Melbourne Auction Results – March 3, 2014

By Peter Sarmas on 3 Mar 2014
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Melbourne Auction Results 24th February – 2nd March 2014



Sold at Auction: 682 Auction Volumes: $682.2m
Passed in: 282 Weekend Last Month: 72%
Sold Before: 128 Weekend Last Year: 68%
Sold After: 2 Houses: 76%
Unreported: 114 Units: 73%


Autumn Selling Season to Maintain February High?

In the blink of an eye it’s already the start of the autumn selling season in Melbourne.

Before you know it, the footy season will also be upon us (it kicks off on March 14, for those counting down the days).

February was a solid month for Melbourne’s auction clearance rates, and it really confirmed the strength of the property market.

The average clearance rate for the four week period was 72 per cent.

“The housing market continues to strengthen despite signs of a weakening local economy.”

Much like last weekend, this weekend also marked a big test for the market, as over 1094 properties went up for auction according to the REIV.

This is the second consecutive week where more than 1000 properties have gone under the hammer and clearance rates have held up over the critical 70 per cent mark.

These numbers reflect the usual rise in property numbers before the Labour Day long weekend, but they are up on last year’s figures, and show that both buyers and vendors are regaining their confidence in the market.

Approximately 2,400 homes have sold at auction so far this year, which is generous in comparison to the 1,800 homes auctioned during the same time last year.

Housing Market Holds Strong in Weakening Economy

The housing market continues to strengthen despite signs of a weakening local economy. The latest ABS data shows that Melbourne’s unemployment rate climbed to 7.3 per cent over January – its highest level since February 1999.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is due to meet tomorrow afternoon to discuss the current impact of low interest rates, job losses and last week’s release of data, which predictably showed that mining investment is at its lowest level.

Most economists expect the RBA to keep interest rates on hold in the short term.

Warning on CBD Vacancy Rates

Figures released by SQM Research last week revealed that the national vacancy rate has increased year-on-year, particularly in CBD localities.

SQM Managing Director Louis Christopher has issued a warning about investing in these areas:

I would like to make a note of warning for CBD locations in Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne, where vacancy rates are rising at a very rapid rate. Those who are considering investing in the CBDs of these three cities should be strongly aware of this fact.”

A Word from Agents around Melbourne

Tony Tuccitto of Hocking Stuart in Doncaster noticed an increase in activity from buyers who have been priced out of inner city suburbs.

They are being forced to look further along the freeway, drawing them to localities such as Manningham. This is certainly evident in the area’s highly successful weekend clearance rate, which was reported at 90 per cent.

According to Mr Tuccitto, inspection numbers remain consistent. The most sought-after properties were priced between $800,000 and $1.4 million.

Meanwhile, in inner city Richmond, Biggin Scott agent Edward Hobbs said 10 of 13 properties were sold by his office. This included a two bedroom 70s flat, which sold for $175,000 above its $500,000 reserve, and 4 Malleson Street, which surpassed its reserve by over $200,000.

“We’re seeing big numbers at our opens and auctions,” said Mr Hobbs. “March is also looking really strong as we head into Easter.”

The one weak spot in the Richmond market is the new or off-the-plan apartment market. “This is the only segment really struggling, especially in the Victoria Gardens precinct,” Mr Hobbs said.

“The most sought-after properties [in Manningham] were priced between $800,000 and $1.4 million.”

After attending several auctions across the city, buyer’s advocate Cate Bakos believes strong interest from first home buyers is pushing up the number of bidders on sub-$800,000 properties.

“Open numbers for sub-million dollar well-located properties were in excess of 20 groups, while imperfect properties with main roads and quirky floor plans had significantly fewer numbers,” Ms Bakos said.

“But the high auction numbers and the overall clearance rate tell a story of market confidence, bullish bidding in some markets, and a willingness to overlook tough economic sentiment.”












Ms Bakos has been observing strong buyer demand, particularly for properties below the million dollar mark. However, “the top quartile priced properties are not all exhibiting the same market resilience as the more affordable ones,” she said.

Next weekend, the market will take a break due to the Labour Day holiday. Only 290 properties are expected to go under the hammer, before activity is set to amp up again.

APM Melbourne Weekend Auction Results – Week Ending March 3, 2014
(please see attached)

Top 5 Houses

1. 67 Beaver Street, Malvern East $3,962,500
2. 1289 Burke Road, Kew $3,820,000
3. 222-224 Mckean Street, Fitzroy North $3,724,000
4. 32 Sargood Street, Toorak $3,675,000
5. 37 Howitt Road, Caulfield North $3,500,000

Top 5 Bargain Houses

1. 50 Rosemary Crescent, Frankston North $240,000
2. 51 Tarata Drive, Doveton $245,000
3. 53 Tarata Drive, Doveton $246,500
4. 644 Frankston Flinders Road, Baxter $250,000
5. 3 Bruce Court, Pakenham $258,000

Top 5 Apartments

1. 112 Orlando Street, Hampton $2,351,000
2. 153 George Street, Fitzroy $1,695,000
3. 1/15 Mcgregor Avenue, Black Rock $1,500,000
4. 2/62 Mathoura Road, Toorak $1,415,000
5. 1/7 Iona Avenue, Toorak $1,390,000

Top 5 Bargain Apartments

1. 1/8 Seaview Parade, Dromana $190,000
2. 1/696 Plenty Road, Reservoir $228,000
3. 1/95 Melbourne Road, Williamstown $233,000
4. 60A Lardner Road, Frankston $257,000
5. 8/54 Pender Street, Thornbury $280,000

Source: REIV

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About the Author

Peter Sarmas is a Certified Property Investment Advisor (PIAA) and Vendor/Buyer Advocate. Before becoming the founder of Street News, Peter completed a Degree in Applied Science (Chemistry) and a Graduate Diploma in Property Valuations (Hons). Peter believes property investing is a major and potentially risky undertaking. In his view, everyone should have an independent person acting on their behalf when seeking property investment advice.

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