Little sport in Bayside

A big weekend of sport with Spain finally triumphing in the beautiful game, Cadel Evans donning the yellow jersey in Le Tour and Saint Nick back to lead St Kilda to glorious victory in September.

Melbourne’s other winter sport – property watching – yielded little to get excited about. Real bidders and live bidding the exception rather than the rule.

Anything over a million dollars was largely ignored in the prime Bayside suburbs and when venerable Bentleigh turns in a miserly six sales from fourteen auctions, that may be an alarm bell rather than an auctioneer’s that you are hearing.

The only bright spot for the day was the result of 29 Tennyson Street, Sandringham. A “palatial period classic” timber house on 960 sq m. With 10 main rooms and bay views, it sold for $2.375 million. Sound enough, but only a couple of months ago a reasonable expectation would have been somewhere north of $2.5 million.

In all of Bayside, the only other auction to top a million dollars was at 10 Trafalgar Street, Brighton. It crept up to $1,110,000.

Some of the casualties:

  • 2 Westley Avenue, Brighton, passed in at $2,075,000 with, apparently, a later offer of $2.1 million. The reserve is undisclosed but probably not far away.
  • 85 Carpenter Street, Brighton, passed in on a vendor bid of $1,900,000. Its reserve is a sensible $2.15 million and value buying at close to this figure
  • 6/11-13 Well Street, Brighton, passed in at $2,350,000 on a vendor bid, reserve undisclosed. Expect at least $2.5 million.

There is, however, some quiet movement at the station. We are starting to hear reports of successful negotiations being concluded following both passed-in auctions and lapsed EOI campaigns – in some cases many, many months after the cessation of active marketing.

13 Wellington Street, Brighton, was among the latter. It was passed in at auction in December last year after a bid of $3.5 million was knocked back. Six months later a change of agent and a changed market finally saw a result “close to $3.5 million”, as reported by the selling agency; although our respective definitions of “close” are … not noticeably close.

7 Grosvenor Street, Brighton, has also been sold with the sale price variously being speculated as $3.05 million, $3.1 million and “close” to the asking price of $3.5 million depending upon who you trust. In these guessing games, it probably pays to take the middle ground.

Word has it that at least two other significant Brighton properties have contracts about to be exchanged and we will update you as confirmed information is available.

Any lessons in all this?

  • Sellers’ patience will be rewarded.
  • Buyers’ patience will be rewarded.
  • A property expecting more than the median price for its area has to tick every last box (right location, all the usual fruit) and have a realistic July 2010 reserve or its owners would be better advised to take the advertising budget and splash out on a holiday. Spain is cheap and, now, very cheerful.

Damian Taylor

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