A 1920s cottage in Braddon sold under the hammer on Saturday morning for $965,000 after an exciting auction.
The crowd was kept in suspense as each time it looked like the action was over, a bidder would step back into the fray.
The home at 60 Elimatta Street was built in 1927 and is the front property on a dual occupancy block.
There were two registered bidders vying for the rare opportunity to secure a house in the inner-city suburb. The successful buyers had only inspected the house on Friday evening, LJ Hooker Dickson listing agent Stephen Bunday said.
The first bid was slow off the mark. Several minutes passed without anyone lifting their paddles, but after some encouragement by Mr Bunday one of the parties kicked off proceedings at $800,000. The second bidder didn’t need any coaxing, quickly countering with a $10,000 rise.
From this point, the auction moved swiftly back and forth between the two parties with $10,000 increments until the $850,000 point, and then $5000 jumps until $880,000.
A rise of $2500 was then accepted by auctioneer Kaylene King, also of LJ Hooker. This set a precedent for the following bids.
From $910,000 there were two rises of $5000, but the stride then shortened to $1000. Subsequently, the bidding came to a halt at $925,000 and Mr Bunday ducked inside to chat with the vendors.
Upon returning, he told the crowd they were “awfully close”, which motivated one of the parties to raise their paddle with a $1000 bid. A quick reply brought the price to $930,000.
Bidding again halted, and Ms King went to hold the property over. However, the underbidder then placed a bid for $5000.
The auction gained its second wind with the two parties continually countering each other with increments ranging from $1000 to $5000.
At $953,000 it was declared on the market and, after a further five bids, the hammer fell. The successful buyers intend to use the property as an investment.
“This year, it has been the busiest campaign I’ve had,” Mr Bunday said, even though there were only two bidders on the day.
He attributed the fact there were not more registered parties to financing.
“We’ve had in excess of 80 groups through with 30 contracts out,” he said.
“Potentially there should have been six or seven bidders but the banks are being so difficult at the moment that the field narrowed down to two, and then one of those pulled out last night, but luckily the people who brought it had inspected it the night before.”
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Mr Bunday welcomed the decision by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority earlier this week to relax the assessment rate for home loans.
“The last three or four auctions I have found the perfect buyer but they didn’t have finance,” he said.
“I’ve had a few auctions where the person who would have spent a bit more money was waiting in the wings … it’s taken the competition out of the auctions and that’s why clearance rates are lower.”
Unlike its unit counterparts, houses in Braddon are tightly held. Records show there have been 52 unit sales in the suburb over 2019, but only five houses have sold. Last year, there were 178 unit sales compared to nine for houses.
Houses on Elimatta Street are also very tightly held. This is the first house to sell in the street – which spans both Braddon and Reid – in almost two years. Number 11 sold in July 2017 for $1.95 million.
Elsewhere, in Canberra’s south, a five-bedroom home in Fadden sold at auction for $851,000.
There were four bidders, all families, at the auction for 48 Chataway Crescent, Michael Potter Real Estate listing agent Alisa Lawrence said.
Ms Lawrence said bidding kicked off at $700,000. It moved in increments of $25,000 initially, then shortened to increments of $10,000 and eventually $1000. It was called on the market at $817,000.
“The four bidders all placed a bid, and it came down to two of them who fought it out to the last $1000. It went well above reserve,” she said.