Melbourne auctions: Post-lockdown demand, confidence, fuels strong auction results


Melbourne real estate agents who witnessed dozens of homes soar well above their reserves on Saturday say the city’s property market is a “fast-rising” one, with buyer demand and low interest rates pushing many auction results well above expectations.


Agents reported huge attendance figures at open-for-inspections and auctions on Saturday, suggesting confidence had well and truly returned to the market just three months on from the end of Melbourne’s second lockdown.


In Balaclava, a family embarking on a post-lockdown sea change watched on as their beloved three-bedroom house sold for $100,000 above reserve to a young couple expecting their first child in just 10 days.


More than 100 people turned out for the auction at 55 Sycamore Grove, with six active bidders pushing the final price up to $1,707,500.


The well-attended auction was one of 523 scheduled across the city on Saturday.


By evening, Domain Group recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 78.4 per cent from 393 reported results, while 24 auctions were withdrawn. Withdrawn auctions are counted as unsold properties when calculating the clearance rate.


Selling agent, Josh Stirling from McGrath St Kilda, who had the family home listed for sale at $1.42 million to $1.55 million, said the strong result reflected “high buyer demand” and a “rising market”.


“I think when you see results like this, the message for the market is not to wait, because the volume of buyers looking to buy in 2021 is going to be high and that is going to continue to drive price growth,” he said.


The hotly-contested auction saw the young couple outbid another young family, looking to upsize in the area.


“With a baby on the way any day, the successful buyers were on a bit of a tight schedule, and so they were pretty happy to secure something,” Mr Stirling said.


The sellers had planned to stay in the home long-term with plans to add a second level, Mr Stirling added, but after COVID-19 they“realised they don’t need to be chained to the office and so they’re having a lifestyle change and moving to the Mornington Peninsula.”


Over in Northcote, an Aussie expat, looking to return from Singapore, paid almost $200,000 above the reserve to secure a large, four-bedroom Edwardian at 89 Beaconsfield Parade. She had never seen the property in person.


The auction, which was originally scheduled for next weekend, was hastily brought forward to early Saturday, where the young professional expat and an upsizing family from nearby Fairfield pushed the final sale price to $2.04 million – well past the listing price of $1.78 million to $1.85 million.


“We’re seeing a lot of activity from expats coming into the market, and I think we’re going to keep seeing this activity continue throughout the year,” listing agent Sam Rigopoulos from Jellis Craig Northcote said.

Meanwhile, in South Yarra, two fathers bidding on behalf of their young professional children battled for the keys to a renovated, single-fronted Victorian terrace.


With the current owners – a young family with a dog – looking to upsize in the area, the beautifully-renovated free-standing two-bedroom home was listed in early January with an asking price of $1.35 million to $1.4 million.


More than 50 people watched on as the bidding for 58 Moore Street got underway with an opening offer of $1.36 million from a young woman, accompanied by her father. The second bidder, a gentleman bidding on behalf of his daughter, then upped the price to $1.37 million.


A battle between the two fathers ensued, with the four other registered bidders remaining silent.


The two fathers fought it out in bids of $10,000 before the property was passed in to the second bidder at $1.42 million. It was sold a short time later for an undisclosed sum, in the high $1,400,000s.


Big numbers of first-home buyers were also out and about at Melbourne auctions on Saturday, including at 89/88 Wells Street in Southbank, which went under the hammer at midday.


The two-bedroom apartment attracted a 60-strong crowd, made up of mostly first home buyers, and five active bidders who pushed the final selling price $117,500 above the reserve.


With a listing price of $570,000 to $625,000, the property attracted strong interest from first-home buyers looking to take advantage of low interest rates and other incentives such as stamp duty savings, said listing agent Michael Pastrikos from Ray White Southbank.


The unit sold under the hammer for $727,500.


Mr Pastrikos, who showed 170 groups through the apartment throughout January and early February said he expected increased demand from firstihome buyers to continue throughout 2021.


“First-home buyers are keen to make the most of those incentives and also because they can’t travel overseas anytime soon, a lot of them are deciding to put their savings into property instead.”


He also said some young couples who had been forced to put wedding plans on hold last year, were tipping their wedding savings into a first home instead.


While investors have been wary of Melbourne’s inner city apartment market, on the back of low vacancy rates fuelled by the closure of international borders and a drop in foreign students, Mr Pastrikos said there was still an appetite from investors buying apartments for their own children to live in.



Ref: RACHEL WELLS (on 06  Feb 2021). Melbourne auctions: Post-lockdown demand, confidence, fuels strong auction results . Retrieved from


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