And now, the end is near …

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

Game over. At the top end, that was the year that was. The year the tide went out for the agents – although some have yet to hear the news.

That flicker of light seen over the past couple of weekends has been snuffed out. Except for the one in twenty which tick all the boxes, there’s been little joy for the remainder. Yet the delusions persist. Even those priced 20% above where the market is prepared to go are still living in hope – and are likely to be living there well into next year.

[pullquote]The envelope is opened … and there’s nothing in it.”[/pullquote]Expressions of interest? The throng gathers. Expectation is high. The envelope is opened … and there’s nothing in it. (OK, in truth there’s not even a throng, an expectation or an envelope.)

$20 million+? Those houses destined to crash through? They crashed.

What’s wrong with 8 Myoora Road, 11 Grosvenor Court and 26 Albany Road? Their prices. Those buying at the top end know full well what they are really worth in this market; and that’s as far as they’ll go.

And still there are agents prowling the leafy streets, insisting there’s a buyer behind every bush. Conjurers? Illusionists? Delusionists?

The latter. Some still urging their clients to auctions hoping, presumably, for the one or two people left on the planet who are yet to hear the news. And the crisis in auctions is rapidly spreading from the top end down. How many pass-ins? How many millions wasted on advertising before the penny finally drops?

Next year?

We don’t see a recovery coming early in the year. Most activity is likely to be among agents retiring, agencies merging and agencies simply disappearing.

As, for this year, will we.

We’ll see you when the circus hits town again. And hope you have a good break.

David Morrell

Bayside: Hampton? Hampton!

Yes. Hampton. Its highest clearance for the year (7 sold out of 10 offered). And the rest of Bayside…

Don’t ask.

Back to Hampton:

  • 8 Bolton Avenue – neighbour to a number of the well-heeled and well renovated and extended – had early competition from two buyers, was initially passed in and later sold for $2,250,000. In these uncertain times, both buyer and seller should be breathing sighs of relief.
  • 5 Margarita Street, an old cal bungon 780 sq m sold for $1,575,000 and will probably soon ring to the sound of the bulldozer.
  • 7 Linacre Road – that elusive EOI has been resolved: vendors held out for $3.3 million and eventually settled for $3.2. They should not complain.
  • 22 Hoyt Street. Sold for $2.8 million. A good week for some.

Sandringham? 3 out of 6 sold, but not on blue chip Victoria Street. There is was 0 out of 2.

The Bentleighs? Don’t ask. Just 6 from 16 sold.

The Brightons? Just 5 from 11; including two who wisely took the money and ran prior to auction.


  • 6 Wellington Street. Old charmer in need of some attention, on 1226 sq m. Sold post-auction for, we believe, #3.2 million.
  • 51A William Street. Brand new, cleverly conceived, but no sale. Passed in at $2.1 million, later offer of $2.375 million and a reserve of $2.5 million.

Clues for next year?

There are many houses still waiting at the altar and following the next couple of weeks (we expect more carnage) there will be still more – so if you are looking, the timing is very much on your side.

That said, the games being played now – and which we expect to continue into the new year – suggest that Tip-Toe Through the Minefield is the new Monopoly.

One agent’s Expressions of Interest is conducted nothing like the next. Transparency is close to zero. Hybrid auctions – and even “private” auctions – are being invented and reinvented. There may be painful lessons for the unwary.

But you have the ultimate weapons: time, and choice. If you don’t like the ways the games are being played, play elsewhere. You’re in no hurry. When the other side understands that, there’s a far better chance they’ll play fair.

Enjoy the break. See you next year.

Damian Taylor

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