“You can never go wrong with inner-city areas … the market might be down at the moment but it won’t be like that forever.”
An experienced renovator of apartments, Muscat said he had factored in higher building costs when deciding what he was prepared to spend on the home. He plans to make some improvements and rent it out in the interim, before tackling a larger renovation.
“We’d like to turn it into a four-bedroom contemporary residence, and would definitely like to keep the facade … we’ve added a couple of hundred thousand dollars onto what we initially thought it was going to cost and let’s hope it doesn’t exceed that.”
Selling agent Gerardo Ricco, of Ray White Hurstville, was surprised at the strong turnout given the cooling market and rapidly rising building costs. He had been expecting about 10 bidders.
“The owners would have taken a little less [than the reserve] if they had to because of the way the market is, but we didn’t have to, it just took off,” he said.
“There is still enthusiasm out there, people are still looking at properties like this to develop and make a little bit of money, ” he said.
In North Ryde, two bidders competed for an original-condition three-bedroom house at 317 Pittwater Road, which sold for $1.63 million – $5000 above the reserve.
Bidding on the deceased estate opened at $1.45 million and climbed in $20,000, $10,000 and $5000 increments, as a lower north shore family and a couple from Mascot, the eventual buyers, went head-to-head for the 556-square-metre block. The couple plan to rebuild on the site.
Selling agent Medwin Zahrabi, of The Agency North West, said it was a great result, considering the location and current market.
Auctioneer Michael Garofolo, of Cooley Auctions, said buyers were typically making smaller bid increases at auctions now, due to fear of overpaying.
“Even in a raging market buyers are scared of paying too much but you can be a bit more confident when prices are going up in your favour … when buying an asset that a lot of people think will go down in the short term, they’re trying to mitigate their losses, which is why we see more penny-pinching bids of $1000, $5000.”
In Mosman, just one of three registered bidders made an offer on a four-bedroom house at 19 Wolger Road, which sold for the $4.2 million reserve.
The buyers, local downsizers, made an offer of $3.8 million, below the $4 million price guide. When the two other parties remained silent, it was made clear that the home would not sell at that level and negotiations began on the auction floor.
Selling agent Anthony O’Gorman, of O’Gorman & Partners, said they eventually increased their offer to $4.2 million in a bid to secure it on the auction floor.
“There were two other registered bidders and another couple of parties who would have liked to buy outside of auction conditions,” O’Gorman said. “[The buyers] understood the value and … had been looking for something like that for over 12 months.”
Records show the home last traded for $1.68 million in 2002.
In Alexandria, a two-bedroom apartment with a private garden was passed in on a vendor bid of $1.1 million, which was also the advertised price guide.
Two buyers registered to bid on the rare 249-square-metre property at 3/55 Ralph Street, but neither made an offer.
If the home did not sell in the coming days, the owner may look to hold on to it and rent it out for a couple of years, said selling agent Brad Gillespie, of The Agency Eastern Suburbs.
Records show the apartment last traded for $1.01 million in 2015.