What's a flight of stairs worth? If last week's auction 5/37 Surfview Road, Mona Vale result is any indication, it's more than a million dollars. The compact ground floor unit has two bedrooms, one bathroom, space for one car and an unrenovated kitchen. It sold for an eye-watering $2.61 million. Agent Ryan Petrie of LJ Hooker Mona Vale listed it with a price guide of $1.4 million, the same price that an "almost identical" unit upstairs sold for last year. After a four-week campaign saw more than 200 groups inspect the property, the opening bid came in at $1.65 million. With 19 registered bidders, two ultimately duked it out and the unit sold for $1,000,010 over the reserve.
Buyers were attracted to the beachfront unit, in a boutique block of 10, with views to the headland. An attraction was that you can walk straight out your door and on to the sand. "Usually, there is interest from locals and people from the north shore," said Petrie. "But this attracted people from all over Sydney. There aren't many other properties like this around."
He believes the high level of interest was also due to "COVID clarity". "People have thought about what they really want to do in their lives and they are bringing forward decisions, whether that's to spend more time at the beach or buy a holiday beach pad. They're actually doing the thing they've always been talking about."
Which may also be why the Allambie Heights suburb record was broken when 18 Jennifer Avenue fetched $3.38 million, up from the previous record of $3.36 million set in November last year. Cunninghams Real Estate selling agents Sam Raso and James Haywood said the five-bedroom home had a bidding guide of $2.8 million. There were seven registered bidders, with the buyer an upsizing local.
Haywood said that 75 per cent of enquiries were now coming from out of area, up from about half a couple of years ago. "The northern beaches is definitely on people's radars," he said, adding that Allambie Heights, with excellent local schools, shops and community, was seeing buyers who had dropped off the more expensive beachside markets of Manly, Freshwater and Curl Curl.
At the Allambie Heights auction, the underbidder was in tears after missing out on several homes. Buyer's agent Matt Cleland of PMC Property Buyers specialises in helping buyers find properties in the northern beaches. In the current competitive environment, Cleland says some decisions are being based on emotion. "There can be FOMO (fear of missing out)," he said. "That drives people to do things they wouldn't normally do."
With the market constantly moving, he said it was important to understand a reasonable price range for the property you want to buy, and to "ignore the noise".