Ray White New Farm and Bulimba held their End Of Financial Year auction event on Monday night, capping off an extraordinary 12 months for auction sales across Brisbane.
Since the capital city auction record was broken in December last year with the $9.91 million sale of a New Farm riverfront property, suburb records have been gazumped by as much as $2 million and the median price of homes sold at auction in Brisbane rose above $1 million for the first time in March.
Seventeen properties lined up for Monday’s night’s auction with a further five homes, all units, selling prior to going to auction.
By 8.30pm, a further seven properties had sold, equalling $14 million in sales, to produce a 55 per cent clearance rate for the evening.
Ray White CEO Jason Andrew and New Farm principal Haesley Cush fronted the 6pm crowd of 150 as joint auctioneers at the Calile Hotel in Fortitude Valley.
The mix of properties before them ranged from entry level inner-city apartments to vacant blocks of land and prestige estates including a historic Highgate Hill home owned by the family behind Queensland’s famous Yatala Pies brand at 27 Hampstead Road, Highgate Hill.
Here’s how the night unfolded:
3 Bed / 2 Bath / 2 Car
(Built in 2003 this 222 sqm apartment last sold in 2017 for $2 million)
Four bidders take this property to auction before a crowd of around 150 people sitting and lining the walls of the level one Calile Hotel function room.
Auctioneer Haesley Cush accepts an opening bid of $1.9 million with bids coming from around the room until at $2.26 million, a couple with bidder card number 10 in the back row enter the race.
At $2.33 million with the vote held by someone in the front half of the room, the back row speaks up: “Is it on the market?”
“We’re just asking the question, we’re not on the market yet,” Mr Cush replies.
Ray White New Farm agents work the room until Matt Lancashire rests his hand on the shoulder of bidder number 10 in the back row, announcing the property is on the market with his increased bid to $2.35 million.
A counter bid adds an extra $2500 at which point the only thing holding the back row together is the combined efforts of agents Matt Lancashire and Christine Rudolph who are standing behind the couple.
“I didn’t think it was going to go this high,” the bidder’s partner says to Ms Rudolph.
Meanwhile agent Patrick Goldsworthy works with his bidder at the front of the room and at $2.37 million, the back row once again looks ready to concede.
“I think we should let it go,” the man says to his partner. But moments later he raises five fingers to add another $5000 to the price in a bid that secures the sale at $2.375 million.
7 Bed / 6 Bath / 8 Car on 2.48 hectares
(Previously sold in 2009 for $650,000)
The property is called on the market at $2.81 million with bidding stalling just moments later.
“Do we have new owners?” auctioneer Jason Andrew asks?
“Hang on,” comes the reply from lead agent Hamish Bowman who is with one of the bidders.
A counter offer of $2.8125 million comes from the back of the room and soon the bids are down to $1000 increases with the man at the back eventually indicating he’s out.
From the middle of the room, a man in a salmon-coloured shirt chews gum while he chats to an agent.
“Money is currency and so is time and that I give you,” Mr Andrew says.
The chewing and the time pays off and the man adds another $1000 which would have been enough if the bidder behind him hadn’t decided to re-enter the race with an extra $500 bid, taking the property to $2.819 million.
“He swore he was out but it was a ruse unfortunately,” Mr Andrew says.
But the man chewing gum was not to be intimidated and his extra $1000 was enough to secure the sale at $2.82 million.
(two blocks of vacant land totally 1607 sqm)
“Every day they’re making beautiful baby boys and baby girls, they’re not making any more land ladies and gentlemen.”
With that, Haesley Cush opens bidding on this rare land sale that is walking distance to The Gabba and accepts an opening bid of $1 million.
“I would expect a Mexican wave at that level,” he says.
With a microphone in his left hand and a gavel in his right, Mr Cush was in no position to start such a wave but the four registered bidders gave it their best shot and after being spurred on by news that there was conditional interest to purchase the blocks separately, bidding moved rapidly through to $1.4 million before slowing and it was a phone bidder with a confirmed bid of $1.65 million who bought the property.
3 Bed / 2 Bath / 2 Car
(A brand new townhouse with a commercial grade lift)
Jason Andrew takes control of this auction with Haesley Cush peering into the crowd to look for the next bid. The auction opens at $1 million and moves in $100,000s with Mr Andrew placing the first vendor bid of the night to take the property to $1.5 million.
“You try to find this land and try to rebuild it. It doesn’t exist. You walk down the road here and you’ll find everything you need.”
Another vendor bid is posted at $1.55 million with Mr Andrew saying: “If they make it $1.575 million I’ll direct the offer to the sellers.”
