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‘High levels of urgency’: Melbourne buyers rush to nab a home before Christmas as competition increases under hammer

By Mo Zeitouneh

Melbourne buyers are rushing to nab a home before the new year. Auctioneer Kevin Chokshi sold a number of homes over the weekend. Picture: Supplied.

Melbourne buyers are putting their skates on to urgently try and lock in a home before the new year, including some still looking after missing out in time for last Christmas.

It’s also crunch time for first-home buyers trying to break out of the rental market, with many renters’ leases expiring in the coming months.

While auction numbers are high this spring, there is still strong competition for properties under the hammer due to low stock levels in the private market.

PropTrack recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 67.5 per cent on Saturday from 502 reported results.

Among them was a two-bedroom townhouse at 2/445 Brunswick Rd, Brunswick West, which flew $91,000 over reserve to sell for $691,000 to a young first-home buyer couple.

Although three buyers were actively bidding, there were about 10 in total who didn’t have the chance to participate due to the fast pace.

McGrath Brunswick director Michael Chan said he was seeing increasing levels competition in the spring auction market, particularly for affordable homes under $700,000.

A two-bedroom townhouse at 2/445 Brunswick Rd, Brunswick, attracted about 10 bidders.

Open-plan living at the Brunswick West home.

“I think with the timing at the moment, (renters) are in a situation where their leases are coming to an end or landlords are reviewing rents and they’re trying to decide whether to lock in another 12 months or just purchase something,” Mr Chan said, adding that the first-timer demographic made up a large portion of the current market.

He said while auction numbers were stronger than in previous years, there was still not enough stock to satisfy buyer demand.

Ray White Cheltenham chief auctioneer Kevin Chokshi in action on Saturday. Picture: Supplied.

Ray White Cheltenham chief auctioneer Kevin Chokshi also noted that there was a “high level of urgency” among buyers looking to score a property at auction in September to move in by Christmas.

“They’re keen to jump because there’s still a shortage of family homes which are highly contested,” Mr Chokshi said.

He added that there were also buyers lingering from last year and now racing to secure a home before the new year after missing out last Christmas.

4 Gardenia Cres, Cheltenham, sold after passing in at auction.

A young family purchased the three-bedroom house.

“A lot were waiting for the market to drop and they didn’t transact, so this will be the second Christmas that they still haven’t bought,” he said.

However, Mr Chokshi was hopeful that there would be another uptick in stock after the school holidays and the upcoming AFL grand final.

The auctioneer sold a three-bedroom house in Cheltenham on Saturday at 4 Gardenia Cres to a buyer who viewed it for the first time that day.

It passed in on a $975,000 offer but further negotiations led to the $1.75m sale to the young family.


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