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Christmas comes early in seller’s market

By Mikaela Fowler

BUYERS were out in force across the country today in what remains a seller’s market as bidders battled it out to secure the ultimate early Christmas present as we head into the festive period.
The Ray White Group booked a healthy preliminary clearance rate of 77.1 per cent, in a week when the leading group conducted more than 26 per cent of all auctions across Australia.

Sydney was the star of the show today with a strong preliminary clearance rate of 78.8 per cent. The leading auction house also saw 5.6 registered and 3.4 active bidders per property, on average.

Ray White New South Wales Chief Auctioneer Alex Pattaro said Christmas was coming early for sellers across Sydney with another impressive week of auctions across the city.

“Auction activity is up week-on-week. We’re seeing approximately six buyers registering to bid per auction on average across our Sydney auctions,” Mr Pattaro said.

“Whether it’s to buy, sell, or both – we see now as the real sweet spot to transact. Interest rates are at record lows and buyer activity is at record highs.

“With more properties coming to market between now and the first quarter of the new year, we see no better time than to sell now.”
The preliminary highest sale of the day ensured Saturday started off with a bang as Ray White Upper North Shore Sales Agents Rowan Lazar and Graeme Schultz successfully managed the $3,180,000 sale of 8 Rushall Street (pictured above) in Pymble.

“This was an incredible auction – purely because I had something happen today that has never happened to me before in my career,” Mr Lazar said.

“Bidding started steadily at $2,800,000 and crept up to $3,040,000 at which point Melissa – who had seen the property and shown a lot of interest previously but wasn’t registered – shouted out that she wanted to register.

“We rushed to get her registered and the bidding then continued up to the final sale price of $3,180,000 – $80,000 over the highest offer prior – and it was Melissa who prevailed.
“The result just shows how valuable an auction campaign can be. Not only did we have people bid we didn’t expect, but we achieved an outstanding result for our vendor.”

“Today, I came very late to the auction, and when I got to the site I wasn’t actually planning on bidding on the property – but I loved the house and the price was in a good range for us,” said buyer Melissa Qiu (pictured above right with her family – with seller Steve on the left).

“I had seen the property only once on Wednesday and we loved how big the home was and how much land it has – we plan on adding a tennis court to the back of the property.

“I have friends living in Pymble and St Ives and I’ve heard a lot of good things about the area and it’s so convenient with public transport and Pymble Public School nearby.”

The success continued as Ray White Castle Hill Sales Executives Karl Anthony and Sara Perry sold 2 Erlestoke Place (pictured above) for $1,936,000 – well over expectations.
“This was a sensational auction with a whopping 18 bidders registering – nine of whom actively competed to drive a fantastic result for our vendor who is delighted,” Mr Anthony said.

“There was a huge amount of energy in the campaign with 126 inspections overall – including 29 second inspections, 12 third inspections, and five groups inspecting for a fourth time.

“There was so much appeal to this home with it being on a corner block and having a granny flat that was only built five years ago – as well as being in the catchment area for Cherrybrook Tech – meaning it appealed to a wide array of demographics.

“Our office statistics show that in the last three months, 76 per cent of buyers in Castle Hill have been from the surrounding suburbs as buyers look to take advantage of area upgrades – that coupled with Christmas coming up is driving real urgency in the market.”

Buyers Ram and Pri (pictured above left – with Sales Agent Karl Anthony – right) had been looking for the perfect property for two years, and having missed out on homes at auction previously, were delighted to have secured their dream home.
“This property really did tick all of the boxes for us. From the family area upstairs to the granny flat out the back – it was everything that we wanted,” Ram said.

“The pandemic didn’t affect our decision to buy at all. We both have stable jobs and the granny flat also provides an income and in the two years, we’ve been able to save a good amount of money.

“We actually had no intention of bidding at the auction. The agent Karl, who I would certainly use again, convinced me to come along and I joined the auction late.

“I submitted just two bids towards the end and we came away with the keys. We’re so very happy.”

There was another terrific result in Lilli Pilli as Ray White Caringbah Principal Wendy Samrani and Sales Executive Joseph Alam sold 1 Boomerang Avenue for $1,850,000.
“This was an excellent result for our vendor because throughout the campaign we were getting buyer feedback of between $1,650,000 and $1,800,000,” Ms Samrani said.

