The $66 million question

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

Right now we know of seven properties, each valued at more than $6 million, and two at more than twice that … all sitting on offers 10-15% below numbers which would entice their vendors onto the dance floor.

[pullquote]You can buy a car race for that…”[/pullquote]$66 million. You can buy a car race for that and still have enough for a coffee.

The question? Who is making this market? Buyer? Seller? Agent?

We’re still hearing of agents who promise vendors the earth to get their listings (and their advertising) and go on to deliver only disappointment. We see vendors expecting they’ll need to go no lower and buyers who will go no higher.


And then over the weekend there was joy in the streets. Record prices! Record crowds!


Kids, a couple of good results do not make a market (and all the joy was below $3 million, so it’s not exactly top end).

And we’re facing Easter and a long weekend.

In real estate there’s reality and there’s self-interest and the two are rarely on speaking terms (“Hello, Julia.” “Hello, Kevin.”).

So what is really happening? Some hard facts should begin to emerge with the results of expressions-of-interest* for:

Another hint? One of last year’s wallflowers, 21 Isabella Grove, Hawthorn, sold over the weekend for under $6 million. Sounds good, until you learn that the original expectation was over $8 million.

With 10-15% bridges to jump – percentages which can translate to millions in real money – there’s a lot of pressure on agents to perform and some are significantly better than others. And, yes, there are those agents who have painted themselves into corners by promising the impossible in the hope they could wear their vendors down on the way to a sale. They’re typically agents with short use-by dates.

At the top end, the word gets around.

* Agent’s term for: “My game, my rules. You’re the mushroom.”

David Morrell

Bayside: Big but?

A big weekend for auctions. A clearance rate over 60%


Despite the joy being trumpeted by some Bayside agents (I’ll have what they’re having), there is no clear evidence that the market has turned the corner. It’s still a multi-speed market. Some areas doing well, others don’t ask.

Generally inner-ring suburbs with attractions to young professionals and investor appeal are where the joy is most apparent. Move out to middle-Melbourne and it becomes hit-or-miss; while the upper-crust of Bayside and the Eastern suburbs are short of quality stock and still cluttered with the over-hang of the unsold from last year.

As noted last week, sellers with good properties are, in the main, yet to be tempted back. There’s an obvious lack of middle- to upper-range choice. Anything half-decent at up to a million is likely to have a number of hands up, homes from around $1.5 to $2 million are selling but there may be only one or two real buyers; and anything over $2 million is likely to have a task on its hands.

And so to the weekend’s sport report:

2/829 Hampton Street. A modestly-sized villa which was always going to attract plenty of attention, particularly when “quoted” at $580-630,000. It was declared on the market at just over the top of that range and – multiple bidders and countless bids later – was knocked down for $711,000. Despite the obviously shy quote, it suggests there’s still demand for well located and presented properties.

28/1-3 Carre Street, Elsternwick – a well located top floor apartment with Bay views – was quoted in a similar price range. At least four bidders competed and it was noteworthy that the property was not declared on the market until $700,000 by which time most bidding was exhausted and another $1,000 bought it. The lesson? Well located, good presentation, keenly sought.

Meanwhile, further down the Bay …

In Black Rock’s well regarded triangle area, 1A Eliza Street – a cutting edge new house on a modest 633 sq m – sold for $2,520,000.

Hampton and Sandringham were busy. 12 auctions, 8 sales over the weekend plus 8 private sales during the week. Signs of life, but a question still hovers over whether that can be sustained.

The Bentleighs, usually among the higher clearance rates, sold fewer than one in two.

Similarly the Brightons, even though there was nothing on offer at or above the suburbs’ medians. Highest on the day was 25 Montclair Avenue, which sold for $1,360,000.


Sales made from late last year to late January which we should have included last week:

  • 10-12 Yuille Street. House court and pool on about 1670 sq m. Sold for $4.25 million
  • 9 Manor Street. Old period weatherboard at land value (1338 sq m.)  Sold for $3.32 million
  • 2 Collins Street. New town residence with big basement on about 500 sq m. Sold for $3.1 million
  • 69 Outer Crescent. Single level townhouse, one of two. Sold for about $2.125 million

There were also some quiet transactions, but quiet they must remain.

Damian Taylor

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