Surprise bidding was attributed to panic at a Box Hill auction that went $206,000 above the reserve price.
Six groups vied for the keys to 16 Margaret St, which sold for $1.756 million after 110 bids at the marathon March 21 auction.
“We actually had a huge turnout, nearly 100 people — we nearly broke the rules,” Buxton Box Hill director Jim Chen joked. “We still got $200,000 over (reserve), which really surprised me.”
“We thought the virus could bring the market down but we haven’t seen this happening — there can be some panic buying for properties, if there is for toilet paper. I think it makes more sense for people to panic buy property than toilet paper,” Mr Chen said.
Local buyers were blown out of the water by overseas buyers at the Box Hill auction, with a family from overseas securing the house.
“They needed to buy a property ASAP — I think their child is going to Box Hill High School and they want to be in as soon as they can,” Mr Chen said.
Panic even spread to the vendors, who thought they should lower their reserve price ahead of the auction, the Buxton director said.
But their concern was unfounded, with Mr Chen saying there remained strong demand across the region.
“I think everyone’s panicked — I haven’t seen many vendors being confident,” he said.
“In Box Hill, buyers always buy the best property in their price range. As long as price stays, the market stays — there’s still demand there for properties.”