Raine and Horne

have a very different meaning today, were prominent in marketing material even back in 1883. Enduring success at sale by auction As the city of Sydney grew and expanded across 40 suburbs, so too did the opportunities to invest in vacant land. Full page newspaper spreads – sometimes in colour, were used to advertise sales. One advertisement from 1900 promoted vacant land in Randwick, an eastern suburb of Sydney, where vacant lots were sold for a 25 percent deposit. The remaining balance was to be paid in five equal annual installments at interest of 5 percent per annum – terms that would be untenable in Randwick today, where vacant land is virtually unheard of, and the median house price is $3.150 million. At the turn of the century, sales by outdoor auction were common, and the sale of vacant lots of land often attracted large crowds. As is often the case today, many of the attendees may simply have been curious to know what the home would sell for, but they were also intrigued by the theatre of it all. Raine & Horne took innovative measures to ensure spirited bidding - sometimes providing free transport to the event, often hiring a brass band, and offering refreshments to onlookers, many of whom took a picnic along to enjoy the spectacle. In 1913, for instance, 1,500 people packed six special trams that ran out of North Sydney to attend a Raine & Horne auction in Northbridge. Of the 122 vacant lots for sale, 115 At the turn of the century, sales by outdoor auction were common, and the sale of vacant lots of land often attracted large crowds were sold, yielding total sales revenue of £15,830 – a result reported by the Sydney Morning Herald as “one of the finest outdoor sales of the season”. In the firm’s early days, business chiefly arose from those areas where Cooper Estate properties were located. The Eastern Suburbs were further augmented as a source of trade with the introduction of a new council rating system in 1908 and the introduction of a Federal Land Tax in 1910. As Elizabeth Auction Memories Some years ago auctioneer Bob Jury had two properties to submit, both on the same list in Captain Piper’s Road, Vaucluse. Whilst both were very expensive, one was far more so than the other. They were allotted positions 4 and 6 on the order of sale. As Bob proceeded to offer the lesser of the two properties, a prominent Sydney solicitor burst into the room, asked what number was going up and immediately put in a bid of $600,000, which was twice as much as the bid so far reached. A stunned silence fell. Bob called for further bidding and as there was none, he knocked the property down to a round of huge applause and a look of astonishment and glee on the vendor’s face. It was only when the agent introduced himself, to the mystery bidder, shook his hand and took him outside to sign the contract, that the solicitor realised he had bought the wrong house. Not only that, he was acting on instructions from someone else and hadn’t given the auctioneer the required authority. To say that the solicitor was ashen faced is an understatement. As luck would have it, though, when the situation was explained to the vendor, he agreed to put the property up again at prior bidding and it was knocked down at the earlier price of $300,000. A rare and wonderful vendor. 95

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