First to go under the hammer was a three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit at 31/342a Marrickville Road with a price guide of $1.4 million.
Half of the six parties registered to bid took part in the auction of the 122-square-metre unit. It opened at $1.3 million and rose in varying increments.
There was slight frustration, and tension, from buyers. One asked “are we on the market?” at $1.46 million, to which the auctioneer replied: “I’ll tell you when we’re selling.”
At $1.5 million, the home was finally called on the market before reaching the final sale price of $1.54 million. The reserve was $1.5 million.
The successful buyers were a young local couple who were relieved to have bought below their $1.6 million budget.
“It’s actually less than what we were prepared to pay, to be honest, it seems like the market is levelling out,” Diana Vidovic said.
The 30-year-old, who works in travel marketing, said she and her partner, who works in finance, were concerned they would have been priced out by the competition.
“We were worried we were going to be pushed out of the market by people who have sold houses and are downgrading,” she said.
The home last traded for $1,167,000 in 2019, records show.
Ray White Surry Hills, Alexandria, Glebe and Erskineville’s Ercan Ersan said the underbidders were downsizers and the rest of the competition investors planning to downsize in a decade.
“There is a fear of paying too much, not the fear of missing out,” he said.
Half an hour later, some of the same auction crowd and buyers moseyed down to 28/342a Marrickville Road, this time a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit.
Just two of the seven registered buyers bid on the 112-square-metre home, which opened at $950,000 – bang on the guide.
It was a similar atmosphere as the auctioneer struggled to draw big enough bids after knocking back $5000 bids multiple times and stalling at $1.04 million.
A brief pause and negotiation between the highest bidder and seller occurred before it sold for $1.05 million.
Michelle May Buyer’s Agents principal Michelle May said she bought on behalf of a young local couple who were upgrading from another apartment.
“I think we did very well,” she said.
Underbidder Jason, who declined to disclose his last name, said he was surprised by the strong turnout and did not want to pay more than $1 million for the property, which would have been an investment for him.
“There were so many people there,” said the 49-year-old high school teacher. “Don’t they know interest rates are going up? [The market in general] is outrageous, and it is kind of embarrassing, and I don’t like to think of myself as a capitalist. I just want to invest some money because I’m getting old, you know?”
The property last sold for $790,000 in 2015, records show.
Marrickville’s median unit price rose 8.3 per cent to $812,000 in the year to March this year on Domain data.
In Annandale, an iconic trophy home at 46 Johnston Street sold for $6.61 million – more than half a million dollars above reserve.
Three buyers – families upgrading from Hunters Hill and Kensington as well as a multi-generational family – registered to bid on the six-bedroom property, which was guided at $6 million.
The auction opened at $5 million, rising in strong increments of $400,000 and $100,000 before slowing down towards the end and selling to the Hunters Hill family.
BresicWhitney Glebe’s Chris Nunn said such rare homes held their value regardless of market conditions.
“Trophy homes are still in high demand … buyers of such assets are less focused on trying to get a discount and more focused on just simply having the ability to acquire one without as much competition as they might have had three months ago,” Mr Nunn said.
It was the deceased estate of artist Georgina Beier.
Annandale’s median house price rose 33.5 per cent to $2.35 million in the year to March this year.
Another rare offering, this time in North Sydney, also fetched a standout result with 12/144 High Street selling for $2.6 million.
Eight parties registered to bid on the ocean-views unit. Three took part in the sell-off that opened at $1.9 million. The reserve was $2.2 million.
The two-bedder sold to downsizers from the upper north shore who wanted to be closer to the city, according to selling agent Lorinda Mansfield of Raine&Horne Neutral Bay.
“These properties do set their own prices,” she said. “To me we’re dealing with different speeds of markets.”
It topped the last sale – another two-bedroom unit at 9/144 High Street – in the 1920s building by $220,000 in just a month.
The property last sold for $1,425,000 in 2016, records show.
Neutral Bay’s median unit price grew 5.7 per cent to $1,067,550 in the year to March this year.
In Lilyfield, a couple from the Southern Highlands bought a three-bedroom house at 1 Sunnyside Avenue for $2.6 million.
The buyers outbid six other registered parties after the auction opened at $2.3 million – $100,000 above the guide.
Selling agent Cindy Kennedy of McGrath Balmain, who declined to disclose the reserve, said burnt out buyers from last year are keen to lock in deals.
“I’ve definitely noticed when they were negotiating settlement dates, people wanted a shorter settlement because of interest rates,” Ms Kennedy said.
The home last traded for $1,745,000 in 2017, records show. Lilyfield’s median house price rose 24.4 per cent to $2,328,000 in the year to March this year.
In St Peters, first-home buyers picked up a run-down semi-detached house at 60 Unwins Bridge Road for $1.33 million.
They outbid seven other buyers, most of them investors or builders, according to Kate Ferrante of Adrian William.
“The first-home buyers are just going to paint it and put in a new kitchen and live in it,” she said.
“It’s a cheaper bigger house [for them]. With the cost of building materials, builders tapped out, there’s money in it for them.”
The reserve was $1.27 million. St Peters’ median house price jumped 22.2 per cent to $1,644,000 in the year to March this year.