A bookstore with a two-bedroom unit on top in Carlton North sold for at least $390,000 more than its reserve after a hot auction on Saturday morning.
“Alice’s Bookshop” at 629 Rathdowne Street sold for $2.04 million through Nelson Alexander Carlton.
Morrell and Koren buyers advocate Karen Price bid on the property, and said it was announced on the market at the top of the quoted price range of $1.5 million to $1.65 million.
629 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North VIC 3054
Ms Price said the strong sale showed buyers were looking for non-conventional places to park their money.
“People are swinging toward commercial real estate, especially something where you have dual income,” she said. Both the store and the unit are tenanted.
“Rathdowne Village is one of my favourite places in Melbourne. There are very few vacancies and it just has a beautiful country vibe,” Ms Price said.
David Morrell, also of the eponymous buyer’s agency, said the sale was a sign of a strong but unpredictable market.
“The lack of choice and the fat fella coming down the chimney is really giving people a [bit of] pep,” he said. “People are chasing something with a bit of return.”
It was one of 1328 auctions held in Melbourne on Saturday, as the city marked a super Saturday on the last day of spring.
By evening, Domain Group had recorded a 74.4 per cent clearance rate from 931 reported results.
Earlier in Elwood, a two-bedroom unit sold in a quick auction, for nearly $1 million.
The ground-floor unit at 2/12 Wimbledon Avenue felt like it was a small single-fronted home, and for that reason attracted four bidders, Greg Hocking auctioneer Warwick Gardiner said.
“It was a very strong result for an apartment,” he said. “It’s house-like proportions, really. It felt like it was a house and all of the buyers had said that.”
Bidding opened at $850,000, and it was quickly declared on the market at $950,000. With a few $10,000 bids later it reached $980,000, and then sold two bids later for $990,000 to downsizers.
“That was a very strong sign of a really deep interest in it with those big bids,” Mr Gardiner said.
He said over the past 12 months, interest in buying apartments in Elwood had jumped considerably.
“That’s the main difference between now and a year ago; we’d have only one person bidding we’d pass in to,” he said. “When you have three or four people bidding it’s always going to provide the best price for the vendor.”
Earlier in Clifton Hill, another two-bedroom apartment was well received, selling for $126,000 more than reserve.
Bidding for the brick walk-up unit at 20/211 Gold Street started at $550,000, but quickly shot up to $640,000, where it stalled. Biggin and Scott auctioneer Andrew Crotty took a break and announced the property on the market, and the auction took off again.
The unit sold for $726,000, well above its $600,000 reserve.
Listing agent Talia Besser said more buyers than she expected took part in the auction, but she wasn’t surprised.
“[There were] about six or seven bidders altogether. A few were flying under the radar which was quite interesting,” she said. “Bottom line is, there’s nothing like this on the market, where you have the park right across the road, a back-of-the-block unit and 74 square meters of living space.”
In Preston, a recently restored family home passed in, despite some competitive bidding, Ray White’s Chris Vlahos said.
“We didn’t get to the level where the vendor was keen to let it go,” he said. “We were quoting $1.3 million to $1.4 million and the reserve was at the top there.”
The four-bedroom home at 43 William Street passed in at $1.35 million, and Mr Vlahos said negotiations were ongoing.
He said the family had renovated the home to live in long-term, and had restored it from a poor condition.
“It’s a classic double-fronted Victorian. It’s been restored, but there’s scope for further work to be done,” Mr Vlahos said. “They kept all the cornices but they restored everything back to life. It was dilapidated.”
Records show the vendors paid $1.05 million for the home two years ago.