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A young family snapped up a four-bedroom Kew house for $4,665,000, in an auction so crowded the agent couldn’t even see them at the start.
More than 100 people turned out for the auction of 86 Argyle Road, crowding into the living room and back garden.
Kay & Burton Boroondara partner Sophie Su said the harsh wind on Saturday afternoon meant the auction was moved inside, and it was difficult to see where the bids were coming from.
“The living room was full of people, and the buyer was in the living room and I couldn’t see them in the beginning,” Su said.
They were one of three bidders who competed for the keys to the two-storey home known as Wirraway, which has oak parquetry, decorative ceilings, an outdoor entertaining area with a barbecue, and a saltwater solar-heated swimming pool.
Bidding opened at $4.3 million and the home was called on the market at $4.55 million.
That was close to the top of the $4.3 million to $4.6 million guide, but bidding continued, and the house sold for $115,000 more.
Su said it was a surprising result, given the house’s awkward layout with bedrooms and bathrooms all on the second floor.
“It was a good family home, good quality, so that’s why people wanted to buy,” she said.
The vendors, who owned the home for three years, were now looking for a larger property for their growing family, she said.
The auction was one of 622 scheduled across Melbourne on Saturday. By evening, Domain Group recorded a preliminary auction clearance rate of 69.1 per cent from 486 reported results, while 25 auctions were withdrawn.
Withdrawn auctions are counted as unsold properties when calculating the clearance rate.
Although the auction was a strong result, Su said the market had been slowing down over the past few weeks, since the latest interest rate rise.
“Buyers were thinking they would buy because the market had reached the bottom, but some are now hesitant because they’re thinking they should wait until more property comes up [for sale].”
In Fitzroy, one of two bidders on 209 George Street turned up halfway through the auction to start bidding.
Though they made a few bids, their competition was the highest bidder when the three-bedroom terrace passed in at $1.97 million.
It sold for $2,025,000 after the highest bidder, who wanted a family home, negotiated the deal.
The home sold just below the top end of the price range of $1.9 million to $2.09 million.
Jellis Craig Northcote partner Paula Beavis said one of the bidders had been running late, but made it in enough time to make offers for the property which had some renovation work done.
“It’s a great home – it’s freestanding, quite wide and really neat and tidy,” Beavis said.
She said buyers were still in the mix despite the latest interest rate rise, and were getting some good deals.
“It’s a really fair market out there for buyers at the moment,” Beavis said. “Some things are selling near the top of the price range or just a little bit above. That’s probably due to the lack of stock too.”
Elsewhere, four first- and second-home buyers, competed for the keys of a two-bedroom house at 13A Lewis Street, Thornbury that sold under the hammer for $1,293,000.
The house, which looked like a period home, was only built 11 years ago, Nelson Alexander Northcote’s Robert Enes said.
It had been popular given its pristine condition.
The property, which had a price range of $1.05 million to $1.15 million, sold well above that to a couple moving on to their second home, Enes said.
“Powerful” bidding on the property opened at $1 million, and was called on the market at $1.16 million.
“It was a very popular home,” he said. “At the auction, there were buyers there that couldn’t get started because the bids just blew them away.”
PRD Real Estate chief economist Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo said Melbourne’s clearance rate was slightly lower, excluding last week’s long weekend, and it would take time for the effects of June’s rate hike to 4.1 per cent to flow through.
“Now is the time where we might see the auction clearance rate starting to just dip down a little bit,” she said.
“Two to three weeks after the cash rate hike happens is when you start to see confidence dip in the market.”
She said it was unclear how high the cash rate would rise, which meant potential buyers who are prepared and have their finance pre-approved would have an edge over those still working out what to do.
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