Melbourne auctions: Why buyers shouldn’t despair amid big sales

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50 Chaucer St, St Kilda smashed its reserve at auction.

A century-old St Kilda house has rocketed more than $600,000 past reserve at auction — but the selling agent has urged would-be buyers not to “despair” at the huge prices being achieved under the hammer.

The 1905-built Victorian at 50 Chaucer St attracted three bidders to become Melbourne’s priciest auction seller last week, at $3.71 million.

Belle Property St Kilda director Sam Inan described the sale as “a product of the shortage of stock” on the market across the city.

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50 Chaucer St attracted three determined bidders.

There’s period charm in every corner of the home.

“There’s a real captive audience at the moment. As stock levels rise through to Easter, you’ll notice those results will soften a bit,” Mr Inan said.

“I’m telling buyers, ‘please don’t despair, keep your head up — there will be more choice soon’.”

Melbourne auction volumes are already on the rise — expects 1146 homes to go under the hammer this week, 1086 of them on Saturday, February 22. recorded a preliminary 80 per cent clearance rate from 442 reported results last week. A total of 635 auctions were held.

On the same week last year, just 52.5 per cent of 657 auctions resulted in sales, according to another data firm, CoreLogic.

One of the home’s four bedrooms.

The classic kitchen.

Mr Inan said a family “looking for a great location (near) the beach and the shops of Acland St” snapped up the Chaucer St property, outlasting competitors including downsizers from Toorak.

The “slice of St Kilda history” was also opposite Peanut Farm Reserve, ensuring delightful park views, the agent said.

CoreLogic records show the property’s last sale was worth $437,000 in 1995.

In Northcote, a three-bedroom weatherboard described by National Property Buyers director Antony Bucello as a “knockdown” — or at least requiring “a massive renovation” — was announced on the market at $1.3 million and sold $243,000 later.

14 Stafford St, Northcote also smashed its reserve.

The Northcote house required a substantial reno.

Mr Bucello said 14 Stafford St’s $1.543 million sale was “a huge result” driven by six bidders, with buyers who “looked like builders” winning the keys.

The buyer’s advocate forecast prices to keep “going north”, with demand to continue to outstrip supply despite an upcoming boost in auction numbers.

“Buyers will need to dig deep and give it everything they’ve got to win,” he said.

Wakelin Property Advisory director Jarrod McCabe advised househunters to forget the Melbourne market downturn ever happened, as prices for “quality assets” had already returned to early-2018 levels.

“Buyers must act as if we have gone back in time,” he said.

“When trying to ascertain the likely budget you’ll need to secure a property, … pay as much attention to sales from 2018 as from six months ago.”

4/20 Grandview Grove, Prahran was popular at auction.

5/312 Hampton St, Hampton easily eclipsed its reserve.

Mr McCabe watched two bidders push a two-bedroom apartment in a good spot at 4/20 Grandview Grove, Prahran, to a $801,000 sale price on February 15. It had been announced on the market at $770,000.

In Hampton, a two-bedroom villa unit at 5/312 Hampton St soared $155,000 past reserve to a $955,000 sale, Nick Johnstone Real Estate director Nick Johnstone said.

He said the property type was hot among downsizers at the moment, with six bidders vying for this one.

And in Manor Lakes, 33km west of the CBD, a whopping nine bidders competed for a four-bedroom Metricon-built house at 37 Minindee Rd.

Hocking Stuart Werribee’s Samantha McCarthy said the residence, ideally positioned opposite Manor Lakes P-12 School, sold to an investor for $691,000 against a $650,000 reserve.

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Nine bidders wanted 37 Minindee Rd, Manor Lakes.