Sydney auctions: buyers under pressure as clearance rate hits 80 per cent

Auctioneer Nicholas Lyell at a Lane Cove auction. Picture: David Swift

Homebuyers splashed out big sums for properties under the hammer this weekend as plummeting stock levels ramped up competition for sales.

There were close to 750 properties scheduled for auction this week across Sydney, a mild increase from the 700 held last week, but not enough to sate rising demand.

The clearance rate for auctions, based on 551 reported sales, was 80.4 per cent – indicative of a hot market.

One of the standout results was for an Epping house that sold to the next door neighbour for $1.922 million.

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The neighbour, who bought the Gloucester Rd house to expand his property, beat out competition from four other bidders.

Six buyers had registered for the auction with selling agent Catherine Murphy of The Agency.

“The level of competition was very high,” Ms Murphy said. “It was because there was a real mix of buyers. There were upsizers and then a camp of buyers who wanted to knock the home down and replace it.”

The Gloucester Rd home in Epping sold to the next door neighbour.

Bidding started at $1.3 million and went up in $100,000 increments before offers slowed at $1.9 million. Much of the bidding from this point on was in $1000 and $500 increases.

In Greenwich, a three-bedroom house on Greenwich Rd sold for just under $2.3 million after attracting seven registered bidders.

Selling agent James Bennett of Belle Property-Lane Cove said there was “spirited bidding” from four of the registered parties.

In the northwest, a sense of FOMO, or fear of missing out, crept back into auctions to help home sellers net prices well over reserve.

110 Greenwich Rd, Greenwich sold for $2.3 million.

A three-bedroom house on a 1018 sqm corner block in West Pennant Hills sold under the hammer for $1.48 million – $180,000 over the reserve.

Six bidders registered to bid for the Gum Grove Pl house with selling agents Jennifer and William Carr of Louis Carr Real Estate.

Auctioneer Stu Benson received a total 30 bids and said there was urgency from buyers.

“There’s a real sense that the market and its prices are moving northward again,” he said. “Buyers are conscious of the fact that they may look back in a few months’ time and lament not buying sooner.”

5 Gum Grove Place, West Pennant Hills sold for $180,000 over reserve.

A similarly presented four-bedroom house on Brunette Dr in Castle Hill sold for $1.726 million after attracting six bidders.

Agents Steve Cole and Chris De Celis of The Avenue were directed by the sellers to set a reserve of $1.65 million.

Mr Benson said only $1000 separated the underbidders and the buyers – a young family.

“It was fitting that the final two bidders on this beautifully presented family home were two young couples,” he said.

A Paddington resident who had owned her home for 50 years before putting it up for auction got $3.874 million under the hammer.

Concord dump auction

Auctioneer Damien Cooley brings down the gavel on 2, Tenyson Street, Concord. Picture: Julian Andrews

The price for the four-bedroom house on Goodhope St was $374,000 above the reserve. Ten bidders registered and four submitted offers.

Selling agent Sam Hosking of The Agency said there were so many inquiries for the house that the auction was brought forward a week.

“We got 180 inquiries just by email. That’s a hot market,” he said, adding some buyers were trying to get into a house before rates were cut again.

“They’re scared another cut will bring more buyers into the market and they want to get something before that happens,” Mr Hosking said.

72 Goodhope St, Paddington sold for the first time in 50 years.

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In Bondi Junction, a dated two-bedroom house on Walter St sold for 1.4 million, $100,000 over reserve.

Selling agent Michael Minogue of Minogue + Doak said the 11 registered bidders were a mix of renovators and first homebuyers.

A Dated Campsie house attracted strong first homebuyer interest at auction – only for an investor to swoop in at the end and snap it up.

The four-bedroom house on Lincoln St sold for $1.27 million, $90,000 above the reserve, and 11 bidders registered with agents Ray White-Campsie.

16 Lincoln St, Campsie sold for $1.27 million.

Auctioneer Alex Pattaro received an opening bid of $1 million and said bidding went “berserk”.

“There were a lot of first homebuyers,” he said. “They’ve been particularly active in the market at the moment because of all the government incentives.”

But not all vendors got what they wanted.

A renovated Lane Cove house passed in at auction on a bid of $2.27 million after attracting offers from four of the registered bidders. It later sold through private negotiations.

The property was being sold by a couple who had originally planned to get married this week but had to postpone their plans due to COVID-19.

Couple with auction instead of wedding

The Lane Cove house that passed in.

They scheduled the auction near the date of the wedding after deciding to move to the northern beaches.

Selling agent Tim Holgate of Belle Property showed more than 100 groups of buyers through the home and issued 22 contracts of sale in the lead up to the auction. Most of the prospective buyers were young families and empty nesters.

Auctioneer Nicholas Lyell received an opening bid of $1.9 million and most of the bids went up in $50,000 increments.

Mr Holgate had been advising bidders before the auction that they would need to offer $2.3 million to be “competitive”.

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