85 Beach Box Esplanade, Brighton beach
Price range About $250,000
An iconic Brighton beach box has sold for a record price at auction, fetching as much as an outer suburban family home. Box 85 on Dendy foreshore — an iconic, picture postcard location — traded on Saturday for $326,000. The orange and yellow striped box, number 85, smashed the previous benchmark of $295,000, set in January this year. In the same month, another box sold for $285,000. Auctioneer Nick Johnstone told the crowd only three more of the boxes will be built, which will only push up prices. Three bidders were in contention, with a young family winning the keys. Few auctions are conducted by agents in suit blazers and boardies, with surf lifesavers watching on. Johnstone, wearing thongs and Hawaiian shorts, dived into the waves to celebrate when the hammer fell. Bayside Council builds the new boxes, with space on the sand now at a premium. Dendy Street boxes are no bigger than a garden shed but are some of the most exclusive and expensive real estate – when measured by price per square metre – in Victoria. About $300,000 can still buy a home — albeit within a shrinking pool of postcodes — in Werribee, Melton and Frankston North.
45 Crichton Avenue, Port Melbourne
Price range $1.25 million – $1.35 million
Young families and couples held sway at this sale of an unrenovated “bank house” from the 1940s. Built in an English counties style by the old State Bank of Victoria, these houses tick boxes for modern families because of their generous allotments — 421 square metres in this case — and proximity to the beach and CBD. Auctioneer David Wood asked for and immediately received a $1.3 million bid. In all, five parties in the 70-strong crowd had a go. Most were cradling young children but not the auction winner: a couple with renovation plans who upped the ante to $1,502,000. The three-bedroom property was on the market at $1.39 million. The reserve was $1.35 million.
16 Fontein Street, West Footscray
Price range $700,000-$770,000
This original postwar home last sold to newlyweds for £6000 in 1952. It was a similar type of buyer that predominated in the auction crowd on Saturday, although this time hipster beards and man-buns were everywhere. The sale went off like a rocket. Two women locked into a bidding duel early in the piece, prompting auctioneer Darren Dean to ask, “Where are the gentlemen?” Soon a cool-looking fellow chanced his arm. He was quickly joined by a young bearded man from Kew standing with his partner and one set of their parents. Bidding boldly, this man won out at $925,000. The two bedroom house was on the market at $780, 000, and five parties bid.