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Home prices continue to smash reserves as Sydney auctions turn into pressure cooker


Bidders splashed out with price offers hundreds of thousands of dollars above reserve as Sydney’s auction market continued to be a pressure cooker for home buyers.

There were close to 680 auctions this weekend and preliminary indicators showed the majority sold successfully under the hammer, despite sellers cranking up their reserves.

Among the standout sales was a three-bedroom house in Kensington that had last traded in 1992 for just under $69,000, CoreLogic records showed. It resold under the hammer for $3.35 million in front of a crowd of about 60 people spread across the pavement and road. The price for the Doncaster Ave home was $435,000 above the $2.9 million reserve.

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Nine bidders registered for the auction with selling agent Nicholas Wise of McGrath-Coogee. Four submitted a bid.

Auctioneer Scott Kennedy Green received an opening bid of $2.8 million and the offers went up in initial increments of $25,000. The buyers were a local family.

Mr Wise said the home had been popular with buyers because there was scope to extend it out or up a level. The reserve had been guided by recent sales in the area but the result well above expectation was not surprising, Mr Wise said. “It’s becoming the norm in a way,” he said.

House hunters in the local area were willing to go well above prices paid only a few months ago because they saw suburbs such as Kensington, Kingsford and Randwick as “safe” investments, Mr Wise added.

“There is an expectation the prices will keep going up,” he said.

In the inner west, a real estate agent said she was still “shaking her head in disbelief” after a rundown terrace in Darlington sold for $1.69 million at auction.

Crystal Realty agent May Aoun said the result for Wilson St house was surprising, even in the booming market, because the house had no internal bathroom and required a fair level of work. A nearby house in better condition had sold for $1.46 million a few weeks ago.

There were 23 registered bidders at the auction and the buyer was an investor. The price was $295,000 over reserve. Auctioneer Michael Corcoran of Scerri Auctions received an opening bid of $1.5 million and 15 bids were offered.

In the northwest, a bidding war between two buyers vying for a five-bedroom house in North Epping pushed the price $365,000 above the $2 million reserve.

The two parties were among 18 bidders who registered for the auction of the Jacobs Cl house with The Agency’s Catherine Murphy.

“No one else could really get a word in. They volleyed offers back and forth,” Ms Murphy said, adding most of the other bidders were knocked out of contention from the opening bid.

Down south, a community hall with residential zoning in Mortdale sold for $1.705 million after attracting 13 registered bidders.

The price for the Victoria Ave property was $405,000 above the reserve. Listed with agent Robert Seib of Paramount Real Estate, it was the first time the property had come up for sale in 70 years.

Auctioneer Andrew Cooley of Avenue Auctions received an opening bid of $950,000. The buyers were reported to be the owners of a neighbouring block but it was not known what they intended to do with the hall.

In Caringbah, a four-bedroom house on an elevated block on Gannons Rd sold for $2.81 million — $360,000 over reserve. Four bidders registered with Gibson Partners agent Justin Buck, likely encouraged by the water views. Mr Cooley said Caringbah was becoming popular as a cheaper alternative to Cronulla.

The buyer was reported have viewed the home for the first time roughly five minutes before the auction kicked off.

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