Happy new…

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

Welcome to this year. May your voyage be cheerful.

What’s up?

The share market. Unlike last year, the real estate market is not just real-estate driven. Now the share market has shaken itself back into life (for how long?) and what usually happens is happening: when the shares start to run, the home market starts to run out of joy.

At this time of year the coast is usually a guide to what will follow in the city. Between the Peninsula and Lorne there are now more properties for sale than we have seen in 10 years. And almost nothing is selling.

Yes, there have been a few exceptional runaway auctions, but some exceptions are the rule.

Meanwhile, back where nothing was supposed to be happening, a few of the few agents left in town have been kicking a few goals.

Macquarie Road, an Expressions of Interest campaign that began in December found its end for, we believe, rather less than the reported $16 million. 5 Kenley Court sold off-market and off the web for an on-the-money smidge over $5 million. And a flat in South Yarra went strato over the weekend and sold for over $8 million.

So. Signs of life. There is a pulse, but it’s irregular.

Toorak? On hold until after Easter.

Auctions? Over $5 million? You’re kidding.

The action is quiet and off-market and that is a still-growing trend. Fewer muddy boots traipsing up the hall and considerable savings in angst and dollars in pursuit of bidders who won’t show their hands at auction.

Softly softly catchee monkee.

It’s still who you know.

David Morrell

Bayside: hell riders rule

The world travelled down the coast for Christmas and most of January and, until last week, most movement in Bayside was among bikes flying down Beach Road.

But there were exceptions. There was some action over the big break and even a handful of  perennials were picked.

25 Cosham Street changed hands (again) and although very much undisclosed, the word is in the mid-$5 millions. The same firm sold 29 Cosham Street several weeks after auction for about $2.6 million, which is a big southerly blow from the north of $3 million paid eight months earlier.

9 Chatsworth Avenue has gone for mid $3 millions. 5 Birdwood Avenue fell for a number in the early threes.

Another passed in Spring auction sold prior to Christmas at 2 Middle Crescent for a sound $3.9 million.

And after slumbering on the market for an eon, even 39 Martin Street has found the love with a more realistic $3.3 million finding friends against its initially sought $4 million.

There was also a spate of mid-level sales including 8 Collington Avenue at $2.4 million, 4 Harwood Street at $2 million and 36 Were Street at a tickle over $2 million.

The hit of the year (as in taking) must be the sale of a town house at 77 Well Street late last year. It sold  new for $3.3 million not so long ago and was re-sold for $2.45 million. $850,000 would buy a number of hair cuts.

There has been a positive start to the year in terms of buyer inquiry, but for transactions to follow buyers must have good choices and if sellers are still reluctant to join the party, then positive sentiment will count for little.

What happens between now and an early Easter will determine if 2013 is indeed the year of recovery.

Keep taking the pills.

Damian Taylor

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