April 8. Sea Change and Baby Boomers still at the helm

The action is still somewhat coastal with Red Hill, Flinders and Portsea leading the market activity for the week. The Sisters has been sold on a cash basis for $19 million to a family as a retirement home (and they still have to build a house). While there were offers over $20 million, they were on terms and the beneficiaries decided that cash in hand was what suited them.

Westbank at 3510 Point Nepean Road – a cliff-top with great views, but a house in need of a lot of work – was passed in on a vendor bid of $8 million with a reserve of $8.5 million.

On the other side of the Peninsula it was a different story. 64 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South 11.5 acres, a good home with a pool and a good view had an expectation of $2.2 million … until five bidders pushed it to $3 million. 

There have been four other acreage sales in the Red Hill area at between $2.2 and $4.5 million in the last week, which again confirms our thoughts of a growing trend that the baby boomers are looking towards retirement and, as a consequence, these properties are being snapped up.

Back in Melbourne it’s a different story. For the first time in many years we are seeing upper-end vendors selling before auction. Last week we bought four properties before auction with only one going to a boardroom auction. It’s a clear signal that vendors are becoming nervous and are no longer confident of the multiple bidders their agents suggest will fron to an auction.

At the very top end? Nothing. No transactions whatsoever.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, other auctions we attended were somewhat subdued unless AAA or unique; where three or four bidders appeared. But the 10-15+% over reserves that became common last year are becoming a fading memory. At 5% over, a vendor is doing well.

Again, all eyes are really on the 19th of this month when top end properties are put under the hammer. While still too early to call, the top end is not going backwards, but there could be opportunities presented by those who are forced to sell because they have commitments in other areas.

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