Interest rate rises are “certainly something to consider”, he said. “But I think we’re in a good position with renting it out, at this point. From our point of view we can pass that on to the rental market.”
Ray White’s Stefan Stella said some buyers were concerned about the outlook for the housing market now but others saw it as an opportunity, while vendors were starting to adjust.
“Anyone that’s got a genuine reason to sell, they understand that it’s not the market of yesterday,” he said. “Most people have grown accustomed to what’s going on.”
The Reserve Bank this week lifted interest rates another 50 basis points to 1.85 per cent, reducing the amount buyers can borrow to spend at auction.
Last month, Melbourne’s auction clearance rate was 52 per cent, the lowest since September 2020, Domain data showed.
The Victorian capital’s median auction price has fallen below $1 million for the first time since April 2021, hitting $990,000.
A South Yarra family home with potential for its own renovation also secured a sale under the hammer on Saturday, fetching $4.42 million.
The four-bedroom residence at 26 Hawksburn Road attracted four parties and sold $620,000 over the reserve of $3.8 million. The reserve was set at the top of the price guide of $3.5 million to $3.8 million.
It sold through RT Edgar Toorak’s Anthony Grimwade to a professional couple.
“The real driving force at the moment is there is so little good quality property on the market,” he said.
“I don’t think people are putting their homes on the market in the numbers we would normally see.”
In Glen Waverley, a three-bedroom house fetched $2.06 million after four bidders competed in person and one bid online from Hong Kong, but the agent thought this was a slightly lower price than if it had sold a year ago.
Offers began at $1.8 million for 5 Graham Street, and it was called on the market at $2 million, Harcourts Judd White’s Andrew Dimashki said, to buyers who plan to freshen the home up and move in.
He thought it might have fetched $2.1 million or $2.2 million if it had sold last year, but said the number of buyers in the market had failed.
“Interest rate rises are certainly spooking our buyers,” he said.
“A lot of people are doing market appraisals which means a lot of properties are coming onto the market… It’s definitely going to be an improved buyers’ market and a tougher sellers’ market.”
Morrell and Koren buyer’s agent Matt Cleverdon went to the auction of 3/17 Manor Street, Brighton, a three-bedroom villa unit near the bay that attracted downsizers.
It opened at $1.9 million, had a vendor bid at $1.95 million, and sold for $2.35 million as three parties competed, he said.
“The mood in the market is probably cautious optimism,” he said.
“There seems to be a number of buyers out there but they are cautious about not getting involved in something that runs away from them.”
In Fitzroy, a converted warehouse that could have been used as a residential or commercial property sold for $2.83 million.
The pad at 354 Fitzroy Street drew two bidders and the winner plans to do a long-term renovation and lease it out as a commercial property in the short term, Nelson Alexander Fitzroy’s Kristian Lunardi said.
He said interest rate rises are a focus for buyers, but the moves are less unexpected now.
“Buyers have accepted that rates are going up, or they have gone up, and they can plan accordingly,” he said.
In East Melbourne, a one-bedroom apartment facing the park sold for $667,000 in a busy auction complete with a bagpipe player – Marcus Willson of Professionals Whiting & Co.
Two bidders pushed the auction for 10/98-106 Vale Street above its reserve of $650,000.
“We are confident that even with increased rate rises, there is not going to be doom and gloom,” he said.
“If you are a seller and buyer in the same market it is all relative.”
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.