Buyers based in Hong Kong swooped on a Mount Waverley townhouse sight-unseen with a solitary $5000 bid to come out on top of a battle between young locals.
The four-bedroom property at 1/35 Briggs Street fetched $1,113,500 in a surprising online auction on Saturday, October 31, as four bidding groups vied for the keys.
Biggin & Scott Glen Waverley agent Julie Karl said she did a lot of liaising but was still not confident the purchasers — a Hong Kong local and New Zealand husband who had two children — would bid after only seeing the property via photos and a video she filmed.
“They hardly said a word at the auction, and hardly bid, it was going so fast between the young people, and then ‘bang’, the last bid, and they got it — thank God I did my due diligence,” she said.
“I didn’t have much confidence they would buy because how many people buy from overseas without physically inspecting it?”
It’s the latest in a continuing trend of moving away from Hong Kong after unrest, with realestate.com.au searches from Hong Kong up 10 per cent nationwide year-on-year.
Ms Karl said the buyers said they had other Hong Kong-based friends also looking to move to Melbourne in the price range of $900,000-$1.2m.
They were keen to share in their circles another property she was selling: a three-bedroom townhouse at Lot 10/127 Tyner Road, Wantirna South, in the Maison development, priced at $870,000,
The Mount Waverley townhouse was sought-after for its Mount Waverley Secondary College zoning, while other bidders, young doctors, liked the proximity to Monash Medical Centre.
It had a price guide of $1.-$1.1m, with the vendors hoping for $1.05m before increasing that to $1.08m on auction day after the strong interest.
“Hong Kong people are smart as well — they don’t want to buy apartments,” Ms Karl said.
“They were a family with two young kids, and I thought maybe it might be a bit small for them, but because Hong Kong accommodation is so tiny, this is considered big for them — but to us it’s small. It’s got a master bedroom downstairs, which they said was good because sometimes their mothers or mother in laws come to visit.”
It’s understood most Hong Kong buyers looking in Melbourne are on the hunt for properties around $1m in good school zones in areas with strong Asian communities.