“We had 60 groups through during the four weeks and because the property is a blank canvas it really appealed – it’s a trend we’re seeing more and more of at the moment.

“People are wanting to come in and really put their stamp on a property and make it their home and these types of properties seem more popular than your traditional contemporary home.

“People just want deals to be done and dusted before Christmas and the young family who bought this one were really happy to have bought a property unconditionally.”

Ray White Victoria and Tasmania Chief Auctioneer Matt Condon (pictured above) said confidence in Victoria’s real estate market continued to strengthen towards the end of the year.
“Today has also seen an increase in active bidders, as well as strong competition and bidding, even once a property was announced on the market,” Mr Condon said.

“On-site auctions continue to utilise online technology to allow more bidders and crowds to tune into the event, with some agents choosing to run their auctions 100 per cent online, given they are expecting over 10 bidders.

“Further government announcements are scheduled for tomorrow around easing of restrictions so we are expecting more positive news for real estate in Victoria.”

In Melbourne’s south-east, Ray White Carnegie’s Josh Hommelhoff successfully sold a beautiful Californian bungalow-style home at 48 Gnarwyn Road (pictured above) for $1,281,000, a huge $231,000 above the reserve price.
46 people dialled in for the online auction without having to leave the comfort of their own living rooms, and the 34 registered buyers fought it out for the winning bid via their keyboards.

The bidding kicked off at a huge $980,000 and rose with over 40 bids until auctioneer Matthew Hurlston (below) knocked down his hammer, with the winning bidders a first home buyer couple.

Mr Hommelhoff said that the campaign saw a massive 142 groups through, with the main demographic being first home buyers, with some downsizers looking as well.

“The appeal of this home is that it’s low maintenance like a townhouse, but still freestanding,” Mr Hommelhoff said.

The vendor, who had the home rented out for the past five years, was thrilled with the result as she begins her new home search on the other side of Melbourne.
Mr Hommelhoff said that the market was still hot, and there was a huge amount of pent-up demand from buyers.

“I’m actually looking at buying a property at the moment, but the competition in the market is strong,” he said.

“We’re coming to the tail end of the year, and next week really is the latest that people can list their home, so buyers who don’t get in soon will have to wait until the new year.”

Mr Hommelhoff said that because of the unusual year, January and February were looking to be unseasonably strong.

Ray White Cheltenham Director Kevin Chokshi (pictured above) saw two outstanding results today in Melbourne’s Bayside suburbs.
Mr Chokshi and Sales Assistant Mia Aleardi sold a corner block at 10 Alfred Street (pictured below) in Beaumaris for $1,285,000, above the reserve price, making for very happy vendors and buyers.

Five bidders fought it out before the hammer dropped, with a young family from a neighbouring suburb purchasing the home.

“We saw mainly young couples and young families coming through this home, and the winning bidders are planning to rent it out and eventually rebuild because of its development potential,” Mr Chokshi said.

The vendor, Sandra Smyth, was selling the home on behalf of her family who had been living at the property for 69 years.

“I was a baby when my parents brought me home to this house, and I grew up here,” Ms Smyth said.
“We know that it’s just bricks and mortar, but it really is a lifetime of memories in this home.

“It is a very bittersweet day today, as all the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have grown up coming here.”

Ms Smyth could not speak more highly of the service she received from Mr Chokshi and the Ray White Cheltenham team.

“They treated us with such respect, and are such kind and genuine people. They are confident and have a right to be, because they achieved such a wonderful result for our family today,” she said.

“We have just had a glass of champagne today with our daughters. It is a special time.”

Mr Chokshi and Sales Consultant Nakita Tate then went on to sell 24 Herbert Street (pictured above) in Parkdale for $2,000,000 – $100,000 above the seller’s reserve price. The winning bidders were a young family from a neighbouring suburb.
“We had a real mix of buyers for this property; lots of different families and developers all interested in the home,” Mr Chokshi said.

Mr Chokshi, who was also the auctioneer for both properties, said that the Melbourne market was returning back to normality after their extended COVID-19 lockdown.

“There are two markets at the moment, units and townhouses which are going well, but family homes are at a whole different level of booming,” he said.

