Box Hill South California bungalow leaves reserve in winter wake


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California bungalow charm was a hit under the hammer at 381 Station St.

Family bidders smashed the reserve price of a Box Hill South period house by an eye-watering $371,000 to close out the winter market.

Six bidders competed hard for the California bungalow at 381 Station St, with the auction coming to a close at $1.721 million.

On the market within the first three bids at $1.35 million, the August 31 auction then sprung to life with a total of 67 bids.

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Inside the Box Hill North property, which sold $371,000 above reserve.

“It was a corner block and a large home, so we thought we would get competition from both owner-occupiers and developers,” Fletchers Blackburn agent Stefan Cook said.

“The strongest buyers ended up being the family buyers — the winner and underbidder were looking to live in it. It became apparent during the campaign there was more emotional connection for the families.”

Having missed out on another renovated California bungalow at 35 Parkside Ave, Box Hill that sold on August 10 for $2.03 million, an Ivanhoe couple with two primary school-aged kids picked up the house, which requires some minor renovations.

The buyers missed out on 35 Parkside Ave earlier in the year.

Rustic charm at 381 Station St, Box Hill South.

“One bidder who dropped out commented during the auction he was taking into consideration stamp duty and what he’d need to spend to improve the home and bring it up to standard,” Mr Cook said. “It was updated but still needed a bit spent on it.”

Contrasting bidding strategies saw two groups competing in alternating $1000 and $9000 increments for much of the auction until a late bidder entered the competition for the first time at $1.6 million.

“The crowd was having a bit of a laugh actually — it kept going one, nine, one, nine, one nine,” Mr Cook said. “I certainly didn’t expect a new bidder to jump in at $1.6 (million) — it felt like it was going to be between these other two.”

A pool at the house.

Six bidders vied for the keys.

Mr Cook also said there had been a spike in inquiry from buyers in Hong Kong, where large scale anti-extradition protests remain ongoing.

“Certainly over the last couple of weeks there’s been more inquiries — we’re not being overwhelmed but it’s increased. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”

The Box Hill South median house price was $1,052,500 to May, according to CoreLogic data.

First-home buyers snapped up a 1920s Mitcham unit that was moved from Nunawading in the 1960s to 1/37 Hedge End Rd.

A “pretty” two-bedroom unit at 1/37 Hedge End Rd, Mitcham.

The Mitcham unit sold for $645,000 just minutes after passing in.

The two-bedroom weatherboard unit passed in on the buyer’s bid of $630,000 and a quick bout of negotiations took the sale price to $645,000.

Just two bidders vied for the keys to the Mitcham unit, with a couple outlasting a local downsizer.

Philip Webb Doncaster East agent Michael Webb said the buyers, who were renting in Hawthorn, were drawn to the property as it was close to their work and with easy access to the city.

“They (the buyers) have been looking for the last six to eight months,” Mr Webb said.

“They’ve looked at plenty of homes and this one really stuck out — it’s a unique, pretty home. It’s not too often you’ve had a house built somewhere else and moved to a different location.”

Re-painting the unit helped achieve a sale.

A tidy kitchen.

Mr Webb said properties at entry-level prices tended to attract demand irrespective of market conditions.

“We’ve sold a fair few units in the last six months and even when the market wasn’t performing well we were getting good interest,” he said.

“They’re a bit more affordable than the homes on full blocks. It’s a good way to get into the market and they have some good capital growth over the years.”

Curious neighbours made up a large chunk of the crowd at the August 31 auction, with Mr Webb saying he expected increased listings on the back of recent strong results.

“A lot of people are picking up that buyer confidence is definitely back up and there’s still a pretty big lack of properties considering this time last year.”

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