The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - REALESTATE -

SAVVY first home buy­ers were out to nab a prop­erty bar­gain yes­ter­day, avoid­ing a costly rush of com­pe­ti­tion when stamp duty ex­emp­tions hit on July 1.

Even though first timers stand to save thou­sands in gov­ern­ment costs, ex­perts ex­pect sellers to in­crease prices once the in­cen­tives kick in.

There were dreamy con­di­tions at the auc­tion of a two-bed­room apart­ment in Arn­cliffe — no in­vestors and all five reg­is­tered bid­ders were in their 20s try­ing to score their first or sec­ond digs.

The ren­o­vated unit at 12/43 Firth St sold on re­serve for $698,000 to an Arn­cliffe first home­buyer who liked the easy ac­cess to city trans­port.

At 105sq m, in­clud­ing a lock-up garage, it was pop­u­lar be­cause it had low strata fees and was in a small block of 12.

Three first-home buy­ers bid in $10,000 in­cre­ments af­ter the auc­tion opened at $600,000. Pres­tige Prop­erty Group Realty Arn­cliffe agent Jena Chahine could un­der­stand first home buy­ers jump­ing in now ahead of July.

“They were great con­di­tions for the first home buy­ers to­day be­cause there was a lot less com­pe­ti­tion,” she said.

“Af­ter July 1, ven­dors’ ex­pec­ta­tions will go up and they will take any ben­e­fits from the first home buy­ers.”

Mean­while, in Bev­erly Hills, five broth­ers sold their child­hood home, 57 years af­ter their par­ents built it.

The four bed­room, sin­gle-level, dou­ble red-brick de­ceased es­tate at 7 Kooemba Rd sold $150,000 above re­serve for $1.3 mil­lion.

Fam­i­lies loved that it had two bath­rooms and three car spa­ces. They also ap­pre­ci­ated the 594sq m level block.

Dean Matthews, one of the five broth­ers, said he had great mem­o­ries play­ing cricket and rugby with his broth­ers on the wide front lawn.

“We were happy with the re­sult; I feel for buy­ers, Syd­ney has ridicu­lous house prices,” he said.

Also happy with the price was the new owner, 32-year-old Pen­shurst gyprocker, Roy Jiang, a sec­ond-time buyer.

Up­siz­ing from a unit, he, his young fam­ily and his par­ents will move in af­ter a ren­o­va­tion.

“I thought it would go for $50,000 more,” he said. “My daugh­ter won’t have to change schools now.”

Ray White Me­nai agent Matt De­breczeni said the re­serve of $1.15 mil­lion was mar­ket value.

“The fact you can move straight in was the rea­son it hit a pre­mium,” he said.

Auc­tion­eer Chris Scerri had six reg­is­tered bid­ders, in­clud­ing fam­i­lies from the neigh­bour­hood, with one first home­buyer.

12/43 Firth St, Arn­cliffe

170 West St, South Huntsville Kooemba Rd, Bev­erly Hills

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