But no further bid was forthcoming. The auction paused for negotiations but the property was later passed in.
3 Bed / 1 Bath / 2 Car on 469 sqm
(Previously sold in 2013 for $550,000)
There’s a massive 27 bids in this auction with Haesley Cush spending most of his time trilling in the $800,000s as the price climbs by $1000 increases.
“Now this is a game of strategy, you’ve seen how this works,” he says.
“Little ones are easy to catch. But one will do it.”
The property is announced on the market at $876,000 and sells for $884,000.
5 Bed 3 Bath 3 Car on 860 sqm
(Previously sold in 2014 for $940,000 in 2014)
The room is now two-thirds full as the event moves into its second hour with auctioneer Jason Andrew harping on about the three ovens in this Hendra home.
“It’s a home with absolutely everything, you’re the only missing link,” he says.
There’s a ‘big, bold’ opening bid of $3 million before a pause where the auction is almost called away three times before bids of $3.1 million and $3.2 million are received.
Agents hover around the room and Matt Lancashire sidles up to two buyers sitting near the exit. They eventually raise the bid to $3.25 million, while the movements of lead agent Nicholas Given are narrated in real time by auctioneer Jason Andrew: “Nick, moving with haste around the room, confirming instructions … edging toward home ownership.”
Haesley Cush uses the pause in auction proceedings to introduce Jason Andrew as the ceo of Ray White Queensland for those in the audience who are not aware and is about to begin an appraisal of the current market conditions in Brisbane when a bid of $3.3 million is taken from the buyers near the exit and the property sells for that price.
4 Bed / 2 Bath / 2 Car apartment with 287 sqm of living space
(Last sold in 2001 for $950,000)
While the other auctions have been going on, the only bidder on this luxury second floor apartment has been negotiating with lead agents behind the scenes and his prearranged offer of $2.2 million is accepted unchallenged before auctioneer Haesley Cush and the auction lasts all of two minutes.
5 Bed / 3 Bath / 2 Car on 811 sqm
(Built 1992. Last sold 2006 for $1.1 million)
Two minutes is all it takes for this property to pass in with no bids recorded but we are told two potential post-auction offers are expected, one from a buyer who is currently travelling through Sydney on the way to Brisbane.
5 Bed / 3 Bath / 2 Car on 443 sqm
(On the market for 75 days. Renovated with triple street frontage.)
Haesley Cush lived on this street for nearly a decade and while he accepts an opening bid of $2.2 million, he’s clearly not comfortable with the bidding until it reaches $2.5 million.
“Now we should have started at $2.5 million,” he says.
There’s another bid of $2.6 million before Mr Cush is forced to place a vendor bid of $2.7 million. The auction is paused and later in the evening an increased bid to $2.8 million is received but is not enough to secure the sale and the property passes in.
3 Bed / 2 Bath / 1 Car apartment on 158 sqm
(Last sold in December 2020 for $575,000)
The room is less than half full now and no-one left at the Calile is prepared to bid on this apartment that is walking distance to Oxford Street, however we are all told a result is ‘around the corner’. The property passes in with offers over $520,000 invited.
4 Bed / 2 Bath / 2 Car on 1482 sqm
(Last sold in 2001 for $835,000)
With no disrespect to the sellers, Yatala Pies owners Graham and Christine Porter, sales agent George Petavrakis says he can walk to South Bank from their home in 8 minutes, not the 20 minutes the Porters usually take.
Bidding starts at $3 million and goes up in $100,000 lots until reaching $3.7 million. The auction is paused. Later in the evening, agent Scott Darwon talks with bidders who had indicated they would increase the bid. They ask for a toilet break instead and never return. The property is passed in.
3 Bed / 2 Bath / 1 Car apartment with 164 sqm of living space
(Last sold in 2006 for $546,000)
Auctioneer Jason Andrew starts the auction by announcing he grew up on Sandford Street and it is clear from the start that Brisbane academic and physiotherapist, Ruth Sapsford, who is sitting in the middle of the room with her son Christopher, wants the privilege of enjoying her twilight years here. Besides, her Toowong gardener also looks after this riverside apartment complex. But it takes the rest of the night for her to negotiate the sale for $843,000.
A vacant 905 sqm beachfront block.
There’s about 25 people left in the room by this stage and lead agent Nicholas Given takes an opening bid of $1 million from the only person in the room wearing a hat. A second bidder is active but Haesley Cush is obliged to put a vendor bid of $1.75 million to keep the property tracking in the right direction. However bidding stalls and the property passes in.
