Auction fever still infectious

ALTHOUGH capital city real estate is struggling to maintain asking prices, and auctions are failing to reach reserves, it hasn't dampened the market in Grafton.

On Thursday night about 120 people attended Ray White's group auction at the Quality Inn.

It was the first auction for new principal of the firm, Adam Sydenham, and more than half the properties on offer were sold.

"Encouragingly there was lots of good spirited bidding and attendance was standing room only," Mr Sydenham said.

"We sold six of the 11 properties, with three more currently under negotiation."

Properties purchased on the night ranged from a neat three bedroomer in Flaherty Street which sold for $130,000, to a palatial home at the top of Bent Street purchased for $345,000.

A commercial property in Prince Street was also sold for $250,000, and a Coutts Crossing residence for $1000 more.

A McHugh Street house fetched a reasonable $238,000 and a duplex in Dobie Street $235,000.

But there's still scope for price growth according to Mr Sydenham.

"I strongly believe that Grafton is going to flourish even more. The coast is too expensive and with the big shift north still happening, people are looking slightly inland. We're only half-an-hour from the beach and our housing is still very affordable."

Grafton also has time on its side with the occasional historical listing attracting plenty of attention.

Bailey and Gough First National will be auctioning the former Grafton Presbyterian manse today at noon.

It's not often a landmark residence goes under the hammer, but when it does, the interest can come from far and wide.

Derrick Morgan of Bailey and Gough said the company had received a number of inquiries ? local and metropolitan.

"There were 20 couples at the open house recently so we will have to wait to see what the market brings."

? Lesley Apps.

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