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WA appetite for auctions grows
Bidding frenzy: Caporn Young's Emma McCarthy and Steven Currie at the Preston Point Road property. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Asutralian

It was the record-setting auction that left the selling agent delighted he had followed his instinct to sell a prime piece of real estate under the hammer.

After 144 bids from four bidders going toe to toe, the East Fremantle property with stunning river views eventually sold for $2,052,000 - an extraordinary $452,000 above the reserve price.

It took 45 minutes and a bidding frenzy between a family, retirees and a middle-aged man in front of a crowd of about 40 people for the family of five to come up trumps.

Selling agent Steven Currie, of Caporn Young, said the $1.6 million reserve price was conservative and he was hopeful it could sell for $1.8 million to $2 million.

"We had good interest so we knew we had a minimum of three bidders," he said.

"It was the most exciting sale I have conducted in 15 years.

"We were all shocked but I think they (the buyers) were delighted and relieved to get it." It was also a record breaker for the number of bids received at a Caporn Young auction.

Mr Currie said selling the home by conventional method was never considered by the sellers, who bought the home for $1.8 million about three years ago.

"It highlights the difficulty of valuing unique properties and really deciding what they are worth," he said.

"It was a difficult one to price and it's probably the reason we went to auction because people see different values in these types of properties."

Mr Currie said Caporn Young had been actively promoting auctions as a sales method since late last year.

"It gives sellers the best opportunity to see what the market will pay," he said.

According to Real Estate Institute of WA data for December, homes sold via auction spent an average 35 days on the market compared with homes sold by private treaty, which took 50 days to sell.

Abel McGrath - The Property People principal and auctioneer Barry Litten said WA people were now more receptive to auctions. "In the Eastern States it has always been a popular method of sale and the acceptance in WA is due to TV shows like The Block," he said.

"The bottom line is it is a very transparent forum, it's not a blind tender like set date sales. Buyers want to know are they in the ballpark."

Acton Dalkeith sales representative and auctioneer Jen Ragan said the appeal of auctions was fewer days on the market and the removal of a "ceiling" on price.

"We are seeing many owners who have previously marketed their homes unsuccessfully in the last two to three years bring their homes back on to the market with us using the auction method, and yielding prices they never dreamed possible," she said.