Geelong is on the forefront of another wave of house price rises after a string of big auctions results.
The latest is a tidy three-bedroom Highton house, which beat its reserve price by $89,000, courtesy of five mainly first-home buyers contesting Saturday’s auction.
First-home buyers who have been renting in East Geelong for two years paid $669,000 for the 552sq m property at 59 Belle Vue Ave, Highton.
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Barry Plant, Highton agent Kieron Hunter said the result smashed his expectations, selling well above the $580,000 reserve.
“We were hopeful we’d get a six on it but this went well beyond expectations,” Mr Hunter said.
It’s the latest in a string of houses priced in the mid-to-high $500,000 range to beat $600,000 at auctions in recent weeks, from Lara to Belmont and Highton.
The common factor has been the level of competition for properties.
“Eventually they will be priced over $600,000,” Mr Hunter said.
“We’re on the forefront of a price rise, so you don’t want to get caught out.
“But I think there is enough results now in the bag to say these things are worth $600,000 and be responsibly pricing,” he said.
First-home buyers Bridget and Blair Larsen liked the location, opposite the Highton Child and Family Centre and Bellaire Primary School.
“We can pop down to the shops and it’s across from the primary school,” Ms Larsen said.
“We liked the layout of the house, the living is kind of out the back and the beautiful established gardens. It’s a nice tidy home.”
The buyers relocated from Melbourne two years ago with WorkSafe.
“We were renting in East Geelong and we loved that but we couldn’t find anything in a price range,” she said.
They used Geelong buyers advocate Tony Slack to help their search and bid at the auction.
“He hit us with quite a few options but I had done a bit of looking myself.
“We don’t have any family here so I wanted someone who knew what they were doing to help.”
Bidding opened at $550,000 and after the price hit $640,000, bids went down to $1000 and $500 increments.
The property last traded in 2009 for $335,000, CoreLogic records show.
Highton’s median house price rise 2.9 per cent in 12 months to $695,000, according to realestate.com.au.
A gag pack of toilet paper helped ease tensions as a prize for the first bidder at the start of Saturday’s auction.
“It started in May — a new government, rate cuts, a first-home buyer scheme on the first of January, banks are lending and investors returned to the market,” Mr Hunter said.
“The coronavirus brought the stock market down 10 per cent last week and another rate cut as well. Now these have got people rushing out to get two things, one of those is toilet paper, and the other one is quality real estate.”
But the first bidder, Geelong buyers advocate Tony Slack was quick to pass on the pack, actually kitchen hand towel because even the real estate agents couldn’t get their hands on a roll after the recent run on supermarket stocks.