For the love of art …

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

Art lovers, this is a week made for you.

Much staring into space, looking for elusive meaning. Finding gems where others see only confusions of colour.

Hot on the tail of Fred Williams, we took off for 2 Hyde Hill Road, Harkaway. in Williams, the aware mind is struck by its rural truth, right down to the waft of summer eucalyptus. Which makes rather easier sense than the abstract expressionism we found. Bizarre. Eight hands fluttering skywards in a mortgagees’ auction in these doomy days. Count ’em! Eight! $4.4 million! Is there something we don’t know about the Harkaway water?

[pullquote]Meanwhile, back in town…”[/pullquote]Meanwhile, back in town it looked more like a John Firth-Smith landscape. Doom and gloom spiked with – when the offer was outstanding – more fluttering hands and a picture auctioneers dine out on: She who had not raised her hand even once did so at the last minute and bought it. Husband at the footy. Unaware. “Darling, you’ll never guess what I did today…”

Then came 30 St Vincent Place. Definite contender for under-quote of the year. “$4-5 million” for a classic on over 1,000 sq m on one of the most desirable streets in this or any other city? Yes. Definitely. Never any doubt. Was anyone surprised when it went for $6.62 million? You? Then there’s a picture by Picasso we’d like to show you…

Across town, 66 The Broadway, Camberwell. Good house, four bidders. $3.83 million. Sensibly priced and indicative of the true market. Last year it would have topped $4 million. It’s another indication that reality has broken out in Hawthorn, Camberwell and Canterbury to a greater degree than has yet reached the inner suburbs.

And then we come to the truly bleak. The Peter Booth end of the market. Those who spent their tens of thousands promoting their wares and failed to attract even a cheeky bid. Look now upon:

So there you go. When the house is right and the price is right, the hands still fly. Get either wrong and prepare to wait. And wait. And if you’re buying with the intent to sell, take your time. Get it right. Today’s mistakes will make for very expensive tomorrows.

Journo’s, come news or lack of, still have papers to fill. We’re in a happier position. Staring at the end of the financial year and no prospect of anything earth-shattering over the school holiday break, we’re taking the cue from our clients and won’t be back for a couple of weeks.

Unless, of course, the earth does shatter.

David Morrell

Bayside underwhelms

Tadeusz Kantor has a reputation for works of dynamic imbalance and Bayside is following suit. In the imbalance. Dynamic? Not.

[pullquote]It’s still out of whack…”[/pullquote]It’s still out of whack: average stock labouring under above-average price expectations leading to everyone staying home – even the neighbours. Who can blame them? Underquoting and over-pricing leading to no sale is hardly a show worth crossing the street to see.

With stock levels down until the Spring we anticipate more of the same.

Bleak in the Brightons

Over the weekend in the Brightons, only eight out of 20 found new owners. Last week’s lion became a mewling pussycat at all its price levels. Even the lower end had its pass-ins.

9 Lindsay Street, Middle Brighton. The highest result on the day was undisclosed (OK, close to $2.2 million).

The highest pass-in was also in Middle Brighton: 14 William Street. A single level brick Victorian on 1000 sq m, it limped in on a vendor bid of $2.7 million, reserve undisclosed. Our guess is that any reasonable offer will be gratefully considered.

It’s an indication of where this market is at when properties in signature Brighton East streets, such as 100 Canberra Grove (passed in at $1.1 million, reserve $1.15 million) and 37A Plantation Avenue (passed in at $1.4 million, reserve $1.535 million) not only do not sell, but between them do not attract a single bid.

Slumber in The Bentleighs

The Bentleighs had a quiet day by their lofty standards with only 10 auctions scheduled for a 60% success rate.

Although the misleading and deceptive price quoting by one of the area’s high profile gavelmen put the spotlight on him and the suburb last week, it really is a matter of tell us something we don’t know. Bentleigh will survive. Bentleigh always does.

Bowie and Black Rock nod off

Beaumaris and Black Rock battled on gamely; with only eight on offer and just four sales. Highest on the day was 45 Stanley Street which sold for $1.6 million, followed by 425A Beach Road in Beaumaris at $1.205 million. Despite the brave claims of one of the agents, the chill of winter has meant an early hibernation for many down by the sea.

Sandy and Hampton shut the shop

A season low of one sale from six auctions: only 30 Cowper Street troubling the scorer. It sold for $1.245 million.

The real gem, a hop and a skip toward town from Bayside, was 30 St Vincent Place – as noted above by our colleagues from South Yarra. While the end result of $6.62 million with a number of interested and competing parties was impressive, one swallow does not make a Spring.

Damian Taylor

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