Wednesday, 15 July, 2020

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First home buyer dreams crushed after investor outguns competition at Redfern auction

Marrickville auction

Auctioneer Thomas McGlynn at the auction of the Wells St home. Picture: Tim Hunter

It was an apartment offering the tantalising prospect of getting into Redfern for just $400,000 — but the expectations of hopeful home seekers were smashed when the unit went to auction.

The one-bedroom home on Wells St sold under the hammer for $506,000, with one of the registered bidders bursting into tears when the final price came in at $106,000 above the price guide.

“I never stood a chance,” she was heard saying.

The home’s low price for the area — a typical Redfern unit is $960,000, according to CoreLogic research — attracted considerable buyer interest in the lead up to the auction.

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Selling agent Jye Emdur of The Agency showed more than 100 groups of home seekers through the property during the open for inspections and issued 18 contracts of sale.

Five buyers registered to bid — mostly first home buyers. Many came to the auction with friends and family for emotional support.

Four of the bidders put their hands up to submit offers but the auction was slow to get started.

It took two minutes for auctioneer Thomas McGlynn to receive an opening bid of $370,000 and the next offers came in slowly.

The opening bidder dominated much of the early rounds of bidding once the auction became more heated, countering every rival offer immediately and often with much bigger increments.

The aggressive strategy appeared to be working until an investor jumped into contention for the home once bidding passed $450,000, seemingly with a much larger budget.

The two slugged it out with bids in mostly $1000 increments, but the opening bidder began to falter and deliberate on the bids as they approached $500,000 and the investor was declared the winner at $506,000.

The Wells St unit in Redfern.

All up there were 52 bids placed, with Mr McGlynn declaring midway through the auction that there were more singles ($1000 offers) than on Tinder. The reserve price was $420,000.

Mr Emdur said the seller’s “dream price” was $450,000.

“Most of the feedback we got was $420,000 but some really committed buyers came on the day so it went for much higher,” he said.

On the northern beaches, a four-bedroom house on a cul-de-sac with views of Manly also sold for well above expectations.

The property at 16 Stephen St in Beacon Hill sold under the hammer for $2 million after going to market with a $1.75 million price guide.

16 Stephen St, Beacon Hill sold for $2 million.

Twelve buyers registered for the auction with selling agent Jeff Johnson of Upstate and most of the interest was from upsizing families, he said.

“It was a fully renovated home, architecturally designed, and buyers really liked the quality and position,” Mr Johnson said.

On the north shore, a buyer who had their first inspection of a property half an hour before the auction began, ended up owning the house less than an hour later.

There had been consistent interest in the four-bedroom home at 33 Woonona Ave in Wahroonga, when a face unfamiliar to selling agent Alfred Tong of Ray White Upper North Shore appeared at the door for the pre-auction inspection.

33 Woonona Ave, Wahroonga sold to a buyer who first inspected it 30 minutes before the auction.

“I said go on, give it a crack. If nothing happens, you’ve lost nothing,” Mr Tong said.

There were already 14 bidders registered, including some Mr Tong felt were certain to buy the house.

Bidding opened at $1.3m. The price guide during the campaign was $1.45 million to $1.59 million. The newcomers landed the sale for just over $1.78 million.

Mr Tong said the vendors were ‘absolutely stoked’.