Gong Hey Fat Choy?

Timely question*.

You could re-phrase it as:

“How’s the market this year?”

… which we’re being asked no more than six times a day.

The word from the agents at the top end is that they’ve had their quietest Dec/Jan in memory, but then agents and memory are rarely seen in the same company (“Is that what I said it would go for? Really? Moi?”).

But their impressions are being borne out by The Top End Summer Tea Leaf Index (Portsea) — while it’s not finalised yet, current indications are that neither buyers nor sellers will have much to cheer. Or talk about. Unless it’s sub-$1.5m — which doesn’t buy you a ticket to the top end — almost nothing has been happening.

Heard (often) in Portsea

“I’ve had it up to here with Christmas crowds and traffic, it’s time to think about somewhere we can find some peace and privacy.”

Which may explain …

Innocent occupants of $5m-ish home in Flinders/Red Hill. Unannounced stranger comes up the driveway bearing a cheque for $9m. Book the movers.

There’s also been a sale at over $13m in the area; and somewhat terrifying interest in hobby farms at up to $5m.

If this keeps up, you could be looking at The New Portsea.

Back in the Real World …

Now that everyone is back at school, back at work, back at day-to-day, there are wheels turning but little traction and almost no movement at the top end. A fair amount of action among the also-rans, but only one sale even approaching $10m — on Walsh Street, South Yarra.

… there’s buyer interest

It’s getting a little desperate. We even know some pre-Christmas sellers who are now (wisely) considering renting. The problem is still choice — and some high-askers who are probably praying for a great Chinese New Year. That’s in the face of Chinese stock markets looking like seas of the wrong red.

Our advice? Patience. Those sellers who have weathered The Christmas Disappointment are likely to see the approach of Easter as threatening more of the same — and as Mrs Caesar was so fond of pointing out, they really should beware the Ides of March.

Changing breeze in agency-land

Welcome to the world of 24/7, the late-night phone call and the end of hand-balling inspections to your PA.


* In case you haven’t been there, the heading wishes you a cheery Cantonese new year. The question mark is the real question.

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