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Record breaking auction week at Ray White

By Mikaela Fowler

Some 82 per cent of all auctions held in Australia today sold under the hammer as competition continues to heat up as 2020 draws to a close, according to Ray White.

The largest property group in Australasia this week had 861 properties slated for auction – the highest number of the year – which is 22 per cent higher year on year and intense buyer demand today helped propel the preliminary auction day clearance nationally to 82 per cent by late Saturday. There was 6.5 average registered bidders per lot today which is also a record high number for the group (+3.5 year on year).

Across Australia the group’s live listings are only up one per cent on the last year, and yet online inquiries are up 25 per cent, sales are up 16 per cent which shows sellers that now is a good time to sell as there’s less competition and plenty of demand.

The preliminary auction clearance rate in Sydney alone was 86 per cent, with strong demand being reported from the inner city suburbs to out west. In Sydney, the group’s data shows a whopping 6.8 average registered bidders were recorded per lot – almost double the same time last year.

There was a been a renewed focus on ‘The Great Australian Dream’ at the federal level this week when the important retirement income review, chaired by Treasury veteran Mike Callaghan found that while compulsory superannuation played an important role in retirement, owning your own home was perhaps the most critical plank of retirement income.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the report pointed out how important home ownership was to people’s security in retirement. “Around 76 per cent of people over the age of 65 own their own home and this allows them to have more discretionary income. It also provides an opportunity for them to draw down on the equity in their home in retirement.”

Meanwhile, Ray White NSW chief auctioneer Alex Pattaro said December was shaping up to be huge around Sydney..

“The rush to buy continues to heat up in 2020. With strong competition at auction we are seeing property prices exceed initial buyer expectations giving sellers the confidence that they are receiving the market’s best price. December is shaping up to be huge with a higher than expected number of Sydney sellers deciding to sell this side of Christmas.”

Arguably the most consistent auction agent in New South Wales, Ray White Surry Hills Director Ercan Ersan today sold 103/20-22 George St to a young couple from Dulwich Hill for $1.005 million.

Ray White auctioneer James Keenan said there were five registered bidders and four active in the auction.

“We had a lot of first home buyers through the property, and our sellers saw now as a good time to upsize with low interest rates and cheap money,” Mr Ersan said.

“There is definitely a sense of urgency now in the market as people try to wrap up a deal before Christmas but there’s no way now to settle before Christmas, these houses will settle in January.”

Happy buyer Zico said there were still good buying opportunities out there now.

“I am a logical person and I knew our limit as I have always approached home buying with a practical approach.The market is still busy but everything is a compromise – either your expectations or money. But I still think there’s good opportunities now,” he said.

Ray White Georges River | St George | Oatley Principal Fraser Glen said he had been seeing a huge spike in demand from buyers who live in the inner city of Sydney but were looking for more space at home during COVID.

“If you can work from home then you might as well live somewhere comfortable with a great view and it’s only 25 minutes to the CBD by train from Mortdale,” the Oatley business owner said.

The Oatley team today sold 16 Ballantyne Rd, Mortdale for $1.61 million, $201,000 over its reserve.

There were nine registered bidders, and five of them were active.

A young couple from Erskineville won the keys and the under-bidders were from Alexandria, also in the inner west.

“The backdrop was such a selling feature as it’s right on the golf course with the perfect sunset view with a north west aspect/”

Sellers Maree and Atef said it was a happy day for their family (pictured above with their children).

“We have lived in the street for 31 years and it’s a wonderful area. We moved from 9 Ballantyne Rd 20 years ago into number 16 as we needed more room for our family,” Atef said.

Even though the house backs onto the glorious links of the Hurstville Golf Course, Atef said he didn’t play the sport.

“I tried it once but not for me. I have been watching the same frustrated golfers for years though,” he said with a chuckle.

Both Maree and Atef were full of praise for Fraser Glen and the Oatley team. “Fraser was excellent at keeping us up to date with all the movements and he was in constant communication with us. He went well above our expectations,” Atef said.

“We have been planning this sale for 18 months and we spent a small fortune at Bunnings during COVID getting the house ready for sale. I think that’s the key, to make sure you present your house well.”

Atef and Maree are looking forward to a sea change next as they hope to move to the Sutherland Shire to be near the beach.

Ray White Bondi Junction agent Ray Nicholas said his auction of 28/2-8 Llandaff St, Bondi Junction was a success, exchanging hands under the hammer for $1.3 million.

Mr Nicholas said the new owners were on the hunt after a developer bought their unit block nearby.

“They had lived in a unit for 35 years until a developer bought the block so they needed to move. This was the first auction they’d ever been to so I have them some tips. Bid quickly, don’t fumble and appear confident! And it worked.”

There were six registered bidders vying for the deceased estate.

