Picnic at Hanging Rock screenwriter sells Warrandyte home after strong competition

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Cliff Green’s “writer’s retreat” sold to a young family.

Celebrated screenwriter Cliff Green and his wife Judy have sold the Warrandyte home where 1975 hit film Picnic at Hanging Rock was written, after stiff pre-auction competition.

Three offers above the price guide of $740,000-$790,000 saw 23 Webb St eventually sell for $825,000 ahead of its auction.

The screenplay of Picnic at Hanging Rock, based on Joan Lindsay’s 1967 book of the same name, was written by Green in a striking studio surrounded by gardens on the 1213sq m property.

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The studio where Cliff Green wrote Picnic at Hanging Rock’s screenplay.

The four bedroom home at 23 Webb St sold for $825,000.

Mr Green said his studio had been a “great writer’s retreat”.

“When I got stuck on something and wouldn’t know quite what to write next, I’d go for a walk around the garden and by the time I got back I had the answer,” he said.

Jellis Craig Eltham director Chris Chapman said Cliff, 84, and Judy, 82, were ecstatic to sell their home to a young family.

“They were rapt, just for sentimental reasons,” he said. “They raised four kids at that property, they built it and just want to pass it to someone who is going to love it as much as they did.”

“The studio was a big part of the appeal as well — the buyers will be running a small business, they’re going to use it as a home office,” Mr Chapman said.

The entry-level pricing was attractive to young buyers eager to break into Warrandyte.

OAM recipient Cliff Green at work in the studio.

“Around that $800,000 range is entry-level for a house in Warrandyte, so there was plenty of interest from young families.”

Bidding “went bananas” at a Doncaster East auction on June 29, with a four-bedroom home selling for $1.282 million.

Parkes director Scott George said three bidders — all families — pushed the price for 15 Woodlea St above reserve, which was within the price guide of $1-$1.1 million.

A Doncaster East auction “went bananas”.

No. 15 Woodlea St raised $1.282 million for its retiring vendors.

A couple that recently had a baby won the keys to the house.

“It was a well-presented home, it was pretty original but it was immaculate — the oven looked like it had never been used — you really couldn’t fault the home,” Mr George said. “Families want that location for the schools, it just kept going and going.”

Mr George said low stock was forcing bidders to contest for the few available properties, pushing prices up.

“Things have just turned on a dime almost, but there isn’t a lot on the market so it could be that come spring this little bubble might burst,” he said.

“Stock is still quite low, we’ve had an exceptional month for sales but we haven’t been able to replace them yet.”

Four local families competed for the keys to a Box Hill North home that sold under the hammer for $1 million on June 29.

A Box Hill North home sold for $1 million under the hammer.

The home at 81 Heathfield Rise was picked up by a local family.

Starting on an opening bid of $750,000, the three-bedroom home at 81 Heathfield Rise quickly reached its reserve price, which was within the price guide of $800,000-$880,000.

Ray White Blackburn agent Linda Azzopardi said the vendor, now in a retirement home, was thrilled with the result for the house, which was on the market for the first time in 61 years.

“It was a pleasant surprise, the vendor was very happy,” Ms Azzopardi said.

About 60 people watched on as bidding rose in $25,000 increments before slowing after reaching the $900,000 mark.

“A local family bought it,” Ms Azzopardi said. “They’re going to live in it short term and then rent it out and keep it as an investment.”

She said confidence was returning to the market for buyers and vendors were starting to take note.

“People that have been holding off are now starting to bid, realising the market’s starting to pick up since the election and the banking royal commission.

“We’ve got more properties coming onto the market — there’s a few people trying to beat the spring rush.”

Still in Box Hill North, developers picked up 8 Campaspe St for $170,000 above reserve at another June 29 auction.

Developers picked up 8 Campaspe St, Box Hill North.

The site went for $1.57 million, topping reserve by $170,000.

Four groups — all developers — placed 21 bids on the tired four-bedroom home, which made $1.57 million under the hammer.

“Most people who were turning up were developers who were looking at getting approval for three townhouses,” Lindellas Box Hill director Dennis Dellas said.

“Inquiry was okay, but we had a great turnout at the auction,” Mr Dellas said. “The market has bottomed out — there’s been a correction we had to have.”

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