Sunbury sale caps mixed week of auctions
Hume City Council has paid $1.885 million for a vacant block of land next to its Sunbury headquarters, to round out a tepid week at Burgess Rawson’s first portfolio auctions of the year.
The council was tipped to be a major player in the race for the 4083sqm landholding at 46-48 Macedon St, 40km north-west of Melbourne’s CBD, and emerged as the successful bidder at an on-site auction on Thursday.
Realcommercial.com.au reported in early February that the site – held by the same family for more than two decades – was set to be heavily contested at auction, after years of interest from potential buyers.
And so it proved, with the council holding off three other bidders to secure the site, which is now being mooted as a future Global Learning Centre, according to Leader Newspapers.
Burgess Rawson senior executive Ben Appel says the council was the logical buyer for the property, which has remained barren and unused for more than a decade.
“There were four bidders. The big local developers were there … but they didn’t want to compete with the council,” Appel says.
“There was a push for council to be the owner.”
Cautious start to auction year
Earlier in the week many investors kept their powder dry at Burgess Rawson’s first portfolio auctions of the year in Sydney and Melbourne, with half of the 22 properties on offer finding new owners.
Five of the 10 properties that went under the hammer in Sydney were passed in, while in Melbourne six out of 12 were sold – a notable dip in clearances after many auctions last year cleared upwards of 80% as Burgess Rawson’s total sales for the year topped $1 billion.
There is still strong interest in the market for investment
Appel says some of the properties are in the process of being sold post-auction, and that while the agents had hoped for a stronger result, investor appetite remains strong.
“We got rid of half and there are three that are under offer that should probably sell in the next day or so,” he says.
“Basically we had bidding on every single property, so from that point of view there is still strong interest in the market for investment.”
“There was a real geographic spread of sites at this auction … I think we had people looking from more states than we’ve ever had.”
“There’s interest, especially from WA and Queensland, there’s stronger interest than ever in Victoria.”
The biggest sales result came at the Sydney auction, where a Gold Coast property leased to telecommunications giant Vodafone sold for $6.1 million.
It was just probably a slight mix of vendors chasing a premium and buyers just wanting a bit more time to assess
At the Melbourne auction, a pair of childcare centres in Cranbourne North and Rockhampton City fetched $3.59 million and $2.64 million, respectively.
A Clayton shop leased to car parts retailer Autobarn went for $3.51 million, but two neighbouring stores leased to Petbarn and women’s gym Fernwood were passed in.
And a Tasmanian Best & Less store in Devonport was also among the purchases, reaching $2.105 million, however two other Tasmanian properties remain on the market.
Appel hints that vendors are setting their bar high after last year’s bumper crop of results.
“It was just probably a slight mix of vendors chasing a premium and buyers just wanting a bit more time to assess,” he says.