It’s on! It’s not! It’s on! It’s not! It’s…

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

There’s a lot of shouting from the rooftops that happy days are here again. That the market has taken off and it’s on for one and all.

That may be true down where most people live (volume is up, prices still in recovery) but up where the top end goes out to play there are so many exceptions that there may as well be no rules.

If you looked only at 13 Findon Avenue, Caulfield (reserve $2.9 million, realistic value around $3 million, sold for $3.4 million) you could be persuaded that a boom was on – but two bidders don’t make a market.

9 Clendon Court sold ($4,655,000) at around $600/ft. 2 Balfour Street sold, but failed to hit $400/ft.

Look a little wider and you’ll see that among top end auctions only half sold and most of those failed to arouse one real bid.

Expressions of interest? Don’t hold your breath. While everything is a closely guarded secret (mostly to protect the guilty) we can report that only around one in three is finding a buyer. People buying at these levels are rarely in a hurry.

Auctions aren’t working at the top end and EOI’s are a lottery. Will we see the re-emergence of the private sale?

Seller states price. Buyer negotiates. Agreement is reached.

No. It’s too simple. Can’t work.


Don’t expect to be killed in the rush, but there are some interesting offerings in prospect.


David Morrell

Bayside: Burp.

While Bayside as a whole would have brought smiles to a lot of agents over the weekend, the Brightons suffered from indigestion. 35 auctions – more than a suburb could bear. Only about half sold and while there were some strong results over $2 million, there were six that failed. Most real competition was sub-$1 million.

So there’s mopping-up to do, but that may be helped by April traditionally being a quiet month – and vendors prepared to meet buyers on price.

Those with an interest in local history may have mixed feelings over the sale by tender of 27 Wilson Street. For as long a most can remember this was the home of the local plod. It’s likely to be restored to its former charm as a noteworthy Victorian Italianate manor on about 1050 sq m of prime Middle Brighton real estate. It changed hands at $2.25 million.

Among other sales:

Among those still at the altar:

  • 37 Drake Street. $3,375,000 vendor bid with a later offer matching that. Reserve is $3.7 million so mid $3 millions seems likely.
  • 1A Wellington Street. $2,800,000 vendor bid with a later offer of $2,820,000. Reserve is no great leap at $2,890,000.
  • 24 Cole Street. $2,700,000 vendor bid. Reserve still a matter for ponder.
  • 15 Stewart Street. $2,600,000 vendor bid. Later offer $2,625,000. Living in hope of $2,830,000.
  • 176 The Esplanade. $2,300,000 vendor bid. Reserve a hopeful $2,550,000
  • 27 Normanby Street. $2,250,000 vendor bid. Reserve $2,575,000. Don’t hold your breath.

Outside the Brightons it was grins all over.

Beaumaris and Black Rock sailed out of the doldrums with nine sales from 13 on offer. Notably:

  • 18 Bent Parade, Black Rock. Touted as resort-style, close to Half Moon Bay and on 1,500 sq m. $2,685,000.
  • A bike ride away “Palm Springs inspired” 56 Ardoyne Street resonated with several buyers before it sold for $2,575,000.

Sandringham and Hampton sold nine from 13.

  • 5 Hoyt Street, Hampton (aka “Brighton Beach”) on 1020 sq m sold for, we believe, close to its initial expectations of $2.7 million.
  • 181 Beach Road, Sandringham – lots of glass, sea view, countless bedrooms, tennis court, pool, 1635 sq m. Sold privately and price is a secret but we believe it squeaked past $4 million.

The Bentleighs? They keep ploughing along. 18 auctions and more than eight out of ten found buyers. Sales above $1 million are rare and as long as affordability rules, it’s likely that demand will remain strong.

So there’s a lot of work still to do in the Brightons.

And here’s hoping the Easter Bunny hops your way.

Damian Taylor

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