“They don’t build them like this anymore and buyers knew that, which is why we’d already had 70 groups come through the apartment. Mr Nicholas has given out a price guide of $1,100,000 plus for the two bedroom Bondi Junction unit.

Ray White Victoria and Tasmania CEO Stephen Dullens said buyers wasted no time hitting the streets to take advantage of the smaller number of listings currently available as property conditions continue to improve.

“The Victorian government announced temporary changes to stamp duty in this week’s state budget – discounts of 50 per cent (newly built homes) or 25 per cent (established homes) are available on all homes purchased for up to $1 million between now and June 30, 2021,” Mr Dullens said.

“This equates to savings of up to $27,500 on new homes or $13,750 on established homes. With every sale providing so much benefit to the wider Victorian economy, we welcome this measure.

“This week the Ray White Group conducted over 125 auctions – the highest number since March, as restrictions continue to ease. These are also some of the strongest results this year, with our preliminary clearance rate sitting at 88 per cent and average active bidders showing a significant increase, sitting at 6.5 per auction.

“What is clear is that buyer demand remains strong with several properties selling hundreds of thousands over vendor’s expectations. The Victorian property market continues to perform extremely well – buyers and sellers are making up for lost time post Victorian restrictions.”

It was a stellar result for Ray White Craigieburn agent Trish Orrico (pictured above right with Ray White Craigieburn sales assistant Shayla Spiteri on the left) who successfully knocked down 250 Smiths Lane, Sunday Creek for $1,700,000 – well above the reserve. Back in her bright yellow lucky heels Ms Orrico conducted a hybrid on-site and online auction with five registered bidders in the audience.

The Ray White Craigieburn agent said throughout the campaign she had a mix of different buyers inspect the property, totalling up to 40 groups over the four weeks.

“Some were family buyers, others were looking for a holiday retreat away from their busy lives and others were treechanges, or seachangers wanting that amazing man-made beach that comes with the property,” Ms Orrico said.

“There is nothing that’s sold for this much out here. It’s going to bring the market to life, especially for the tree-changer market.

“It’s a unique property too, over 12ha, with lots of privacy and everything you could want in home. There’s nothing to compare it to but it will bump an area big time.”

The sellers, Alex and Nicole Greco are now moving back to the Melbourne suburbs to be closer to family and could not be happier with the result. Meanwhile, the new owners are an older couple wanting a holiday home to share with their kids and grandkids.

After a year of searching for their next home, the winning bidders (pictured above) of 25 Dianne Dr, Tullamarine can now call the four bedroom house their own. The buyers had sold their previous home and were looking to downsize, with little luck. Selling agent, Phillip Mercieca (pictured below) of Ray White Gladstone Park said they had been looking since before COVID.

“Like the majority of buyers, they expected the market to crash and prices to drop but have realised that the market has stayed steady over the year and even gotten stronger,” Mr Mercieca said.

“They were surprised that the market has gone up and not down, which just speaks to the resilience of the real estate industry and the confidence people have in property as an asset.”

The Tullamarine home sold under the hammer for $83,000 above reserve at $723,000 as seven of eight registered bidders battled for the keys to the house. Mr Mercieca said the buyers were competitive and kept the auction moving along quickly.

“There was really strong activity from buyers with the opening bid starting at $630,000 and then moving up to the reserve of $640,000 by the second bid,” he said.

“It looked like no one was giving up and it just shot up to the sale price of $723,000.

“It’s an outstanding result for that size home in the area. The sale price today probably would have exceeded the price for a comparable home sold pre-COVID this year by about 10 per cent.”

Later in the day, Mr Mercieca also sold 37 Bramcote Dr, Westmeadows for $685,000 with all three registered bidders active. After hitting the reserve of $630,000 and then eventually making it to the sale price, the house went to a first home buying couple who were also engaged.

Sellers, Jess and Brocke (pictured above) are now off to Romsey, Victoria. Jess said the couple made the decision to sell on the advice of their agent.

“We bought a massive block of land and are now building our forever home in Romsey. Brocke is from Broadford in the country and wants to get back to that lifestyle so we found a happy medium in Romsey which isn’t too far from Melbourne,” Jess said.

It was a scorcher of a day in Brisbane but that didn’t stop a crowd gathering at the auction of 62 Stafford St, East Brisbane. After a starting bid of $750,000 for the two bedroom cottage, the property was knocked down for $$856,000 by Ray White Brisbane City Principal Dean Yesberg (pictured above).

The auction attracted a massive 15 registered bidders, ranging from older downsizers to young couples. The reserve was reached after only the second bid as five buyers competed for the keys to the East Brisbane home. Listing agent, Karen Pierce said she knew the auction would be one to remember after buyers flocked to open homes over the course of the campaign.

