Family splashes $5.43 million on stylish Kew house at auction

Key points

  • Two families competed for a move-in ready Kew home at auction. 
  • A buyer paid $910,500 for a Ferntree Gully investment property their parents will later live in.
  • Melbourne’s preliminary auction clearance rate was 68.7 per cent on Saturday.

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An expansive two-storey family home in Kew sold for $5,432,000 in a quick-fire auction on Saturday, soaring about $430,000 above its reserve.

The four-bedroom home at 1 Glendene Avenue, tucked in an exclusive tree-lined cul-de-sac, had a price guide of between $4.7 million and $5 million.

Kay & Burton auctioneer Sam Wilkinson said the reserve decided on the day was about $5 million.

“It was a toe-to-toe battle which ended up at $5,432,000,” he said.

The bidding opened at $4.7 million and jumped in $50,000 increments past $5 million. Once the price hit $5.3 million, the bidding narrowed to $1000 increments by the time the hammer fell.

The winner was a family looking to upsize and move closer to schools in the area. The underbidders were also a young family.

The Kew residence drew interest from families.Credit:Kay & Burton

Wilkinson said properties that required no renovations or work were most appealing to buyers.

“The prospect of building and renovating at the moment with what’s going on in the building industry is driving a lot of people towards purchasing ready to move and live-in houses,” he said.

The new build and renovation sector has been in focus after the collapse last week of Porter Davis, adding to interest across the city in move-in ready homes that do not need work.

On Saturday, there were 1008 auctions scheduled in Melbourne. By that evening, Domain Group recorded a preliminary auction clearance rate of 68.7 per cent from 769 reported results, while 66 auctions were withdrawn. Withdrawn auctions are counted as unsold properties when calculating the clearance rate.

Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee said interest rates had likely reached their peak and there were increased numbers of active bidders at auctions.

However, low supply continued to bite in Victoria, particularly as the state’s population growth tightened the squeeze on an already under-pressure housing supply and pushed up prices, she said.

Conisbee expected to see prices bounce back from last year’s low by the second half of 2023.

“It’s bad news for affordability … it has been a stressful time for people, particularly first home buyers,” she said.

Meanwhile, a buyer paid $910,500 for a classic brick family home in Ferntree Gully, bidding $90,500 above reserve for the investment property their parents will eventually live in.

The three-bedroom home at 56 Helen Road was fully renovated with ample space for entertainment and family living.

The property’s guide price was $800,000 to $850,000, with a reserve of $820,000.

Ray White Ferntree Gully’s selling agent Angela Xia said four bidders participated throughout the auction.

The bidding opened at $750,000, followed by bids of $20,000 and $10,000.

Xia said there were few homes listed for sale in the area, meaning buyers were competing over those homes that were available.

“The buyer had already missed out on a few properties in Ferntree Gully. He was looking for an investment home, but in the future he wants to move his parents into the home,” Xia said. “Most of the interested buyers were couples with kids. The house has a really good backyard so it’s great for kids wanting to run around and it also has a cubby house for them to play in.”

Buyers are hesitant to renovate because of the costs involved, she said.

“If the property is priced well, and the reserve is priced within the listed price range, and it presents well, then buyers are always interested.”

In the outer northern suburbs, a sleek, no-expense-spared family home in Mickleham surprised an auctioneer by selling for a relatively modest $1.24 million, despite about 100 people viewing the property.

The swish five-bedroom new build at 4 Hythe Place was constructed by a boutique builder. The property had a guide of $1.15 million to $1.25 million.

Ray White auctioneer Daniel Diamantopoulos declined to reveal the reserve. He said he was surprised how cautious the crowd on the day was.

“There were a lot of people with hands in their pockets. The bidding wasn’t as crazy as I would have imagined.”

The opening bid started the auction at $1 million, and an initial $100,000 bid was followed by increments between $20,000 and $5,000.

There were about 30 bids before the hammer fell after 25 minutes, and the buyers won by a $1000 bid.

The winners were a local family with four kids who were initially thinking of building their own home, but the cost of construction had deterred them, he said.

The underbidders were also a young family who hailed from Sydney.

“It was the ultimate family home and no expense had been spared,” Diamantopoulos said.


This story has been updated to correct the sale price of the Kew home. It was $5,432,000, not $5,423,000.

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