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Sydney auctions: Sale price of Earlwood house jumps almost $500,000 in four months

ASSA | 2021-02-22 13:42:29

Strong buyer demand from house hunters across Sydney has pushed the city’s preliminary auction clearance rate over 85 per cent for the third week in a row.

Sydney recorded a preliminary rate of 86.3 per cent on Saturday, from 480 reported results, down slightly from 87.7 per cent the previous week.

The strength of the auction market was on full display in the city’s south west on Saturday, with rapid-fire bidding pushing the price of an Earlwood home almost $500,000 above what it traded for just four months ago.

The three-bedroom house at 7 Finlays Avenue, which the owner bought for $1.25 million in October 2020, sold under the hammer on Saturday for $1.745 million. It also smashed its reserve by $345,000.

“The market has changed,” said selling agent Connie Gerakis of LJ Hooker Earlwood. “Back then, with COVID happening, there was a lot of uncertainty in the market; we now know the market has gone up at least 35 per cent.”

The property was one of 624 Sydney homes scheduled for auction on Saturday, Domain Group data shows, with 41 homes withdrawn from auction. Withdrawn auctions are counted as unsold properties when calculating the clearance rate

Bidding on the original-condition home in Earlwood was hot from the starting gate, with auctioneer Tom Panos taking a $1.35 million bid within seconds of calling for an opening offer.

Buyers jumped in rapidly from there, with six of the 16 registered bidders pushing the price up in increments ranging from $50,0000 down to $5,000 – at some points shouting out competing bids in unison to try to secure the home.

The auction of 7 Finlays Avenue, Earlwood.
There was a constant stream of bidding at the auction, with bidders often shouting out offers at the same time. Photo: James Alcock

The auction was done and dusted in a matter of minutes with the house selling to a local family, who cheered in delight at the fall of the hammer, which ended their four-month property search.

Buyer Rebecca Brett said she had seen the market change rapidly since starting her search in October.

“Like the auctioneer was saying at the start, prices are going up [not by the year but] by the day,” Mrs Brett said.

The family plan to build their dream home on the 525 square metre block.

The auction for 7 Finlays Avenue, Earlwood
Successful bidder Rebecca Brett celebrates after her winning bid. Photo: James Alcock

Mr Panos said Sydney was experiencing the strongest market he had seen since starting in real estate in 1988, and he expected the clearance rate – which has been above 85 per cent in recent weeks – to remain strong.

He added a “listing frenzy” was likely in the coming weeks as sellers rush to market before Easter to take advantage of the strong conditions, and noted it was becoming clear that the arrival of the coronavirus vaccine had buoyed both buyer and seller confidence.

Ms Gerakis was ecstatic with the result at Earlwood and said it was good news for the owner, who had to sell due to a change in circumstances. She expected prices in the area to continue to rise further this year.

“We’ve been seeing that the market is picking up, and this is just a great result to show that,” she said.

In Elizabeth Bay, a six-bedroom free-standing house at 84 Elizabeth Bay Road known as Keadue fetched a cool $8.5 million at auction.

The three-storey brick house was designed by architect John Bede Barlow in the Queen Anne Revival style, according to the listing.

Bidding for the historic residence opened at $5 million with strong bidding from all five registered bidders on the day. 

Ray White Maroubra and South Coogee’s Phillip Elmowy said more than 125 groups inspected the home.

“There was a lot of local interest because there are not many free-standing homes in the area and they understood the values.”

“The market is strong and the market for high-end properties is more popular than ever.”

The property last traded for $2.9 million in 2001, records show.

In Chifley, a four-bedroom house at 84 Little Bay Road was snapped up for $2 million by a local buyer who hoped to restore the run down property known as St Elmo.

Five parties, a mix of owner-occupiers and developers registered to bid on the 601-square-metre block with drew an opening offer of $1.5 million.

Three buyers threw their hat in the ring, slowly raising the price and passing the $1.8 million reserve.

The successful buyer from the eastern suburbs nabbed the keys to the house, outbidding developers.

McGrath Double Bay Eitan Rubinstein said the market was very strong.

“Six months ago it would have sold well below $2 million. It would have sold between $1.7 or $1.8 million,” Mr Rubinsetin said. 

“The banks are lending a bit more money, interest rates have dropped and [improving] COVID-19 has given people confidence.”

The property last traded for $825,000 in 2010, records show.