A harbour-front home in Sydney’s inner west sold for $200,000 over reserve at auction on Saturday, reflecting strong competition for family homes.
While economists concede interest rates have bottomed, buyer sentiment is high and Sydney’s stock on market levels are low, pitching bidders head-to-head at auctions.
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom Birchgrove home drew 74 groups to inspect and 10 contracts were issued ahead of auction, according to listing agents Benjamin Martin and Monique Dower of Belle Property Balmain.
Four bidders took the $1.5 million opening up in $25,000, $10,000 and $5000 increments before the hammer fell in front of a 50-strong crowd.
Sydney’s auction clearance rate was 81 per cent, according to RP Data, and 68.8 per cent in Melbourne. There were 358 auctions held in Sydney, RP Data figures were based on 293 results reported.
Nationally, there were 966 auctions held across the capitals and the weighted average clearance rate was 69.8 per cent from 772 results.
Over the same weekend last year, 667 auctions were held and the clearance rate was 55.4 per cent.
Other standout results included a Chatswood property, expected to sell for more than $1.6 million, which sold for $2 million after attracting 130 groups to inspections, listed with Adam Wong, McGrath.
INVESTOR DEMAND HIGH
Sydney’s strong property performance throughout 2013 was underpinned by investor demand and for family homes. Activity around the $2 million plus market took longer, but is rising because of buyer competition.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said listings in Sydney were at their lowest since 2008, and given prices rose almost 20 per cent in Sydney in 2009-10 when listings were higher, he was confident that growth in Sydney will continue.
Mr Christopher said vendor asking prices were 11 per cent higher for houses than the same time last year and up 4 per cent for units.The asking prices index for Melbourne was up 2.7 per cent for houses and 0.7 per cent for units.
In Melbourne, RP Data’s Victorian commentator Robert Larocca said listings were beginning to rise.
“Recent house price data showing very strong growth over January will encourage more vendors into the market as they seek to capitalise on recent market movements,” he said.
The top auction result in Melbourne was $1.22 million for an Elsternwick home listed with Biggin & Scott.