Family dream - Persistence aplenty as couple nabs unfinished reno

BY Samantha Landy and Hannah Scholte
HERALD SUN  Sunday March 12, 2017

A Carlton North house with an Edwardian facade at the front and a construction site out the back has fetched $2.718 million under the hammer.

Plenty couple Greg and Mirella Stovell had pursued the unfinished 967 Drummond St house for months before winning the keys yesterday, and will turn it into a family home for themselves and their three children.

Mr Stovell, a building designer, said they planned to create a single-storey, four-bedroom house that kept the red brick facade and a three-storey townhouse at the rear intact. They'd also consider putting in a plunge pool.

Ray White Manningham selling agent Michael Moretti said the vendor had been unable to complete the house, which he estimates will be worth about $4 million once finished.

Three bidders contested the auction. It was one of just 333 scheduled for Melbourne last week as the Labour Day holiday slowed the market, with CoreLogic recording an early clearance rate of 81 per cent.

The long weekend also produced a jawdropping $8.73 million price for a 266sqm development site in Hawthorn East.

Advantage Property Consulting director Frank Valentic said six developers pushed the property at 531-535 Tooronga Rd $1.23 million over reserve.

The site contains nine dated villa units and apartments, which Mr Valentic said the buyer would likely demolish and "replace with something better".

"Developers are flexing their muscles - they're chasing land in Melbourne like never before," he said.

They were also active in East Gippsland, where 170 people gathered to watch four site auctioned back to back yesterday.

Castran director John Castran said three sold, and negotiations were continuing with three parties for the fourth - an 8778sqm land holding at 21 Kalimna Jetty Rd, containing the Kalimna Hotel, which passed in at $1.9 million. A Chinese buyer snapped up a vacant 2050sqm site suitable for up to 12 dwellings at 47-51 The Esplanade in Paynesville for $405,000.

Two Melbourne developers also bought two separate properties at 595 and 601 The Esplanade, Lakes Entrance, which offered 1579sqm of land between them. The former fetched $310,000 and the latter, $365,000.

"More developers are moving into this area because sites are so expensive in Melbourne," Mr Castran said.

Ray White St Albans director Shaun Marijanovic said affordability was also bringing developers to his suburb in droves.

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