It had all the makings of a hot auction; a big crowd, a nice morning and a much-loved family home in Sydney's inner west.
But it was no easy feat to sell 47 Wilga Street, Concord West under the hammer.
The three-bedroom California bungalow was one of 679 Sydney properties scheduled for auction on Saturday. By evening, Domain Group had recorded a clearance rate of 69 per cent from 418 reported results.
Despite a crowd of more than 70 people, auctioneer Alex Pattaro of Raine & Horne Concord had his work cut out for him, with all four registered bidders holding their cards close to their chest.
A Fivedock couple - the eventual buyers - made an opening offer of $1.85 million, which was counteracted by just one other bidder who offered $1.87 million.
Over the course of the almost 20-minute auction, just three more bids were made - including a vendor bid of $1.95 million. The hammer fell at the vendor's revised reserve of $1.99 million.
The result was below the suburb's $2,177,500 median house price, but more than double the $875,000 records show the 594-square-metre corner block last traded for in 2008.
Mr Pattaro said auctions in the inner west were no longer performing as strongly as they had in previous years.
"The buyer pool is tightening up, we're not seeing as many registered bidders as we once would have," he said.
"The market is stabilising, but vendors sometimes feel the market is still what it was six months ago, so reserves are slightly higher than where they maybe should be, which can make it a bit tougher."
"[The number of buyers] is also a little lower, I had about 50 groups through this house ... a few months ago when the market was hotter, I would have had about 80 through."
The California bungalow was one of 96 properties scheduled for auction in the inner west on Saturday - the most of any region.
While the inner west has long been a top performer of the Sydney auction market, Domain chief economist Andrew Wilson said it was becoming less consistent.
"It's a bit more up and down than usual and I think that's just a sign of the times," he said.
Dr Wilson said the higher volume of properties on the market this year was a big test for the slowing market.
"There's no doubt the market has clearly faded since Autumn, we've been seeing a generally declining trend, which is now even coming through in the better performing areas. "
It was a different story in nearby Strathfield, where a deceased estate left vacant for decades sold for $380,000 above reserve.
More than 200 people turned out for the auction of 23 Albert Road, a three-bedroom home in such poor condition that would-be buyers had to sign a waiver before entering.
Bidding on the 506-square-metre block started at $1.4 million and went up in $50,000 increments, quickly passing the $1.75 million reserve, as four of nine registered bidders vied for the keys.
A family from Burwood snapped up the home for $2.13 million, which was more than seven times the $274,000 it last sold for in 1991.
A few blocks over another rundown Strathfield home, which last traded for $63,000 in 1984, sold for $140,000 above reserve.
The auction of the three-bedroom Victorian home at 41 Manson Road kicked off with an opening bid of $1.5 million, with offers quickly rising in $20,000 jumps for much of the auction.
The 372-square-metre block was snapped up by a young local couple - one of four active bidders - for $1.84 million. They plan to renovate the property into their dream family home.
Elsewhere in Sydney
The former Turramurra home of tennis player and coach Tony Roche sold for $3.6 million. Photo: Supplied.
SOLD $3.6 million
91B Eastern Road
5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 car spaces
Seven months made all the difference to the sale price of the former home of Australian tennis great Tony Roche. Back in March, the five-bedroom property set on almost 3300 square metres sold prior to auction for $3.5 million. But the purchaser was not able to complete the transaction and the property was relisted on the market for spring. Bidding on the resort-style property, complete with a tennis court and pool, started at $2.7 million and went up in $100,000 increments for the majority of the auction, as four of eight registered parties tried to outbid one another. The property sold to a family relocating from Chatswood to be closer to the school attended by their children.
Selling agent Adam McKay of Di Jones Real Estate North Shore said the $100,000 price increase was a tremendous result, particularly at a time when there had been a lot of talk of an easing market. While he wouldn't disclose the reserve, it's believed to have been in line with the $3 million price guide. Although the buyer was oblivious to the history of the home, Mr McKay said the fact it was built and lived in by Roche was a big drawcard for several bidders. "He would play on the court and also coached people all the time there, so a lot of people were very into that."
The current vendors bought the property in 1989 for $1.13 million.
Ben Rose's Vaucluse home has sold for $8 million. Photo: Supplied.
SOLD PRIOR $8 million
51 Olola Avenue
5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 car spaces
???Six months after buying Mosman's most expensive house, Bryan Rose, the son of multimillionaire Bob Rose, has said goodbye to his Vaucluse home. The 784-square-metre property had been scheduled to go to auction on Saturday but was snapped up for $8 million on Friday night. Selling agent Peter Starr of McGrath Edgecliff, who was guiding $7.5-$8 million, said four parties had made offers prior to auction. The new owners are a local family relocating to be closer to the harbour.
Bryan Rose, who now heads up the family's property development giant Rose Group, bought the property almost a decade ago for $4.62 million.
Rose's new Beauty Point estate includes a main residence with a swimming pool, tennis court, slipway, boatshed, tidal beach and a separate guest house.
12 Longview Street, Five Dock NSW. Photo: Supplied.
12 Longview Street
2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 car space
Despite 90 groups inspecting the property, this Federation home failed to sell under the hammer. Bidding opened at $1.45 million and went up in $50,000 and $20,000 increments as four of five registered bidders battled it out. The bidding came to a halt at $1,565,000, and the property passed in. Selling agent Fiona Hellams of Ray White Drummoyne was negotiating with multiple parties on Saturday afternoon, some of whom had not attended the auction. She expected the property to sell in the coming days. Records show it last traded for $777,500 in 2009.
54 Edgar Street, Maroubra NSW 2035 Photo: Supplied
54 Edgar Street
3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 2 car spaces
Competitive bidding from three of six registered parties saw this double-fronted semi sell for $294,000 above reserve. The auction kicked off with a $2 million offer and hit the $2,050,000 reserve on the second bid. A young family from Waverley nabbed the renovated home, which records show last sold for $1,582,000 just over three years ago. Selling agent Eitan Rubinstein of McGrath Edgecliff said it had attracted strong interest from buyers in more expensive nearby suburbs like Bronte and Tamarama, who were looking for better value for money.
10 Lackey Street, St Peters NSW 2044.Photo: Supplied.
10 Lackey Street
2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 0 car spaces
Two couples battled it out for this terrace which sold for $68,000 above reserve. Bidding opened at $1 million and went up in $50,000 jumps to $1.5 million. It dropped right down to $1000 increments before the hammer fell. The property sold to a couple upsizing from Surry Hills. Records show it last traded for $750,000 in 2013. The vendors, who made cosmetic changes to the property, are moving back to New Zealand. Selling agent Ercan Ersan of Ray White Surry Hills, Alexandria and Erskineville said it was a good result for the stabilising local market.