Sydney auctions: Manly house sells for over $6m after attracting bizarre bidding war

Manly auction

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH – Pictured is an Auction at 8 Cliff St, Manly today. Picture: Tim Hunter.

A Federation-style house in Manly became the target of a last minute bidding war between two parties just as it looked set to pass in at auction on a vendor bid.

The frantic bidding on Saturday pushed the price for the house on Cliff St to $6.08 million – more than $1 million higher than the previous suburb record for a semi-detached house.

It was a major windfall for the sellers who paid $2.35 million for the property in 2011 and did a minor extension, property records showed.

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The purchaser was understood to be an expat based in Singapore who had a buyer’s agent bidding on their behalf. It is not known what they intend to do with the property.

The auction was initially slow to get started. It opened with a bid of $5.3 million and four more bids were placed before the offers ground to a halt.

Manly auction

Auctioneer Eddy Piddington dropped the hammer at $6.08m. Picture: Tim Hunter.

Auctioneer Eddy Piddington was instructed to accept a vendor bid of $5.6 million and a silence fell over the auction, with none of the five registered bidders raising their bidder cards.

Selling agents Adam Moore and Mark Skeen of Stone Real Estate were seen in negotiations with the seller and it became apparent the reserve price was being dropped.

Hearing the auctioneer call “on the market” goaded the registered parties back into action and a frenzy of bidding followed until the hammer dropped.

Mr Skeen revealed the vendors had adjusted the reserve during the auction from $5.8 million to $5.65 million but ended up getting $280,000 above their original hopes.

“They adjusted it and then the auction went nuts,” he said. “A lot of buyers in this end of the market don’t like bidding unless they know they are playing for keeps. It’s part of their negotiation strategy.

The Manly sellers bought the home 10 years ago.

“But then, once they start bidding and you have two very committed buyers locking horns, like at this auction, that strategy goes out the window and the emotion of the auction takes over.”

Mr Piddington said the final price was “really big money” for what the property was. “I’d put it down to the pressure of an auction,” Mr Piddington said. “It’s a character home in a very good position, it’s rare for the area, but even with that it was still a huge price.”

The Manly house was one of nearly 1220 properties scheduled to go under the hammer this week. It was a rise from the 1103 auctions held last week and the 452 held over the same week last year.

Preliminary indicators suggested just over 80 per cent of this week’s auctions produced a sale.

Further west, in Kellyville, 15 bidders competed for a house on Greenwood Rd and it sold for $1.506 million – $306,000 over reserve.

Auctioneer Stu Benson said the home was declared on the market in three bids. “Once we called it ‘on the market’, our eventual buyer placed his first bid … I knew he had to hear those magic words before raising his paddle.”

In North Ryde, a two-storey house on Schumack St sold for $3.35 million after attracting eight registered bidders. The price was $200,000 over the reserve.

Selling agents Benjamin Mulae and Trisha Guo of Atlas-Northern Districts had got considerable interest from buyers in the lead up to the auction.

21 Barraran St, Gymea Bay sold for $2.69m.

Down south, the sellers of a six-bedroom house in a prime location in Gymea Bay pocketed $505,000 above the price they paid four years ago.

The house on Barraran St sold under the hammer via LJ Hooker-Gymea for $2.69 million, $290,000 over reserve. It had last sold in 2017 for just over $2.18 million.

Four bidders registered for the auction and Avenue Auctions director Andrew Cooley said there was strong bidding.

To the east, and a Maroubra house on an elevated block with ocean views sold under the hammer Saturday for $4.8 million – $600,000 over reserve.

48A Sackville St, Maroubra sold for $600,000 over reserve.

The four-bedroom house on Sackville St had attracted about 70 groups of interested buyers through the open for inspections, according to the selling agents Elia Economou and Peter Tsekenis of Ray White-Brighton Le Sands.

“(It’s) a terrific home, in a great ­location, and the competitive environment that an auction is able to create is what helped drive such an excellent price for our seller,” Mr Economou said. “The market is very strong right now, especially for good properties in good locations.”

with aidan devine

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