Signs of recovery in Melbourne residential market

The performance of the Melbourne property Auctions this weekend suggests that confidence may have come back to the Melbourne property market. According the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, auction clearance rate has increased climbing to 63 per cent from 772 auctions.

It was the first major sales weekend for 2012, and was widely seen as an indicator of the health of the market.

Agents and buyer advocates reported their results with some relief yesterday, saying the improved rate showed greater confidence on the part of buyers and realism from vendors.

While some auctions performed beyond all expectations, others saw slow bidding.

Marshall White for example had maintained an 80 per cent clearance rate over the past three weekends.

Wakelin Property Advisory director Richard Wakelin said confident first home buyers were inspiring people to upgrade current properties to new homes.

”It’s not unusual to see people in Northcote, Clifton Hill and Fitzroy moving to Kew and Hawthorn for the schools. But there’s also a strong sense of community among people who are staying in the area and trading up to a double-fronted house from a single-fronted,” Mr Wakelin said.

Jas H Stephens agent Tate Moore said there were plenty of couples with young families out in the market. ”It’s still a bit hard to gauge but results across the board are reasonably good,” Mr Moore said.

However, there is still a slowness in the market for all homes and apartments priced beyond $2 million.

In East Melbourne, a two-storey terrace at 112 Powlett Street sold after auction for $2.045 million after a slow auction with only two bidders.

Last sold in 1977, it had been sympathetically restored and had escaped modern renovations.

Bennison Mackinnon agent Nathan Waterson handled the property and another two-storey terrace around the corner, at 125 Gipps Street, which was passed in on a vendor bid of $3.85 million.

One genuine bid was made for the renovated property at $3.775 million.

Mr Waterson said offers were made at the selling price but the sticking point was the longer settlement period demanded by the vendor.

Its neighbour, 123 Gipps Street, is also for sale through an expressions-of-interest campaign with Jellis Craig.

It has an asking price of more than $6 million but was last sold 13 months ago as an unrenovated shell for $3.2 million

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