Owner in tears as Sydney home with shady history sells for $2.87m

448 Bourke St. Source: Domain

The owners of a Sydney terrace home have been left in tears as their property smashed its reserve at auction over the weekend. 

The Surry Hills home was purchased in 1916 by the owners’ father for just £30, and sold for a whopping $2.87 million on Saturday – $440,000 above the property’s reserve price. 

More than 150 people and 17 registered bidders turned up for the auction at 448A Bourke Street, according to Domain, with owner Karen Geary saying the price was “more than we expected”.

But Geary revealed the home had been a shady history: “It was a brothel at one stage [during the depression]. My father probably wouldn’t have used that word though,” she told Domain.

“My father used to say what happens upstairs stays upstairs.”

448 Bourke St. Source: Domain

Sydney auction clearance rates skyrocket

Sydney’s auction clearance rate over the weekend was 82 per cent, compared with 61 per cent this time last year, Domain research reveals. 

According to CoreLogic’s latest data, Sydney house prices have risen by 1.2 per cent in the first month of 2020, and 5.6 per cent over the last quarter to a median value of $862,814. 

448 Bourke St. Source: Domain

And Sydney house prices are expected to continue to grow around 10 per cent, according to Domain’s 2020 Property Price forecast, to a new median of $1.25 million.

“My forecast in Sydney is for a 10 per cent growth in house prices this year which will moderate in 2021 to a pretty flat 6 to 8 per cent,” said Domain economist Trent Wiltshire.

448 Bourke St. Source: Domain

Overall property market growing, but slowly

CoreLogic’s January data shows all capital cities have recorded positive house value growth since the beginning of the year, but the pace of growth has slowed on a month-to-month basis.

“Factoring in the seasonal affect, the latest results indicate a reduction in the speed of growth across most markets, especially for Sydney and Melbourne where affordability constraints are once again becoming more pressing,” said CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless.

“As advertised stock levels rise over the early part of the year, we could some further dampening of growth rates.”

Despite this, house prices are expected to continue to grow over the course of the year. 

“With housing values rising at the quarterly pace of 3.7 per cent, we are likely to see a nominal recovery in the national home value measure within the next two-to-three months,” said Lawless.

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