The coin is tossed

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

So much in the current market seems to come down to the toss of a coin. The luck of the draw. The timing. Or that’s the talk.

The entrails of chickens would make as much sense as some of the soothsayers out there.

Yet there are forces at work which can be read: Sentiment, rarity, true value…

Truest value in Toorak (and elsewhere) comes in the form of land value — and that was seen again over the weekend.

Against all the glory hallelujah you’re hearing, the realities are a little more sober.

With some exceptions $450-500/sq ft has been the rule around Toorak for most of this year.

Over the weekend the $4.445 million paid in Verdant Avenue was hailed as some kind of breakout. Yes, but only against a woeful under-quote. It’s a good if not headline street and the property also fronts onto Cloverdale Avenue, yet the price paid still works out at just shy of $500/sq ft.

A similar story was told at 11 Tashinny Road. A C-class Toorak address quoted at well under $2 million, it went close to a predictable (if you had been paying attention to the realities) $2.4 million. Land cost? $435/sq ft.

The leap, if anything, is from under-quotes to reality — to actual prices paid — but the reality remains the reality.

(The grins you’re seeing on agents’ faces have to do with volume, not price.)

Are you sober yet? Have a glass of this:

34 Hopetoun Road Pushed all the buttons except the one that says Sold. Is there no offer of interest to the owners or are negotiations just getting underway?

It’s not alone. There’s a number of Expressions of Interest campaigns which are dragging their heels.

This week’s big test will come with a very large number attached — or not — in Orrong Road. There’s interest, but that was also true at Hopetoun Road.

So. Four weeks to go and some tough choices for vendors. If there is there’s a buyer hovering it may pay to catch the bird in the hand or face no sale until Easter.

And to those who feel they have missed the bus and should have bought six months ago: take heart.

Don’t believe everything you hear.

David Morrell

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Bayside: Hits and Misses, Supply and Demand

Too much on offer? Not enough?

It depends on who is asking.

Agents never have enough. Buyers never have enough. Sellers would prefer that theirs’ was the only property on the market.

Happiness is never universal.

Bayside’s weekend stumbled. Too many sellers piling into the market before the end of the year or too much price ambition creeping in?


The highest auction result was in Bentleigh ($2.635 million at 23 Rose Street) and everything over $2 million in Brighton passed in.

Signifying? Not a lot.

Some sold and others didn’t and of those that didn’t it is likely an argument of quality vs. price — if the quality is not right, the price has to be.

There is not much point in dwelling on the unsold. They are still in the obvious minority with clearance rates at 70% and above.

We spoke several weeks ago regarding the boom ‘n’ bubble line some in the media were pushing, and still are.

Our point then was that the market is still in recovery and only just climbing out of the deep hole of the GFC. That 2010 prices may be back; and there may even be some signs of 2007.

32 and 37 Were Street, Brighton sold at land values not far off 2007. Ditto 2 Rose Court.

Hardly a boom, but nevertheless, an indicator of recovery.

The more contentious issue revolves around first home buyers. They’re being squeezed out of what was traditionally their entry-level market by superannuant investors and retirees.

That market is hot for the moment but could easily cool if first home buyers take their bat and ball and go home (to mum and dad?).

The answer is not the advice proffered by one writer recently — for them to lower expectations and move further out.

A large part of the wealth of the baby boomers who are rapidly heading into retirement is a result of buying their first house thirty to forty years ago — and it is vital that a way be found for Gen X, Y and Z to become owners and not renters.

End of sermon.

The last two weeks of November will make or break the very top end in Bayside as several campaigns close; and still rumours circulate about off-market transactions close to completion in the big league.

We have heard all this before.

We are not holding our breath.

Damian Taylor

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