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Melbourne auctions: reserves smashed, Menzies family home sold

By Mikaela Fowler

A family bid farewell to its longtime Cheltenham “hub”, while another house in the suburb with a Prime Ministerial past sold strongly as Melbourne’s auction market continued its resurgence.

Auction volumes have been building in the city since they hit a dismal low of 11 in the week ending September 20 — just before a key COVID-19 restriction banning physical home inspections was lifted.

CoreLogic expected 622 homes to go under the hammer this week, up from 490 the week prior.

The Churchill Avenue home offered space for the whole family.

In Cheltenham, Sarah Goodwin and her family sold her late grandmother’s home of 22 years at a Ray White hybrid on-site and online auction for $1.328m. The 23 Churchill Avenue property soared well past its $1.25m reserve.

Ms Goodwin said she was excited to hand the keys over to a new family, who beat out four other bidders for the three-bedroom house.

“It’s always been the hub of our family. We have great memories at her home, from Saturday lunches to playing cricket so we hope it can give the new buyers as much joy as it’s given us,” Ms Goodwin said.

The buyers were another family from a nearby suburb.

Small updates were made to the property during lockdown.

In the same suburb, a house linked to Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies fetched $1.642m at a lively on-site auction.

The four-bedroom family home at 57 Evesham Road was once owned by Sir Menzies’ eldest son, Kenneth. Its history was uncovered after a chance meeting between the vendors and Kenneth’s son Dr Alec Menzies.

57 Evesham Road, Cheltenham is sold at an on-site auction.

The home’s backyard was a focus point for buyers.

Sir Robert Menzies (left) and Arthur Calwell in 1969.

Buxton Mentone agent Trevor Bowen said 61 bids from six bidders drove the home past its $1.45-$1.55m asking price range.

“We had 71 parties come through the house. Normally only your $600,000 homes have that kind of interest,” Mr Bowen said.

The lucky buyer was a local family who fell in love with the home’s lush backyard, extensive entertainment area and pool.

Entertain in style outdoors.

The property has had quite an update since Kenneth Menzies lived there.

“A lot of people who saw the house commented that it was the best backyard they’ve ever seen, and it’s definitely the best backyard I’ve ever sold,” Mr Weston said.

Meanwhile, a Frankston property that amassed more than 100 private inspections sold $33,000 above reserve after bidding from four parties.

First-home buyers Cassandra and Daniel, who didn’t provide their surname, snared the four-bedroom, Hamptons-inspired pad at 7 Abbeygate Court for $813,000.

7 Abbeygate Court had a Hamptons-inspired design.

The home features multiple living zones.

A deluxe and modern kitchen.

7 Abbeygate Court, Frankston, buyers Cassandra and Daniel.

Ray White Frankston director Ashley Weston said the young couple from Malvern East described the home as “the perfect package” where they could start their future family.

“To get the entertainment area and pool was an added bonus for them,” he said.

Mr Weston said the savvy buyers had used the COVID-19 lockdown to their advantage to get their finances in order.

“Their budget was lower at the start of the year, but they were able to save more money and actually move up to into a higher price range within the last few months,” he said.


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