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A six-bedroom Vaucluse fixer-upper sold under the hammer for $7.16 million to a local buyer who plans to tear it down and rebuild a luxury home on the property, which is close to The Gap.
The buyer outbid two developers for the home at 260-262 Old South Head Road, which had been owned by Donald Ritchie, a man known as the “Angel of The Gap” as he had helped prevent 160 suicides in the area, and received a medal for his heroism.
The property, known as Dunbar, was sold as part of his estate. Ritchie, who died in 2012, had bought the home in 1964.
There were four registered bidders for the home on two separate titles. An attempted opening offer of $5.5 million was knocked back by McGrath Double Bay auctioneer Scott Kennedy-Green.
Bidding then officially opened at $7 million and, after another $100,000 offer, was called on the market. Five $10,000 bids came, with a sixth and final $10,000 offer from the buyer, which saw the property sell.
With sweeping views of the ocean and Sydney Harbour, it had a price guide of $7.5 million.
McGrath Double Bay’s Craig Pontey said the 507-square metre property was not big for Vaucluse, but the home was well positioned on the corner of the street.
“It had nice views out over the ocean. And at the rear it had harbour views,” Pontey said. “So it’s unusual to get ocean and harbour views … very unusual.”
The property was one of 844 scheduled auctions in Sydney on Saturday. By evening, Domain Group recorded a preliminary auction clearance rate of 60.7 per cent from 562 reported results, while 160 auctions were withdrawn. Withdrawn auctions are counted as unsold properties when calculating the clearance rate.
AMP’s chief economist Dr Shane Oliver said the 60.7 per cent clearance rate showed Sydney’s clearance rates were softening.
“Looks to me like the market is still struggling with the strength in the level of listings,” Oliver said. “For much of this year, the dominant driver has been the shortfall of housing on the back of high immigration levels. That now seems to be giving way to a refocus on higher interest rates.”
Oliver said on a $600,000 loan (the average new mortgage nationally) people would be paying $15,000 to $17,000 extra compared with repayments in April last year.
“Someone with a $1.2 million mortgage, they would be paying somewhere between $30,000 to $34,000 extra,” he said.
In Redfern, at a spirited auction, a historic, two-bedroom terrace sold for $1.41 million to a young couple who intend to leave everything exactly as is.
The home at 5 Holden Street sold for $10,000 above the $1.4 million reserve. It had a $1 million guide.
Nine people registered to bid and all made offers on the home. Bidding opened at $1.1 million with $25,000 offers taking the price to $1.2 million, before bids dropped to $10,000 and $15,000.
LJ Hooker Double Bay Group’s Aaron Del Monte said the auction was hotly contested, with lots of buyers making bids.
“It was the right price point. It was a combination of first home buyers, upsizers like unit buyers and relocators from other areas trying to get into that market,” Del Monte said.
The vendor Byron Arellano was a boxing trainer who helped inspire troubled youths in Redfern to change their lives as part of a government initiative.
The terrace last traded for $400,000 in 2015, records show.
In Roseville, eight people registered to bid on a tidy three-bedroom house destined for the wrecking ball, at 24 Park Avenue, which sold for $3.55 million, $250,000 above the $3.3 million reserve.
Four buyers actively bid, making offers for the land value only. Bidding opened at $2.8 million and went up in a combination of increments from $100,000 to $2000. It sold above the $3.3 million reserve and guide of $3 million to $3.3 million.
Stone Real Estate Lindfield’s Jill Henry said people who buy properties in this price bracket for land value usually have a multimillion-dollar budget.
“It’s people that have got $6 million to spend, and they can’t get what they want,” Henry said. “So they buy something with $3.5 million and then go and spend $2.5 million on building a new home, and they get everything they want for that price.”
The seller had mixed emotions on the day as the property, sold as part of a deceased estate, had been in the family for 53 years.
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