The ACT government was flooded with more than 800 applications for the 77 residential blocks released in the new suburb of Moncrieff on sale day last month, with such heated competition that every block was nabbed within three minutes of the sale opening.
The 77 blocks were released at 10am on November 9, with buyers securing the land by sending an email once the sale opened. The Canberra Times has heard from one buyer who sent his email precisely at 10am and says he was told it arrived at 10.01am. That put him in 275th spot – nearly 200 places outside the winning cohort.
The blocks, in a new suburb on the far northern edge of Gungahlin, sold for an average of $280,636. The cheapest block, at 287 square metres, sold for $206,000. The most expensive block, at 870 square metres, sold for $335,000.
They were sold “over the counter” at a set price, not by auction, and were sold as individual blocks for free-standing homes.
Land Development Agency director of sales, marketing and land management John Mason said more than 800 registrations were received, but some were multiple registrations from a single buyer.
The first 77 emails had been received between 10am and 10.03am.
Only one block was allocated per buyer, and they were sold by the Independent Property Group in the order registrations were received. Contracts had been exchanged on 73 so far.
The failed buyer, a public servant who did not want to be named, said he could not afford to buy a house in Canberra so hoped to buy a piece of land first and build over the coming years. Unhappy at missing out despite sending his email on opening time, he wants to know how many of the buyers were builders or developers. But he has been told he can only get the names of buyers without going through the ACT Land Titles Office and paying $27 for the information on each of the 77 blocks, which would mean a total of $2079.
To questions from The Canberra Times about how many of the buyers were builders and developers, Mr Mason said buyers were “not required to state the reason for purchasing”.
“However, there was keen interest from home owners, builders and investors.”
Asked how someone could end up so far down the queue if they sent an email at 10am, he said, “There were a large number of emails sent at 10 am…
“The Land Development Agency and the Independent Property Group take no responsibility for a third party’s internet speed nor for the timing of the delivery of an email.
“The conditions also clearly state that the order of appointments correlate with the order in which the emails are received regardless of whether they come in simultaneously. The LDA is confident that appointments were allocated in the order emails were received.”