to proceed amid the lockdown, however was absolutely over the moon as the hammer fell. The winning bidder was a developer, which was where the majority of interest was from.

“The vendor was talking about delaying until October, but today’s result just proves how robust the market is, even in winter,” Mr Gindy said.

“We have properties ready to get online, to capitalise on this market, so hopefully the lockdown wraps up quickly,” he said.

A final success of the day in Melbourne was at 8 Carson Crt, Rowville which sold for $1,026,000, smashing the reserve of $850,000. The campaign run by Nick Strilakos from Ray White Rowville attracted 10 registered bidders online.

“The buyers haven’t actually seen the property in person due to the lock, and only registered yesterday,” Mr Strilakos said.

“Buyer and seller confidence hasn’t been rocked too much with the lockdown, because of the lack of stock, prices are staying high,” he said.

“Our sellers were stoked. It was a deceased estate sale, so a fairytale ending for an uncertain time.”

The flight to the sunshine state over the past year was still evident, with happy buyers and sellers chasing their piece of Brisbane today.

Ray White Queensland Chief Auctioneer Mitch Peereboom said the results continued to be exceptional both onsite and in room.

“We are seeing a huge amount of bidders, which is leading to stand out sale prices and a huge increase from offers prior,” Mr Peereboom said.

“One thing to remember is that we know sellers’ expectations are rising with the heat of the market, but be conscious that auction truly is the best environment to get your maximum price achievable,” he said.

A standout was at 50 Derby St, Hendra, which sold for $2,450,000 and attracted eight registered bidders. Ray White New Farm Principal Matt Lancashire and elite agent Hamish Bowman drew in a huge 158 buyers throughout the four week campaign, including many interstate buyers who were bidding on the phone today.

“The house was attractive because it is a one level, pavilion style home, perfect for families with young kids or more mature buyers,” Mr Bowman said.

“Our sellers are moving to the Sunshine Coast for a sea-change, because the nature of their work doesn’t require them to be in the city,” he said.

The winning bidders were a very happy young family who currently live in the neighbouring street. Seeing the house was love at first sight.

The buyer said they were very nervous this morning but also hopeful they would land this beautiful house which needs no work done.

“We already love living in this area so much, and where so attracted to the one-level living and the large block,” the buyer said.

“When we saw this house go on the market, we knew it was meant to be. The original builders of this Derby Street home, used to own the home that I grew up in with my family,” she said.

On the ever-popular Gold Coast, Ray White Broadbeach Waters Principal Mitch Palmer sold 10 Maureen Crt, Broadbeach for $1,830,000, more than $300,000 above its reserve price.

A whopping 24 registered bidders showed up to try their luck at purchasing the original home on a priceless waterfront block.

“The potential for people to create their own masterpiece was the major appeal to this property, as well as the proximity to Pacific Fair, the casino and the Broadbeach dining precinct,” Mr Palmer said.

“We had a mix of buyers, but it mainly consisted of people wanting to renovate and redevelop and create a new home,” he said.

The winning bidders were a group of builders, and the seller was thrilled with the result after living there for 49 years and moving onto the next chapter in aged care.

“We had people from Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne all on the phones at the auction. There is a very strong interstate contingent of buyers on the Gold Coast,” Mr Palmer said.

In an enormous sale for Alistair Macmillan of Ray White Wilston, 214 Wilston Road Newmarket was knocked down at $3,170,000 smashing it’s $3m reserve.

There were 11 registered bidders vying for the home, which belonged to Triple M radio personality Greg “Marto” Martin.

“The buyers are a local family who rent a property on the same street. They have been looking for 18 months, so we are absolutely thrilled to finally get them into their dream home,” Mr Macmillan said.

“Their young son particularly loves the rugby posts left in the backyard by Marto who is an ex-Australian Wallaby,” he said.

South Australia had another cracking day for auction activity, with Ray White SA/NT chief auctioneer John Morris saying 42 per cent of auctions today were Ray White.

“Our average registered bidders per auction is currently sitting at about 9, with 4 participating with active bidding,” Mr Morris said.

“I believe the clearance rates are only going to rise over the coming weeks,” he said.

Ray White Norwood agent Derek Lee successfully sold a family home at 29 Lockwood Ave, Erindale for $2,250,000 after 13 registered bidders battled it out.

“The buyers were a young family who have been wanting to get into this area for quite some time,” Mr Lee said.

“We had 167 groups over the two week campaign; it really suited so many different demographics.”

Mr Lee said the major appeal was the quality of the build, and the sought-after location of the home.

Another great sale to wrap up the day came from Ray White Port Adelaide sales specialist Rick Schultz, who successfully sold 42 Fairford Tce, Semaphore Park for $640,000.

Mr Schultz said the vendors were thrilled at beating their reserve price as their move onto their next property in Mount Barker.

The buyer was a young woman, purchasing it to add to her investment portfolio.

“The auction method really helped achieve this great result today. We wouldn’t have achieved the price we did without taking it to auction, and the fantastic help of John Morris,” Mr Schultz said.

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