“Whether it is related to COVID-19 or not, people are wanting more space. General feedback is that they want a bigger backyard and more space.”

Ray White Queensland Chief Auctioneer Mitch Peereboom said the Sunshine State had seen some outstanding results today with strong competition matched by strong sale prices.
“That’s closed out what’s been a fantastic week of auctions across the group, across a variety of market segments, with prices ranging from $750,000 to a multi-million-dollar apartment,” Mr Peereboom said.

“We’re seeing activity across all those markets which is coming from buyer confidence and also, as we head towards Christmas, the speed of sale means stock is a little bit tighter so buyers know they have to compete.

“If you’re looking at coming to the market place then there’s still time to come on before the end of 2020 for auction campaigns and we’re certainly confident to recommend to our clients to do that with the activity that we’re seeing.”

As temperatures soared in Queensland today, the heat of the property market was more than keeping pace with the rising mercury.
In one of New Farm’s most sought-after streets, Sales Manager Nicholas Given (pictured above left with Ray White New Farm Principal/Auctioneer Haesley Cush) sold 22/118 Oxlade Drive (pictured below) for $1,275,000.

Bidding kicked off at a huge $1,000,000 which knocked out most of the seven bidders almost instantaneously.

“We saw over 60 groups through the campaign, with most interest coming from downsizers wanting to take advantage of the beautiful New Farm lifestyle and the river breeze,” Mr Given said.

“The apartment market is just on fire at the moment – just as much as the market for standalone houses.

“The value of a third bedroom and second car space is really important, especially in New Farm.”
The winning bidders at the end of the hammer drop were on the phone to Mr Given via WhatsApp, a local New Farm family who were at the airport headed to the Cayman Islands.

The vendors of the apartment Annie and Pete, who had lived there since 2017, were thrilled with the result.

“We have always loved living in New Farm and the one-level living of this apartment,” Annie said.

“We have everything at our fingertips here; the park, river, pool, and a beautiful community of neighbours and other mums at the playground.”

The couple, who have a toddler, are upsizing to a house in Hamilton which they bought under auction conditions a few weeks ago.

Then, a spectacular home with sweeping views of Brisbane City at 23 Hillside Crescent (pictured above) in Hamilton sold under the hammer for $2,710,000.
Ray White Ascot Sales Agent Damon Warat said that the prestigious home drew in 40 buyers, with a number of parties coming along for multiple inspections.

“We saw a lot of interest in interstate buyers as well as a phone bidder today from Cairns, which is becoming a bit of a trend at the moment,” Mr Warat said.

The winning bidder was a young family local to the area, with the vendors also moving to another property in the beautiful pocket of Hamilton.

“Our market is really busy. Our biggest difficulty is finding enough sellers to satisfy the huge number of buyers that we have,” Mr Warat said.

“There is a bit of urgency at the moment to get things done before Christmas;. If you are not listing your property in the next week, then you are missing the boat.

“We have more buyers looking through homes, both on and off the market, than we’ve ever had.”

Ray White South Australia Chief Auctioneer John Morris said the short lockdown highlighted why Australasia’s largest real estate group was the market leader – especially for auctions.
“Our network mobilised, our agents didn’t panic, and it was business as usual while we set up our home offices – or in my case – my home online auction studio (pictured above),” Mr Morris said.

“Coming off a great week last week where we had a 75 per cent clearance, every single auction had bidding, and we had a very strong 8.3 registered bidders per auction on average.

“We found ourselves more than ready this time thanks to the support, the leadership, and the example set specifically by Ray White Victoria and Ray White New Zealand during their lockdowns.”

One team who kept calm and carried on amidst the daily changes to restrictions was Ray White Tea Tree Gully. In the north-eastern region of Adelaide, 9 Blue Gum Court (pictured above) in Golden Grove sold for $447,500, – a great result for the vendor over the reserve price.
The home, which was marketed by Principal Sam Doman and Sales Agent Callum Kennedy, was a mid-level price point for those wanting to enter into the market and had the convenience of a double garage and a nice big living area.

“We obviously had quite a hectic week, but we had faith in the auction process, and our vendors believed that we could still get this one away under the hammer today,” Mr Doman said.

“We feel very fortunate that our vendors were onboard with adjusting so quickly after these restrictions and our team worked very hard to be nimble and move everything online.”

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