Local buyers snap up mid-range properties at Australia's biggest auction event

Strong interest from interstate buyers didn't translate to strong bidder numbers at Ray White Surfers Paradise's The Event on Sunday.

Despite buzz from agents, the vast majority of the 170-plus registered bidders came from the Gold Coast and the rest of Queensland.

In total, $35.4 million in property changed hands.

"We've had more Gold Coast and local buyers than what we first thought," Ray White Surfers Paradise's Michael Andrews said. "A good 60 to 70 per cent of buyers are local and the next amount are 'rest of Queensland'.

"We've definitely got more interstate buyers though, the lead-up has seen, especially people from Sydney."

Mr Andrews said buyer interest focused on the middle price range of properties, to the detriment to the more affordable stock.

"We're a little bit shocked in the sense that our cheaper stuff seems to sell well and quickly, but it's been a bit challenging," he said. "The stuff between the $800,000 and $1.2 million marks has gone quite quickly.

"The bidding has been there but there's been a bit of a gap between the buyers and sellers in that cheaper section."

One of the first properties to sell was 34 Gibraltar Drive, Isle of Capri. The five-bedroom waterfront home sold to a local family.

Bernadette and Henry Parzatka fought hard against several other bidders, pushing the price from $800,000 up to $1,256,000.

"It's going to be an investment property for us at the moment, but down the track we may move into it...We'll get a dog!" Ms Parzatka said. "We live in an apartment at the moment, so we love apartment living, it's close to everything. But it's a beautiful area and we got a good price."

The couple and their two daughters prepared for The Event by picking out a few potential properties and going for broke when one they liked came up.

"There were a couple of properties and an apartment as well but this was first and we didn't want to pass it up," Ms Parzatka said. "We stood fairly firm with what we wanted. Slowed the bidding down toward the end, only putting up thousands and it paid off for us so we're really happy."

Although Ms Parzatka went in with a plan, she said buying in front of hundreds of other bidders was a daunting experience.

"It's a bit scary, there's lots of people but it's also exciting. You have to be careful not to get caught up in the moment."

Ray White Surfers Paradise chief executive Andrew Bell sympathised with Ms Parzatka.

"In any auction situation there's tension, and that creates energy.. It's always an edgy day," he said.

Mr Bell said he always looked forward to The Event, as it gave his sales staff an indication of what was to come in the local market.

"Both prices and numbers of sales, this would be somewhat of an indicator. But it's hard to say whatever happens in January sets the tone for the entire year, more like the next few months," he said.

"I can guarantee its going to be positive. Last year it was a nervous market, but now it's more decisive."

This story Local buyers snap up mid-range properties at Australia's biggest auction event first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.