Upper north shore a standout in auction results as buyers return
Real estate industry experts were pretty unanimous when asked earlier this year what was in store for the market in 2019.
The first half of the year would be tough, they said, not helped by an almost unprecedented collection of challenges that would disrupt the market.
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And they weren’t wrong. The Financial Services Royal Commission findings, came down in February, and then there were state and federal elections to get through.
Last month, within hours of the Coalition’s shock win, it was like someone flicked the ‘on’ switch for buyers to get back into the market.
And this week the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to cut the official cash rate added to the buzz.
But if last week’s auctions on the upper north shore were anything to go by, buyers were already out shopping before the interest rates news came in on Tuesday.
The area notched up a 75 per cent clearance rate, blitzing Sydney’s general clearance rate of 66 per cent.
John McManus, of McGrath Willoughby, said there was a clear change of sentiment, from buyers just watching the market to buyers lining up and having a bid at auction.
“The buyers definitely seem to be a bit more positive and they are ready to buy,” he said.
A great example of this was his auction of a classic Californian bungalow at 63 Stafford Rd, Artarmon, on Saturday.
The light was fading as the 4.30pm auction got closer, but that didn’t deter 19 bidders from registering.
For some 30 minutes a handful of them traded bids, and the home sold under the hammer for $2,860,000, smashing the reserve by more than $600,000.
Mr McManus said there was a real buzz among buyers.
“I haven’t seen it like this for a long time,” he said.
“Everyone was talking about the rate cut and that’s happened, I do feel like the market has turned.”
Earlier in the day he sold 47 Marlborough Rd, Willoughby at auction for $2,271,500.
There were 18 registered bidders at this auction. It was all over within about 20 minutes, with the property selling above the $2,150,000 reserve, to a buyer downsizing from the upper north shore.
Mr McManus said that even though confidence was back, it was important for vendors to remain realistic about pricing to achieve a timely sale.
“Prices have adjusted and its important to keep sight of that,” he said. “It could take six to 12 months before we see new pricing, although it could be sooner.”
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