DEVELOPERS were absent at the auction of artist Murray Walker’s North Fitzroy industrial compound, at the weekend, as confident homebuyers put their hands up.
The 480-square-metre property at 1 Hopetoun Place, squeezed behind St Georges Road and Brunswick Street, fetched $2.05 million after bidding from three parties, all potential home-owners.
There was a buoyancy to the weekend real estate market not seen for more than two years, pushed along by a 25-basis-point interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia and the prospect of more to come.
There is also some evidence the bottom might have passed, with research house RP Data-Rismark unveiling a 1.4 per cent increase in Melbourne’s median house price in September (4 per cent since May).
And the auction clearance rate hit a healthy high of 66 per cent from 497 auctions, according to the results collected by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.
Agents and buyer’s advocates all reported increasing numbers at inspections as a wave of new stock hits the market in late October and November.
Mr Walker’s Hopetoun Place compound, formerly stables and a warehouse, passed in at $2 million but was bought afterwards by a family with plans to use it as a town base and home for their children.
The island site is surrounded by nearly 20 properties and locals were concerned they would be overshadowed by a future development. But Nelson Alexander auctioneer Arch Staver said it was too difficult and too expensive for developers.
”We put it to developers, but they thought there was too much overlooking into people’s backyards,” he said.
”It would be tough to get the density that would have made it worthwhile for the $2 million our vendor wanted.”
But developers were engaged in tough competition in St Kilda for a block of art deco flats at 7 Belford Street, auctioned by agents Gary Peer on Thursday for $2.45 million.
The flats are on a 472-square-metre parcel surrounded by modern multistorey developments and face demolition.
Advantage Property director Frank Valentic said two developers were ”punching out” bids of $5000 and $10,000. ”It was a massive result. It was on the market at $1.9 million and sold $550,000 over reserve,” he said.
”That’s positive for the market. There’s a sentiment swing in the air.”
RT Edgar agent Glen Coutinho, who auctioned the top house on Saturday at 29 Callantina Road, in the Scotch Hill precinct of Hawthorn, said there was a change in mood at the weekend. ”The market was showing signs of good confidence and everyone was talking about the interest rate cuts. Even though not all the banks have passed on the full cut, it gave the market an injection of confidence and people are expecting more,” he said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.