Key points

  • More than 1000 Melbourne homes were scheduled for auction on Saturday. 
  • A South Melbourne home will be listed for sale for $2.65 million after it passed in at auction. 
  • A Fitzroy town house sold to an investor for $1.45 million, after two bidders competed.

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A beautifully renovated, three-bedroom Victorian-era home in South Melbourne failed to draw a single bid from buyers at auction on Saturday, passing in on a vendor bid of $2.4 million.

The home, at 10 Martin Street, had a price guide of $2.4 million to $2.6 million and was so close to the Australian Grand Prix taking place at nearby Albert Park, that Marshall White Port Phillip auctioneer Oliver Bruce had to call for bids over the screams of Formula 1 cars rounding the track.

Though he tried to convince the crowd of about 25 people to make an offer, no one did. Bruce eventually made a $2.4 million vendor bid, then called for a rise to $4,425,000, but buyers remained silent.

After consulting the vendors, who had owned the house since 2015, the property was passed in. The home will now be advertised for private sale with an asking price of $2.65 million.

The auction was one of 1007 scheduled in Melbourne on Saturday, a busy weekend in the lead up to the Easter break.

“I think that’s just a sign of the market at the moment,” Bruce said after the auction. “There are fewer purchasers in the market.”

The crowd remained silent throughout the South Melbourne auction.Credit:Simon Schluter

Though the house passed in, Bruce said he was confident it would sell in the coming week, as discussions were ongoing with two interested buyers.

The home underwent a full renovation, which was completed in 2017. Upgrades included an imported kitchen from Italy, and design work by award-winning Noxon Architecture.

In Fitzroy, a three-storey modern townhouse at 6 Chapel Street, went under the hammer for $1.45 million, above the $1.33 million to $1.43 million guide.

Two investors competed for the home, Nelson Alexander Fitzroy partner Chris Ewart said.

Bidding opened on a $1.28 million offers and rose slowly from there to its sale price.

“It’s interesting because it’s been a good 10 to 15 years since we’ve seen so many investors in the local market,” Ewart said. “We usually see owner-occupiers at this type of auction.

“I’m not sure if it’s because of what’s happening with the rental market at the moment, with rents going up, but investors are back.”

Ewart said it was a busy auction weekend as sellers were keen to transact before the upcoming Easter break and school holidays, with a lack of stock still leading to strong results.

Buyers were aware that interest rates may rise again next week, when the Reserve Bank board meets, but said they were factoring in any further rises before making an offer.

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