Inner west house in prime position sells at auction for $590,000 over reserve
It offered builders a salivating 350sqm of prime land in the heart of Newtown but the auction of a three-bedroom house returned a surprise outcome when it sold to first home buyers for $2.39 million.
The pair beat out 10 other registered bidders for the three-bedroom brick house on Wilson St, about 250m from Newtown train station, paying a whopping $590,000 above the reserve price.
It was an auction that was always expected to be competitive given the size of the block, which selling agent Michael Xanthoudakis of Richardson and Wrench-Newtown said was unprecedented for the area.
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Occupied by just a single-level house, the block also offered scope for redevelopment with plenty of empty space out the front and back and about 11m of frontage — nearly twice as much as neighbouring properties.
Mr Xanthoudakis said more than 100 groups of prospective buyers went through the home during open for inspections and early indications suggested it would sell for about $2 million.
That price would have represented a good result for the vendors, but the final price was “much bigger” than anticipated, he said.
“Some of the bidders came with deep pockets,” Mr Xanthoudakis said.
“They weren’t going to (give up) easily … the block is within walking distance of three train stations and 350sqm in Newtown is like 1000sqm out in the suburbs.”
Auctioneer Peter Baldwin received an opening bid of $1.7 million and the offers initially went up in $50,000 increments.
Mr Baldwin called the home “on the market” by the third bid as the reserve price had already been reached.
Four bidders were active in the proceedings but once the offers passed $1.9 million the auction became a showdown between the first home buyers, whose parents bid on their behalf, and a woman receiving instructions from a bidder on the phone.
The two groups submitted nearly 50 offers on the property, nearly all in increments of $10,000, but the first home buyers always appeared to have the upper hand countering every rival offer almost immediately.
Mr Baldwin said some of the registered bidders who weren’t active may have hoped to snag a bargain, but just couldn’t compete with “upper tier bidders”.
“Prior to the election there may have been a chance to get a lower price but sentiment has shifted … the market has had a sliding doors moment because negative gearing (reforms) are now off the table,” he said.
The sellers were among only a handful of homeowners to put their properties up for auction this weekend.
There were just 211 auctions on Saturday, down from more than 500 last weekend, with most vendors avoiding a sale over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
CoreLogic data showed the success rate of auctions has improved since the federal election. Last week the citywide auction clearance rate was 61.8 per cent, while the week prior it was 62.1 per cent. It had been about 55 per cent over the weeks leading up the election.
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Earlier in the day, a three-bedroom house on Orange Grove in Castle Hill also defied expectations, selling for just over $1.3 million, nearly $150,000 over reserve.
Selling agent Paul Conti of Ray White-Castle Hill said feedback during the marketing campaign suggested the home would sell for about $1.05 million to $1.1 million.
“We showed 75 groups of families through the home,” Mr Conti said, adding that 20 bidders registered for the auction, most hoping to capitalise on the property’s position a short walk from the new Castle Hill train station.
In the eastern suburbs, a two-bedroom unit with views of the Bondi coastline sold under the hammer for $1.4 million after attracting an opening bid of $1.25 million.
Selling agent Mary Anne Cronin of Phillips Pantzer Donnelley said the price was near the reserve and the buyer was an investor living locally. The last home to sell in the building at 14 Edward St changed hands for $950,000.
On the south coast a four-bedroom house on Penguins Head Rd in Culbarra Beach sold for a street record of $2.5 million.
The opening bid was $1.9 million, with two active bidders submitting 20 offers. Selling agent Julie Gauci of Ray White-Callala Bay said the auction was a success because “the demand outstrips the supply around here.”