3 Bed / 3 Bath / 2 Car on 478 sqm
(Entry level into Hawthorne)
Three bidders, with one on the phone, take this property to auction, starting at $700,000. The property pauses at $810,000 and passes in later in the night with no movement on price.
5 Bed / 5 Bath / 2 Car on 506 sqm
(Built in 1937. Previously sold in 2014 for $1.28 million)
There are two registered bidders for this property, one on the phone and the other in the audience, but neither are prepared to start bidding so the property passed in just before 8pm with no bid recorded.
1 Bed / 1 Bath / 1 Car
Agents now outnumber bidders and onlookers at the Calile Hotel, with only nine guests left in the room. There’s an opening bid of $300,000 and bidding goes up in $20,000s, including a vendor bid of $360,000 via Jason Andrew. The auction is paused and later passes in.
2 Bed / 2 Bath / 1 Car unit with 102 sqm of living space
(Last sold in 2019 for $564,000)
Despite talking up this inner-city offering on the 46th floor, there are just three bids received, including a vendor bid of $600,000 which is where the property passes in.
Ray White New Farm principal and auctioneer Haesley Cush said auction campaigns and off-market sales have seen the greatest growth this year, with up to 50 per cent of properties selling through these channels.
“We’ve all experienced the buying frenzy in every commodity whether that be porches, puppies or property, over the past 12 months from the COVID cloud, and this year, March was an enormous one for us as an industry,” Mr Cush said.
“April was a welcome break for people with Easter and ANZAC Day, but it has come back this month with the same enthusiasm as March. There’s a lot of people at open homes, and people in banking are saying that buyers and approvals are as busy as ever.”
It has been a strong start to the year for the Ray White New Farm and Bulimba offices with almost double the number of property sales in the first three months of this year, compared to January-March, 2020 (228 this year, compared to 130 last year).
The number of buyers in the market has more than doubled over the same period, from 3200 last year, to 7500 this year.
“People think there’s a scarcity of properties, it’s just the beat of the market,” Mr Cush said.
“It feels like there’s less because you don’t see them as long, and buyers who are buying are not trying to overcomplicate the process for sellers, they are making better offers on better terms.”
CoreLogic data shows last week’s auction clearance rate (for the week ending May 23) is now 63.64 per cent, down from the March highs of more than 80 per cent, however the past four weeks has seen a continuation of high-end auction sales across town, with $3 million-plus sales in Alderley, Wilston, Ascot, and New Farm, $4 million-plus in Bulimba, $5 million-plus in Clayfield and Gumdale, and almost $7 million in Ascot.
“You see a peak in clearance rates as buyers come in to buy and sellers are dealing with price expectations based on what’s happened previously,” Mr Cush said.
“So now we’re 12 months in, and sellers at the moment are probably more enthusiastic around their pricing then they were six months ago when there was slow and sluggish capital growth.
“That sees a few more properties pass in.
“The great myth is a lot of people see homes sell after the auction and think it’s because the buyers paid more, when more often in reality the sellers discover there isn’t more than on the day and they take close to what they had at the auction.”
Five properties due to go to auction on Monday night at the Calile Hotel in Fortitude Valley sold prior to auction, and of the 17 that went to auction, 7 sold, making a clearance rate of 55 per cent for the evening.
Here’s the final tally:
— 2133/32 Refinery Parade, New Farm: (4 bidders) Sold for $2.375 million
— 701 Clear Mountain Road, Clear Mountain: (4 bidders) Sold for $2.82 million
— Lot 3 and 4 Scanlan Street, East Brisbane: (4 bidders) Sold for $1.65 million
— 48 Upper Lancaster Road, Ascot: (5 bidders) Passed in at $1.55 million
— 65 Coventry Street, Hawthorne: Sold for $884,000
— 14 Matong Street, Hendra: Sold for $3.3 million
— 2/455 Adelaide Street, Brisbane City: Sold for $2.2 million
— 25 Boston Street, Clayfield: Passed in. No bids
— 272 Harcourt Street, New Farm: Passed in at $2.8 million
— 25/36 Andrew Street, Balmoral: Passed in. Offers over $520,000
— 27 Hampstead Road, Highgate Hill: Passed in at $3.7 million
— 3/8 Sandford Street, St Lucia: Sold for $843,000
— 2C Osbourne Street, Scarborough (vacant land): Passed in at $1.8 million
— 1 Coventry Street, Hawthorne: Passed in at $810,000
— 24 Hillside Crescent, Hamilton: Passed in. No bids
— 3088/36 Evelyn Street, Newstead: Passed in at $360,000
— 464/420 Queen Street, Brisbane City: Passed in at $600,000
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