July 30. Prices pump in tight market

The lack of choice continues to pump up prices.

With the Spring market just around the corner, properties which have been languishing on the market for many months are now selling, even when vendors’ expectations were initially well in front of real market value. An example is 35 Avoca Street in South Yarra which went to auction earlier in the year and failed to attract a single bid. It sold last week for $5.1 million ? a 2 storey brick home on about 7,000 square feet. The owners paid $2.8 million several years ago and their patience was rewarded. They waited, waited and waited and, eventually, someone put their hand up; probably due to the lack of alternatives currently available in South Yarra.

Off-market transactions continued to underpin the upper end and land sales are still breaking new ground. We saw no evidence of any stock market-related jitters over the weekend ? if anything, it probably went the other way. For example, the corner of Boston and Mont Albert Road sold for $255 per foot. A main road and an exceptional result. Only six weeks ago in Victoria Avenue, in one of Canterbury?s best streets, a property was auctioned which achieved only $215 per foot.

Even in B-grade Malvern, 5 Parslow Street sold for $2,345,000 ? again an impressive result driven by lack of choice in the marketplace.

Competition was also hot by the bay. In Elwood, not known for million dollar plus sales, there were two: Six bidders competed for 5,000 square feet at 20 Docker Street; it sold for $1,775,000 against a reserve of $1,525,000. An hour later in Ormond Road a similar result saw an unattractive brick home sell for $1.6 million with three bidders. Even down at the bottom end, a one bedroom flat in Milton Parade sold for $461,000 against a $330,000 reserve (remember this is Elwood, not Toorak, South Yarra or Brighton).

In Brighton there was only one significant result: 24 Moffat Street, on 6,500 square feet of land, sold for $2,660,000 against an early $2?s expectation .

Toorak, South Yarra, Armadale and Hawthorn were all quiet . Nothing of interest on offer.

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