“It was a very cautious, quite sluggish energy, very sensitive and wary in terms of willingness to price, to bid,” Whitney said.

“That auction was a very good example of the buyer’s acknowledgment of current market conditions … they’re not thinking of pricing for today, but they’re thinking of interest rates and affordability for the next 12 months,” he said, adding that it was affecting all price segments of the property market.

But he said appropriately priced property due to realistic vendors meant homes were selling under the hammer and, in many cases, above reserve too.

The home last sold for $1,825,000 million in 2003, records show.

Rose Bay’s median house price fell by 0.8 per cent to $1.75 million in the year to September.

In Stanmore, a builder managed to flip his home in tough conditions in about 20 months, selling it for $4.1 million, just above the $4 million reserve.

The vendor bought the property at 9 Harrow Road for $2.56 million in March last year, records show.

The newly renovated home, which was guided at $3.5 million and channelled a Bauhaus modernist design, drew two registered buyers – both upsizers from the inner west.

Selling agent Ercan Ersan of Ray White Erskineville, Alexandria, Glebe and Surry Hills said he expected more buyers on the property, which cost about a $1 million to renovate plus holding costs and would have sold closer to $4.3 million a year ago.

“People are a bit more cautious. I also think a lot of people were watching it hoping it didn’t sell, so they could negotiate afterwards. They’re cautious of overpaying,” he said.

Stanmore’s median house price rose 16.8 per cent to $2.23 million in the year to September.

Nearby, a builder snapped up a run down three-bedroom house at 14 Cook Street, Lewisham for $1,125,000.

The successful buyer outbid nine other registered bidders who were a mix of first-home buyers, investors and other builders.

The auction opened at $700,000 – well below the price guide of $850,000. But it had not trouble rising above that and the reserve of $925,000 as four buyers contested for the property that was ripe for renovation.

It sold through Namir Mikha of Adrian William.

In North Ryde, a five-bedroom house at 68 Kent Road sold for $3.22 million to a local family upsizing from an apartment.

The property, which was guided at $2.75 million, drew 5 registered buyers – all upsizers.

The reserve was $3.2 million, which was adjusted to $3.15 million, when the auction stalled at that point.

Cooleys auctioneer Michael Garofolo said there was some urgency from buyers to get deals done after months of waiting for prices to fall.


“They’re still not going to go nuts and overpay and overcommit themselves with rising rates but there is a bit of urgency with the Christmas deadline.”

The home last traded for $375,000 in 2006, records show.

North Ryde’s median house price rose 14.2 per cent to $2,227,500 in the year to September.