March 3. MEL Mixed bag. SYD no gloom.

Children, pay attention please. I have a mixed bag of lollies to share and there will be a test after school.

1st point: properties are still selling.

2nd point: AAA properties are still hard to find.

3rd point: points one and two add up to AAA scarcity value.

4th point: it’s now pretty much all over until after Easter.

Last weekend? Entertaining. In places, the clowns took over the circus.

16 Burton Avenue, Hawthorn. A near new French Provincial on 5,000 square feet. Passed in with two bidders at $3,260,000 and 10 minutes later someone with a fabulous sense of humour paid $3,480,000 ? just $220,000 more than the next bidder!

Laugh? Tears of it.

And now for something a little more serious. There were some solid results among properties sold prior to auction.

8 St Georges Road, Toorak on 5,000 square feet with a single level covenant sold for $3,250,000 and if you believe the press, the market is going sour.

Really? That’s $650.00 per foot. That’s very pricey sour.

50 Harcourt Street in Hawthorn, a 2-storey home on a smallish block sold prior to auction for $2,750,000.

28 Central Park Road, Malvern East sold for $2,408,000; again prior to auction.

72 Kooyongkoot Road, Hawthorn a 2-storey home with a pool sold for $2,350,000, illustrating that many houses were selling in the right zone. There were no runaways.

The same could be said for 18 Moonga Road, Toorak; a 2 storey 1930’s home in need of a renovation had six bidders and sold for $3.2 million.

5 Loch Street, Camberwell a period Edwardian in need of a renovation, had three bidders and sold for $2.516 million.

We also saw some amber lights flashing in the mortgage areas.

In Albert Park, with its healthy population of double-income-no-kids and margin loans to support…

1 Hambleton Street, Albert Park a good single fronted home which should have had 3-4 bidders was passed in on a vendor bid of $1.7 million with expectations of $1.8 million plus.

A clear case of a vendor with an appetite was 16 Woodside Crescent, Toorak. Passed in at $2.9 million on a vendor bid and expectations of $3.15 million. This is very much C-grade Toorak so they could be waiting for quite some time.

Investors are still thin on the ground. Our belief is that they’re seeing a lot of conflicting signs and are waiting for the market’s next direction to become clear. As a consequence the unit market was relatively soft.

One wonders what the Easter Bunny will bring. Some quality properties would be welcome.

“It’s not all doom and gloom”

Despite new casualties of the sub prime markets making the financial press on a daily basis, Sydney’s top end showed no signs of slowing last week. Quality properties still command premium prices with the shortage of supply being the main reason for the market giving the appearance of being bomb proof.

Clearance rates in that bracket were high with the concentration again being in the east and north. If there was a wobble at all, it was mainly on the middle and upper north shores with 15 Baroona Road, Northbridge joining 3 Borambil Place, Longueville 6 Stuart Street, Manly and 41 Kuringai Avenue, Turramurra as some of the more notable properties failing to sell.

The three bedroom house at 8 Coorabin Road, Northbridge bucked that trend, selling prior to its scheduled auction for a healthy $3.15 million.

Elsewhere on the upper north shore there were at least six sales ranging from $2.4 million for 34 Kitchener Street, St Ives to $3.775 million for 65 Cutler Road, Clontarf.

Even Palm Beach got up from the canvas to post a $3.65 million result for 29 Ralston Road, Palm Beach.

It was otherwise left to the lower north shore to set the northern pace this week. Mosman shook off any sign of weakness with 18 Superba Parade, Mosman going for $4.45 million and $4.2 million outlaid prior to auction for the 4 bedder at 24 Bay Street, Mosman.

Eclipsing all sales on either side of the Bridge was the very stylish 31 Milson Road, Cremorne Point which sold mid week for over $8 million. Who says there’s no money around?

Bellevue Hill led in the inner east with the sale at auction of 6 Beresford Crescent, Bellevue Hill for $6.3 million followed by 28 Dalley Avenue, Vaucluse for $ 5.04 million and 60 Market Street, Randwick for $4.6 million.

Consistent with the comments we have made in earlier weeks about the top end apartment market, the only significant sale in that segment this week was of the three bedroom pad at 8/6-10 Darling Point Road, Darling Point for $3.86 million.

Suggesting that Woollahra is also unscathed by recent events was the sale mid-week of a five bedroom house at 33 Roslyndale Avenue, Woollahra for $3.82 million. Once again, prior to auction. Seems to be the trend.

The remaining five or so transactions in the east were in the $2.25 million to high $2 million bracket, topped by 11 Benelong Crescent, Bellevue Hill at $2.975 million.

Easter is just around the corner; and likely to check the momentum that has started to build over the last fortnight.

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