WITH the number of auction properties at a seasonal low, the South-East Queensland auction clearance rate peaked last week to the highest level recorded all year. According to the latest data from the Jason Andrew Group (JA), 83% of properties were sold at or before auction, up from 53% the previous week.
Additionally, the JA group reported an overall average of 2.07 registered buyers per auction, up from the previous week's result of 1.38. The year-to-date clearance rate for 2012 now sits at 49%, compared to the 2011 result of 34%. Director Jason Andrew said he was witnessing a level of confidence across all price segments and locations that had not been evident for some time.
"Crowd sizes continue to rise," he said, with the average at 19 last week. "We are seeing strong buyer interest teamed with a shortage of quality stock in an increasing number of areas."
Denis and Mandy Ashcroft of Laguna Real Estate ticked up four sales last week … mainly Noosaville units. Yet included was the sale prior to auction on Saturday of 62 Lake Entrance Blvd, Noosaville. The four-bedroom house was snapped up by the parents of a young family living in the area.
"They had just sold their property in Bowral, on the souhern highlands of New South Wales," Denis said. "It was freezing down there so they flew up and grabbed it.
"Their daughter had been looking out or something."
"We have not had this sort of run for 18 months," Denis said of the market. "It makes a difference when the price is right and people are looking to buy property instead of shares."
"What a fantastic location," auctioneer Michael Hughes enthused as he welcomed a crowd of about 40 to 7 Habitat Pl, Noosa Heads, on Saturday.
Held in the garden of the Tuscan-style home with rotunda and pool, the auction attracted two buyers who made prior offers.
Marketing agents Sam Plummer and Karen Bester of Dowling & Neylan are now dealing with those parties.
Something of value
The history of the property, based on the species of trees on the 101.60ha at 82 Francis Rd, Kin Kin, was the big attraction when Gerry Bourke of Ray White Gympie took it to auction on Sunday. The property, which contained a two-bedroom house, had belonged to WD Francis, a state-appointed botanist who wrote books on rainforest trees of Australia.
Gerry said the property comprised of old rainforest and regrowth from plantings 20 years ago by Landcare dedicated to the botanist's memory.
"The property was very lush," Gerry said, "with running streams. Very tranquil. It went right to the top of the range and included ocean views."
With about 35 in attendance and five registered bidders, auctioneer Gordon Macdonald sold the poperty under the hammer for $465,000.
"There were two local bidders, one from Noosa and the others from Brisbane area including the successful bidder," Gerry reported.
Working with two registered bidders and a crowd of 20-plus, Ray White auctioneer Justin Marsden saw a start at $500,000 for the four-bedroom house at 33 Orealla Cres, Sunrise Beach, on Sunday.
Marketing agent Rebecca Geldard of Ray White Noosa Hastings St said the property sold under the hammer to buyers from the next street for $635,000.
"The house had been on the market for some time and they had been watching it," Rebecca said. "They came through on the weekend prior."
It was a case of improving position and taking advantage of what was on offer ... a four-bedroom house with office, pool and yard.
Beat the chill
"It is winter isn't it?" auctioneer Simon Thomas asked as he put the renovated two-bedroom townhouse at 7/12 Solway Dr, Sunshine Beach, up for bidding on Saturday morning.
With the sun shining through and the auction being held in the courtyard beside the pool, it was easy for Simon to remind how spoilt we are up here.
"The majority of the auctions I have booked today have sold," he continued. "What's it saying? That the market is moving, always changing.
"This is a great address and it's hard to find a courtyard in a unit complex of this size.
"I'm happy to kick it off at $280,000. Can you see the value above that?"
The property was passed in at that leaving marketing agent Pip Covell of Sunshine Beach Real Estate to continue talking to conditional parties.
Touch of Melbourne
"It was like Melbourne," Billy McCann of Love Property Group said after his open homes at 967 Eumundi-Noosa Rd, Doonan, which goes to auction this Saturday, August 11, at 10am.
"We had 30 inspections last week. Mainly first-home buyers, investors and neighbours."
The three-bedroom cottage is in need of maintenance but the 1ha block contains a horse paddock, stables and dam. It has a stand-alone office and above-ground pool.
It would also suit a market trader or renovator, Billy said.
Options on offer
A double block in Old Tewantin with a two-bedroom Queensland-style cottage goes to auction on Saturday, August 11, with Greg Smith of Select Noosa.
"It is a deceased estate and we have had a lot of interest," Greg said. "To date we have had around 30 inspections.
"The beauty of it is there are lots of options. It's close to Tewantin CBD and has potential to either realign the property to create two north-facing blocks, do it up and live on 1012sq m, landbank it to redevelop at a later stage or build a large house on the site which is near the river."
The property goes to auction at 11am on this Saturday, August 11.
For further details, results, and comprehensive coverage of this week's auctions, or for more on property, pick up your copy of Domain free in Noosa News or in Saturday's Sunshine Coast Daily.
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