Hello (good?) chaos

Chaos. It can be a little difficult to predict

Chaos. Results can be
a little difficult to predict

“Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics focusing on the study of chaos—states of dynamical systems whose apparently-random states of disorder and irregularities are often governed by deterministic laws that are highly sensitive to initial conditions.” (thanks, Wikipedia)

Well, it’s good to get that out of the way.

Chaotic? Here?

So what does it all mean if you’re buying or selling at the top end?

Will the parallels with the ructions of 1987, the dot-com bubble burst and the GFC be any guide to what to expect?

Let’s have that conversation.

Has it all gone dead?

Not exactly. But a lot of it is dealing with new uncertainties.

Last week we bought a considerable home. The agent was relying on a sworn valuation of $8m — completed weeks ago.

That, to us, was already an eternity ago but the valuer refused to budge: “We haven’t seen any transactions in the top end that would justify a downturn.”

Well, they wouldn’t. At the top end virtually all sales are now being made behind closed doors — results are not available until they hit the Registry and that can take months.

So we had a chat. It’s what we do. Happiness rules.

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good

There are still buyers and still sellers. The need, as always, is getting the right ones together.

The differences now are that many moves are being made not because people want to but because they need to — and while auctions, inspections and the more open ways of buying and selling are no longer available, we under-the-radar people are in our element.

Yes. We’re busy; and expect to be more so.

All quiet? Not quite.

Also last week, two $15m+ (no contact) handshakes. Anyone for FIRB?

Aspen? No. Biarritz? Gone. Anywhere OS? No way. So…

Phones are ringing for resort-style luxury on clifftops, on beaches, in rural idylls. Now that nobody is leaving on jet planes for the foreseeable, the joys of Oz are being rediscovered.

Will today’s chaos be tomorrow’s normal?

Will paid ads, open inspections and auctions become relics of agent’s dreams? Will BMW dealerships go the way of Holden’s? Will new blue suits go the way of flares?

In short, when buyers and sellers have seen how simple it can be, will they return to the what was?

Chaos creates change.

The world will be changed. The industry will need to reinvent itself to stay relevant. The form that takes looks likely to be digital, digital, digital. Connections quietly made by algorithms and executed online.

Human factors

There are/will be areas of stress.

  • Suburbs that are highly geared with high turnover and lacking the deep pockets of Map 58.
  • Sellers wanting to transact before the winter shutdown
  • Sellers wanting to stay right where they are until this all blows over
  • Truffle hunters (Toorak @ $6,200/sq m? Guilty.)


If you need to buy, don’t lose hope.

And all that said…

While the virus threat remains, we will take careful steps to ensure that we do not endanger our clients, those whose homes we are invited to view, their agents, and our people.

It’s obvious that these are difficult times for everyone from kids in kindergartens to their grandparents. We will do what we can to help.

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