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Pre-lockdown buying frenzy reaps rewards

Home buyers
17 February 2021
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100 per cent clearance rate for auctions brought forward before lockdown

A snap decision to bring forward auctions a day before Victoria was plunged into lockdown has reaped rewards for vendors and buyers in Melbourne’s inner-north.

Listed by Barry Plant Northcote/Preston, homes in Alphington, Preston and Thornbury that went under the hammer on Friday, February 12 all sold well beyond vendors’ reserves.

The properties were scheduled for auction on February 13 and 18, according to Barry Plant Northcote/Preston director Loretta Khoo.

“The minute the lockdown was announced early Friday afternoon, the phones rang non-stop with enquiries,” she said.

“Multiple registered bidders were ready to pounce, so to keep the momentum going we decided to bring auctions forward a day before the lockdown.”

An on-site auction was held at 7pm at 115/35 Plenty Rd, Preston, where 15 bidders, including 14 first-home buyers battled for a  two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a $475,000-$515,000 price range.

The ground-level dwelling in the chic Newbury development sold for $605,000, a whopping $90,000 above the reserve.

“Competition was fierce among the bidders,” Ms Khoo said. 

“A first-home buyer who was renting in Northcote won the keys with the help of parents from Wonga Park.”

On the desirable Thornbury fringe with trams, buses, trendy eateries and Preston Market at its doorstep, the apartment has easy access to a communal pool, cinema room and outdoor entertainment area.

A telephone auction was held on Friday afternoon when three bidders competed for an updated 1970s flat in a boutique complex of six at 4/12 Grange Rd, Alphington, priced at $450,000-$495,000.

Bidding was heated among two first-home buyers and a Tasmanian buyer who wanted a base in Melbourne, according to Ms Khoo.

Assisted by parents from Clifton Hill, a first-home buyer from Ringwood forked out $548,000, a substantial $68,000 above the reserve, for the property near Fairfield Village, trains, Yarra parks and cafes.

Scheduled for a twilight auction on February 18, a clinker brick art déco house at 344 Victoria Rd, Thornbury, was also hotly contested on Friday.

Two buyers fought for the freshly painted three-bedroom house that sold for more than $1 million and well beyond the vendor’s expectations, according to Ms Khoo.

“The property attracted plenty of interest while it was on the market as it was in a sought-after area and had renovation potential,” she said.

Despite the lockdown, Ms Khoo expected the market to remain buoyant in Melbourne’s inner north.

“While the lockdown comes with its challenges, we have had a positive start to 2021 and we expect it will continue to the Easter period,” she said.

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