Modest Remuera unit fetches $900k

By Amelia Wade

More than 50 bids were registered at the auction for the unit, which sold for more than $200,000 over its valuation.
 Photo / Supplied
More than 50 bids were registered at the auction for the unit, which sold for more than $200,000 over its valuation. Photo / Supplied

A two-bedroom unit in one of Auckland's most exclusive streets has sold for $902,000 - more than $200,000 above its valuation.

But experts said first-home buyers shouldn't be intimidated by the extravagant sale price because the Remuera property was the exception and not the rule.

The Victoria Ave brick and tile house in a double Grammar zone sold at auction Monday a week ago and surprised everyone at the auction with how much it fetched.

In July last year, the single-level property built in 1973 was valued at $685,000.

Ray White realtor Jenny Bainbridge, who sold the property, said there had been plenty of interest in the house from a broad spectrum of buyers, from young couples to investors.

During their first showing weekend, 51 groups went through the house - listed by the Guardian Trust - which resulted in a pre-auction offer of $650,000.

"That brought the auction forward and the [sellers] were happy with the offer, but then the auction started at $650,000 and we got 51 more bids," Ms Bainbridge said.

The under-bidder stopped at $901,000 and an older couple took the final price to $902,000.

"I think that the buyer just didn't want to be beaten, at the end of the day. They just want to stay there a couple of nights a week," Ms Bainbridge said.

Everyone at the auction was shocked at the selling price and the seller was "obviously very pleased", Ms Bainbridge said.

Real Estate Institute director Helen O'Sullivan reassured those looking to buy - especially first-home buyers - that the property was an exception and not a reflection of the market.

"It was a relatively unique property because it had an appeal to a fairly broad range of prospective purchasers. It was a good-sized property on a good-sized section in a really good area with really good school zones," Ms O'Sullivan said.

"And from what I'm hearing, it struck a chord with such a number of people and so the competition was quite intense."

At an auction, the pressure and competition can often drive house prices above their value, which is what Ms O'Sullivan suspected happened at the Victoria Ave sale.

As well, the market is particularly enthusiastic at the moment for properties in sought-after suburbs.

Director of realestate.co.nz Alistair Helm said for those looking to buy their first house there were still plenty of opportunities to do so if they looked in suburbs less desirable than Remuera.

In Auckland, there were more than 1000 two-bedroom houses on the market, most less than half the asking price of the Victoria Ave home.

Mr Helm agreed that the property was an exception. "Statistics go out the door [when] you get down to a buyer who decides that this is the property that they want to buy."

- NZ Herald

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