Bears’ last growl?

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

Just when we thought everyone was heading to the airport with tickets to places warmer, the bears emerged. Ready for one last meal before winter hibernation.

[pullquote]… suddenly the prices have been righter …[/pullquote]Bears? They’re only seen when the price is right – and suddenly the prices have been righter than they have been for some time.

  • 36 Anderson Street, South Yarra. Well placed, well reno’d since it sold in the mid-5’s a couple of years ago; and well priced even at over $7.5 million.
  • 13 Stradbroke Avenue, Toorak. Looked like it should have had a 4 in front of it, but a couple of bidders took it only to the $3,880,000 which was accepted by a realistic vendor.
  • 6 Fulham Avenue, South Yarra. Looking at $5 million last year, just bought for around $4.6 million by one of last year’s interested parties. Patience rewarded.
  • 5 Towers Road, Toorak (sorry, no link). It took over $12 million, but came with a court, a pool and 20,000 sq ft. And it took a buyer who has been looking for several years a lot less than the $18 million originally asked. Owner meets market. Action follows.Implications for other sellers in Towers Road? Yes.

The goss.

Dummies getting dumber – so plain to see, even the public is picking it. A property is passed in. Not one of the five agents present approaches the highest bidder. People notice. Penny drops. Auctioneer realises the look ain’t great and drags the ‘buyer’ inside. Property remains unsold. Which agency? They’re serial offenders. Look for the arrogance.

The mood.

Agencies live on volume of sales, not prices achieved. Most have now brought their clients’ expectations closer to where buyers’ expectations become actions (it’s buyers who decide prices, not agents or vendors). Those still living in last year will be there for a long time yet. Those doing it well will be taking off on holidays. The rest will be shivering until well into Spring.

That’s a wrap?

We think  so. There’s so little on the radar that we’re suggesting that our clients take holidays.

Unless something changes.

But that couldn’t happen. Could it?

David Morrell

Bayside: Marco Polo is back

In the three and a half weeks that your scribe has been travelling in China, the temperature of the market in Bayside has gone from tepid to frozen.

May was half-decent for half the agents; including some long-awaited notables at the top end. Notably:

  • 43 Seacombe Grove, Brighton. 1,200 sq m. On the beachfront. Overlooking the yacht club and the city. Three hands a-waving and not prepared to wait another 30 or so years for this to come up again. Sold at $7,700,000 by agents who defied top end trends to EOIs and other mysteries and went for a good, transparent, auction. Should be more of it.
  • 4 Wellington Street, Brighton. Sold by a builder (on the rare occasions when he’s not a sailor) at a pre-auction figure of close to $5 million. 1115 sq m. Including bay viewing platform. Including basement recording studio.
  • 2 Birdwood Avenue – townhouse on the corner of St Kilda Street. Sold at auction to an investor at $2.43 million following at least seven attempts to buy it pre-auction. True grit on the part of agent and/or owner.

And then – with the exception of a few medium-level private sales – the parade left town. June has begun bleak as the weather and there are few signs of change before August.

New listings, well priced? Hen’s teeth.

Same old same old? All those overpriced properties which have been hanging around for as long as two years? May they continue to hang. Unless their agents or owners get real, we won’t be looking again.

Still we hear – from the terminally optimistic or the profitably self-deluded – that a turn is on the agenda. A cert. Forget Greece. Forget the economy (or at least people’s views of it). Next thing you know, all will be roses.

And there will be pie in the sky. Promise.

Damian Taylor

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