10/88 Alt Street Ashfield, didn’t go to auction. 279 Chalmers Street, Redfern, sold $90,000 over reserve for $1.19 million.
2/225 Wardell Road in Dulwich Hill sold for $765,000.
Searing heat failed to thaw buyers’ cold feet in Sydney’s auction market at the weekend.
While some auctions were red hot, a noticeable chunk of the 870 Sydney homes listed to go under the hammer sold prior due to lack of buyer competition, with some auctions being postponed, passed-in or withdrawn.
Lack lustre registrations forced a last-minute auction cancellation of a basic, 45-square-metre unit at 10/88 Alt Street Ashfield. Despite the one-bedder needing minor cosmetic work, having a common balcony and being accessed by four flights of stairs, it was expected to sell because of the low price guide of $350,000 – $370,000.
Two first-home buyers due to register for the modest home pulled out just before 11am proceedings. Raine and Horne Ashfield agent Tony Andreacchio said the last time he cancelled an auction on the day was a decade ago.
“I was surprised with the no-shows,” he said.
“There were legitimate circumstances for the potential buyers to not participate; one was financial, the other was concern over the looming expiry lease.
“But surprisingly for this low-end, bargain price of the inner west market, we got very average numbers through with 21 group inspections and nine contracts issued.
“We’ve had other properties go through the roof but this one should still sell easily in the next two weeks because of the low price, parking and location, being a 10 minute walk to Ashfield Station.”
He said the vendors, who bought it in 2007 for $193,000, will relist the property on Monday morning for $375,000. After a minor cosmetic lift, the property would fetch between $375-$385 in rental return.
Many agents Domain spoke to during the week reported to selling prior or potentially postponing or cancelling auctions due to less competition.
Busy independent auctioneer Tom Panos blamed the recent drop in clearance rates on timing and too much choice.
“There are plenty of buyers and they are usually pickier during the year but now it’s all about getting their weekends back and some are waiting until next year to buy,” he said.
“The properties that tick all the boxes are doing exceptionally well but properties that only tick a few boxes only have one or two interested parties and not enough competition.
“Vendors are selling for less prior to auction because they are eager to get out before the year finishes.
“Normally my personal clearance rate is 90-95 per cent but this weekend I had two auctions in a row that didn’t sell which is very rare.
“Less people were attending open houses about seven weeks ago and now we are seeing more withdrawn auctions, properties being sold prior and auctions that are sold with the real estate agents grinding out a sale with just one bidder.
“This appears to be purely a result of demand and supply. Agents and vendors are all hopeful that when we restart auctions in February, the market will have the buoyancy of September and October of this year.”
Cooley Auctions head auctioneer Damien Cooley said he is also seeing this trend.
“No doubt the average number of bidders registering has reduced since winter due to the volume of property that has come on the market in November,” he said.
“Some suburbs have doubled, and some have tripled the number of properties on offer and buyers are spoiled for choice.
“There’s less likelihood more property will come on the market by the end of the year.
“The current stock has four to five weeks to sell but if they don’t they run the risk of being on the market in late January.”
While some properties struggled, there were solid performers too. A four-bedroom Victorian terrace at 279 Chalmers Street Redfern that sold $90,000 over reserve for $1.19 million and had seven registrations via Charles Touma of Belle Property Surry Hills.
A one bedroom, art-deco apartment at 2/225 Wardell Road in Dulwich Hill sold for $765,000 and had 18 bidders register via Ben Ayres of Raine and Horne Marrickville.