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Interstate buyers turn up the heat in Brisbane auction market

By Holly Darwon

On the stroke of midday last Saturday I stood in front of a quaint little workers cottage at 10 Bowler Street in Paddington.

The sky above was a rich shade of silver from cloud cover and faint drops of rain fell intermittently, enough to be noticed, but not enough to be worried about.

Quite a large crowd had been gathered by Brandon Wortley, the marketing agent, and a number of them had bidding cards in their hot little hands waiting for things to proceed.

Based on feedback from the buyers prior to the auction, and past performances, we expected an opening bid in the vicinity of $800,000 as a starting point.

I called out to the crowd: “Ladies and gentleman can I have an opening bid?”

A buyer close to the fence with a phone pressed to his ear called out “$900,000”. This buyer had gone for the knock out punch right on the bell.

I was aware of this buyers backstory.

He had sold his house in Sydney but we were yet to find out the details of that price. He was looking to buy in Brisbane and potentially move back up.

After what seemed like an eternity, a couple in their late 40s or 50’s raised their card and offered $915,000.

The man on the phone quickly came back with $920,000 and there was another pause.

Bids went up in $5000 lots, with the local couple looking done at $935,000.

They looked toward their opponent — the man on the phone — to see what he would do next.

“$945,000,” he yelled.

Our local couple paused as the agent spoke in the ear of the buyer.

He was informing him that we needed more money to get the property on the market.

The buyer obliged and after a few conversations he increased his bid to $960,000 and the property was announced on the market and subsequently sold.

As the crowd applauded and the neighbours went off to celebrate their new values, the buyer made his way inside to sign the contract.

It was only a month ago that I called an auction on Rockbourne Terrace in Paddington where a Melbourne buyer blasted the local competition out of the water with a $900,000 knock out bid.

These and other stories like them are adding more weight and evidence to the urban whispers of buyers heading north from Sydney and Melbourne looking to take advantage of the Brisbane house prices.

If this trend continues, the added competition in the market will continue to put upward pressure on prices.

This will see the gap between the east coast capital cities house prices return to a more appropriate level.

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