A cold blustery day on Brighton beach was no deterrent to buyers keen to purchase a rare piece of Golden Mile property at the weekend.
Three bidders at the private auction of 43 Seacombe Grove pushed the sale price up to $7.7 million, the biggest property deal done under the hammer so far this year but short of the $8-$10 million some pundits had hopefully predicted.
Marshall White auctioneer John Bongiorno said the result showed there was depth in the marketplace as long as properties were priced properly. ''There are three bidders looking for a block of land on the waterfront,'' Mr Bongiorno said.
The house, on a large 1261-square-metre block fronting the beach, was part of a deceased estate and held in the same family for 25 years.
The owner is expected to build a new house on the lot, Mr Bongiorno said.
It is just a couple of doors down from the mansion sold by investor Rod Butterss in 2006 for $11.5 million and further down the beach from 25-27 Glyndon Road, which was rumoured to have fetched a record $15.5 million in 2009.
''At the end of the day, it does boil down to the right offering priced according to the market, whether it's Toorak, Brighton, Glen Waverley or Melton,'' Mr Bongiorno said.
Marshall White sold more than $40 million worth of property at the weekend, with the eastern suburbs stronger than the bayside, he said. ''Everything is sellable in Melbourne right now so long as vendors are realistic. Things are OK if you get the right offering and the right price.''
Buyer advocate Mal James said the Seacombe Grove result showed ''the market is certainly not dead for great well-priced properties''. Mr James valued the front half of the block at $10,000 a square metre and the rear at $3000 a square metre, a total of $8.19 million.
''The market is going about as well as it could be, given all the negative outside influences. Buyers are out there and not afraid to act when the price is right,'' he said.
The weekend's auction clearance rate revealed a patchwork of results, with some suburbs performing strongly and others unravelling. The overall clearance rate fell slightly to 59 per cent from 586 reported auctions, after a month of stronger results. There are 86 results outstanding.
Bayside suburbs were among the weakest. In Brighton, where the top result took place, only two properties sold under the hammer, with one, at 4 Wellington Street, selling before and the remaining four properties passing in.
Former prime minister Bob Hawke's family home at 25 Royal Avenue, Sandringham, passed in at $1.44 million on a vendor bid made by agents, Hodges. A genuine bidder had made an offer of $1.42 million, which was short of the reserve price of $1.47 million.
Sandringham's two auctions scored a zero clearance rate and the situation was arguably worse further up the coast in Elwood where only one property out of 12 auctions sold under the hammer and one sold before auction.
Houses and units at the high and low end of the market were passed in and the only property to sell was an oddly shaped 153-square-metre parcel at 4A Beach Avenue, auctioned by Chisholm & Gamon.
Auctioneer Sam Gamon said there were three bidders and it sold $50,000 over its reserve.
''Properties need to be priced properly and in some cases, vendors aren't listening to agents,'' Mr Gamon said.
''But a number of buyers are holding back and calling after the auction. A few of them have started to miss out in the competition after the auction.''