Fears coronavirus would discourage bidding activity at Sydney auctions proved unfounded as sellers continued to score big prices under the hammer Saturday.
There were close to 500 properties scheduled to go to auction and preliminary indicators showed the majority were a success for the sellers, with some sales attracting more than 10 registrations.
A large contingent of vendors appeared to be nervous going into the week, with research group CoreLogic revealing pre-auction sales increased, while other auctions were brought forward.
Rescheduled sales included the auction for a waterfront apartment with sweeping views of Elizabeth Bay, which was originally due to go under the hammer in April.
It sold at auction Saturday for $4.225 million – $725,000 over reserve. It was the first time the property on Elizabeth Bay Rd was up for sale in nearly 40 years.
Selling agent Jason Boon of Richardson and Wrench-Elizabeth Bay said the auction was brought forward because of coronavirus but there was considerable buyer interest.
“The auction was crazy,” he said, adding there were nine registered bidders and more than 80 groups inspected the home over the shortened marketing campaign.
“Coronavirus made no difference to the price … a property like this hasn’t come up in the block for about 30 years,” Mr Boon said.
A Randwick house held by five generations of the same family sold under the hammer for $2.53 million.
There were six registered bidders vying for the Pine St home, including a couple viewing the auction via online streaming platform Auction Now.
Selling agent Chris Cantarella of The Agency-NSW said there was strong interest in the deceased estate because it offered scope to be renovated.
“We originally expected three buyers to register but in the end it was six … the sellers were very happy,” she said.
The buyers were Christine Linhart and Robert Greenhalgh, who recently sold a home in Surry Hills and, with a baby on the way, were looking for something bigger.
They received strong competition from another bidder who tried to slow the auction down with $10,000 and $1000 bids but remained in contention for the property until the bidding was at $2.52 million.
Mr Greenhalgh, a champion sailor, said they liked the size of the property and planned to renovate the home down the track.
Auctioneer Thomas McGlynn got a surprise when one of the bidders tried to open the offers at $600,000. The bid was turned down and an accepted opening offer later came in at $2.2 million.
Mr McGlynn said the market remained in good shape but sellers may need to be more conservative when setting their reserves.
Prices in the inner west remained consistent with what buyers were paying before the coronavirus outbreak.
A two-bedroom ground floor unit with a large garden in Newtown sold under the hammer for close to its estimated January value.
The vendors of the Bedford St home set the reserve at $1.2 million based on their appraisal two months ago and it sold under the hammer for $1.225 million.
The buyers were an Epping couple who viewed the home for the first time that morning and decided to register on a whim. They had recently sold their home and said they weren’t put off by COVID-19.
“We sold in a pandemic, we’re buying in a pandemic,” the man said. “We all still need a roof over our heads.”
There was strong competition from three other registered bidders, with many onlookers observing the sale online. Selling agent Adrian Tsavalas of McGrath-Newtown said most of the attendees were “serious buyers”.
Vendors Natalie and Domenic Hanuman told The Sunday Telegraph they were confident before the auction given Newtown’s enduring appeal for property buyers.
“In times like this you do get nerves but we knew there would be people registering. It went quite well,” Ms Hanuman said.
In Drummoyne, a four-bedroom waterfront apartment sold under the hammer for $4.2 million. Selling agent Matthew Ward of Ward Real Estate said the home on Victoria Place was large for the area.
In the northwest, a crowd of nearly 100 people filled the front lawn of a five-bedroom house in Baulkham Hills to watch it go under the hammer.
The property on Billeroy Ave sold for $1.12 million yesterday – $120,000 over the reserve and $170,000 over the price guide. Fifteen bidders registered for the auction with selling agents Karen Jeffress and John Grayson of LJ Hooker-Castle Hill.
Auctioneer Stu Benson received 19 bids and said “social distancing” was encouraged. The auction was otherwise relatively normal.
“Upgrading, downsizing or moving areas isn’t a discretionary purchase,” Mr Benson said. “It’s not a new jacket, shoes or that fancy dinner you can do without. Peoples’ reasons for wanting or needing to move haven’t changed.”
A Ryde auction that was brought forward two weeks resulted in a $1.45 million sale – which was level with the reserve price.
Selling agent Conor Arnold of Richardson and Wrench-Ryde said the auction was earlier than originally planned to pre-empt any stricter measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Eight parties registered to bid for the Greene Ave home, starting the auction at $1.2 million. The buyers were a couple planning to marry in September. “They were delighted to have got into the market now while they still can,” Mr Arnold said.