January 29. A slow start?

We’re back and trust that you had a good New Year.

It’s the opening of the season and the market has many similarities to the Australian cricket team: some good individual performances but generally lacklustre.

But not at the very top end. We have already seen three very large off market transactions which have produced some amazing results.

21,000 square feet in Irving Road, Toorak. Sold just on two years ago for $6.5 million and has now been bought for $11 million with a house still to come.

72 Clowes Street, South Yarra. 10,000 square feet but only a 3 bedroom home with some serious overlooking issues, bought for $9 million.

The old Smorgon house at the bottom of the Orrong Road hill, right in the middle of the gully and very dark, sold for $11.75 million. Three years ago it was bought for $6.5 million.

While the top end knows no bounds, the bottom end is in for a struggle; as are the unit and discretionary (holiday house) markets.

If you look at the results in Portsea over the weekend ? they can only be described as patchy!

15 auctions, 6 sold. Over the other side, in tightly held Barwon Heads, two big auctions both passed in.

The selling agents’ view? “It’s all over the place!” So now you know.

RT Edgar had a house in Raffles Court which was expected to sell for its reserve at $1.8 million and finished at $2.95 million.

Kay & Burton had a good home on Point Nepean Road which sold for $3,150,000 which was about on the money.

The consensus is that the market is similar to that of four years ago: buyers are interested but holding back and not bidding unless they see multiple bidding from other parties. “We’ll buy, but only if we can pinch it.”

The litmus test will be how those properties which were passed in will sell in the next week or so.

Still, it’s early days and most vendors are more concerned with getting kids back to school or finishing their holidays.

That said, there is a distinct lack of quality properties coming onto the market over the next few weeks. It could be a slow start to the year?

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