Homebuyers hoping for the Melbourne market to cool off over summer have been warned not to get their hopes up.
With just two weekends left until Christmas, buyers drove the city’s preliminary clearance rate to 80 per cent on the December 7 weekend, according to realestate.com.au.
Among the more impressive results was 10 Correa Ave, Cheltenham, which sold $200,000 above its reserve price in a five-bidder battle.
Ray White Cheltenham auctioneer Kevin Chokshi said the $1.48 million sale emerged after a $1 million opening offer.
The eventual winner, a young family with one child and another on the way, only joined the bidding at $1.415 million — but still made aggressive offers up to $15,000.
“Everything has been suppressed for 12 months, now buyers are trying to get in as fast as they can, knowing that the market is going up,” Mr Chokshi said.
“There are a few buyers that have missed out on other properties and there’s a shortage of family homes for sale.
“So I would say it will carry into the new year.”
This week, realestate.com.au has flagged 1249 scheduled auctions for the year’s last big hitout, with expectations just a few hundred will follow on December 21.
Advantage Property Consulting buyer’s advocate Frank Valentic said he too was expecting a competitive market to continue for the rest of the year and into next.
“I think it will wrap up as strong as it has been this year,” Mr Valentic said.
“It’s definitely a seller’s market that is getting stronger and stronger every week and will continue as we come back in February.”
Homebuyer hopefuls should be paying particular attention as investors returned, he added.
Mr Valentic noted one in the thick of the action as 1/48 Hill St, Bentleigh East sold $90,000 above its reserve for $940,000 on December 7.
While investor numbers were low by historic standards, if they continued to grow they could have a dramatic impact on the market next year — particularly in first-home buyer friendly price brackets below $750,000, he said.
“Investor numbers are generally around 50 per cent of the market in a boom, and they are now at 30 to 35 per cent,” he estimated.
“There’s room for their numbers to grow.”
The three-bedroom townhouse in Bentleigh East last changed hands three years ago for $760,000, showing a notable rise despite a market correction that ran from November 2017 until shortly after the federal election earlier this year.
It was sold by Hocking Stuart Bentleigh’s Sophorn En and Alex Vaisman.