“Looking at all the people here today and the popularity during the campaign, you can see that the Brisbane market is going from strength to strength,” Ms Pierce said.

“There are plenty of young buyers wanting to get into the market while interest rates are low and money is cheap. Downsizers and families have also been extremely active during the spring selling season.

“Stafford Street is one of the best in the area, the house has so much potential and it’s so close to everything so there is absolutely no reason why it wouldn’t be snapped up.”

In the end it was a couple from Mission Beach in tropical north Queensland that snagged the keys. Jim and Sheryn Hardman (pictured above) had only seen the property on Friday but were determined to make it theirs.

“We love the look of it, it’s really cute, so we are planning to extend the back but won’t be doing any major changes to the front. We want to keep it as is with all it’s charm,” the pair said.

Later in the day, Ray White Mount Gravatt agent James Austin found himself with 40 registered bidders at the auction of 45 Gatton St, Mount Gravatt East (sign board pictured above). The deceased estate went under the hammer for $945,000 – $95,000 above reserve – as 15 active bidders vied for the property. Mr Austin said the block was so popular as it had heaps of potential for developments.

“There’s nothing like it around this area, it has a dual street frontage and the potential to be split into two blocks of land. Most of the buyers there today were developers with that in mind,” Mr Austin said.

“The buyer was an experienced developer who has done a lot of projects in Queensland. He hadn’t seen it prior to that auction that we know of, he just turned up on the day and bid aggressively.”

The Ray White Mt Gravatt team have had an outstanding week with this under the hammer sale marking the sixth for the southside office in a week. They recorded a whooping 118 registered bidders across all auctions during the week and 100 per cent clearance rate.

Mr Austin described the market as “red hot” at the moment.

“There’s been lots of activity across the board, particular in that $650,000 to $700,000 range and there is no sign of it stopping before Christmas,” he said.

Ray White South Australia Chief Auctioneer John Morris said that while the mercury may have tipped 40 degrees in Adelaide, the auction market was “hotter than the sun”.

“If this week is anything to go by, so far it looks like we will be breaking records all over the place. After last week’s uncertainty in the auction market, it looks as though we’re ready and raring to go from here on in,” Mr Morris said.

“Of the auctions I’ve called this week, the record amount of bidders was 47 and many of the others have had 10 plus. The clearance rates are looking really good so far and it only looks to be getting stronger in these last couple of weeks prior to Christmas.

“Incredible numbers are coming through doors, there’s an incredible number of eyes on the internet portals and it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic end to a weird year.”

Ray White Norwood agents Ryan Stapleton and Nick Borrelli continue the office’s hot streak of auctions at 14 Parkside Drive, Gulfview Heights which sold for $924,000 under the hammer today.

Some 18 registered bidders lined up for the executive four bedroom home with manicured gardens.

“It was crazy busy, some people were saying they could do a two week settlement and have it wrapped up by Christmas,” said Ray White SA’s chief auctioneer John Morris.

“There was solid bidding throughout the auction with big increments. There is a definite sense of urgency at this time of the year.”

There were 18 registered bidders all vying to buy Ray White Glenelg Principal Matt Dickinson’s listing at 36 Victoria St Forestville which sold under the hammer for $1.102500 – some $242,500 over its reserve.

“There were 70 bids, it was flying. I have never seen a market like this before,” said Auctioneer Rod Smitheram.

The auction of the week was conducted in Adelaide’s north by Ray White Para Hills agent Lukasz Jaworek who sold a burned shell of a house at 39 Lauder St, Ingle Farm for $398,000 after 47 registered bidders signed up!

“My hands are still sore from signing up all the registrations! I knew it was going to be a strong auction after I had sent out contracts to some 50 buyers. I knew we’d get at least 40 bidders but we had 47,” Mr Jaworek said.

“Ingle Farm prices are up 7.8 per cent this year and I knew developers would be running at it as the house needs to be demolished but its over the road from a park and near to shops on 705sqm with a 20m frontage so we ran an auction sale.

“In the end it was a family who bought it to build their dream home with enough room to build an investment property later on too. They were looking at the opportunity as a long term investment.

“Auctions work to create competition and they tend to drive harder when you have more than 200 people looking on and watching, which adds to the pressure.

“A lot of people want to get a deal done by the end of the year as they are still seeing the strong market and ultra low interest rates.” The house was in the news late last year after the owner was charged with arson.

And in front of a crowd of 100 people, Ray White Norwood agent Andrew Baldino sold 41 Labrina Ave, Prospect for $1.056 million today under the hammer.

There were 21 registered bidders who signed up to buy the impressive modern three bedroom character house behind the white picket fence. “The area is a good area, family friendly area. Saw value strong families on the first.”

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