“…fever cools, demand healthy”

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

… so headlined The Financial Review.

They’re talking about Sydney, but it’s also mostly true for Melbourne.

That said, there is also a kind of reckoning going on.

Down on the coast there were some vendors who found happiness over the past few weeks, but there are more who are still waiting for that elusive bunny; and there’s a good chance they have left their run too late.

Closer to home, last weekend was a non-event at the top end but stock levels had begun to improve in the period leading up to it…

“I’ve got a really good house coming up.”

Phone rings. An agent, often with an offer of the exceptional which turns out to be less so but over the past few weeks there have been some which were worth the call. Overall, the choices are becoming more interesting.

The Pulse.

Roving the open houses. Always an education. Talking, feeling, touching the sentiment. What are buyers thinking?

Short answer, they’re looking for answers:

  • whether it’s $2 million or $10 million plus, has the market moved too quickly?
  • can we expect prices to plateau or fall back?
  • will the Chinese bring in currency restrictions? (One high-end developer we know is betting they will and is choosing to take the money now.)
  • will the budget be a roadblock for business and will that rub off on property?
  • will instability in areas such as Ukraine cause confidence to falter?


All the questions we’re hearing imply expectations of downside — no-one is asking how much further the market will rise. It looks like there’s a flattening in confidence, that few expect that the market can continue on the upward path it has been on since late last year.

But …

  • One just-arrived-on-the-market house with an expectation somewhere over $9 million. 10 groups marching through — all of them faces we have seen before.
  • highly-priced AAA apartment in South Yarra. You can smell the interest when the conversation turns to fittings.

Confidence? They still have it.

Same Old …

Same agent. Same grubby.

Good house. The agent: “We’ve got interest in the mid-three’s.”

Yes. Right. But we also know that there has been a private offer of $4 million.

The vendor has been persuaded to drop $30,000 on an auction campaign in order to accept $500,000 less?

We don’t think so.


Our sense (above) is that confidence is becoming more fragile and, at the same time, greater choice is on the way.

Time to play a waiting game?

David Morrell



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