March 31. Melbourne hot. And not.

Easter has come and gone, the school holiday hiatus is near its end and the real estate radar is continuing to change on a weekly basis, similar to our climate! Previously hot and now cooling, but not everywhere.

Quality properties continued to be chased by the wealthy and the beach was where all the real action has been happening over the last two weeks. One example: The Sisters 3 acres on the beach, was put up for expressions of interest closing last Friday. Believe it or not, there were multiple submissions over $20 million. This is just for the block of land ? you still have to build a house on it. No signs of a cooling market there.

Elsewhere if it was flashy, good or somewhat unique, the results were sometimes surprising; especially considered in light of the current economic news.

The Anchorage an old house with a great view in Sorrento, albeit across Nepean Highway, had a reserve of $6.5 million and four bidders chased it to $8,060,000. Someone is obviously not reading the financial news.

24-26 Vision Avenue, Sorrento a four bedroom home on 15,000 square feet sold for $3.35 million with two bidders.

However …

If it wasn?t something special, in a lot of cases it was as lonely as Sorrento’s shag on a rock, with many properties being passed in without a real bid. Those with vendor expectations of weekly price hikes will be for sale for some time yet.

Back in Melbourne the market is still suffering from lack of choice ? vendors are wary and are delaying committing themselves to marketing programs until they see clear signs that the fundamentals are still there, which of course presents the classic chicken and egg scenario: there is nothing for them to buy, so why should they sell now? At the top end, turnover in the last quarter is the lowest it has been for ten years.

For those who did chance their arm, some results were surprisingly solid.

6 Martin Street, Brighton on 9,200 square feet of land, sold for $4.3 million, which is $450 per foot and it’s not on the beach.

10 Bonview Road, Malvern sold – after being passed in on a vendor bid – for over $3.1 million. While that sounds cheap, it was only a glorified villa unit. A lot of people who looked at it failed to raise their hands, which suggests a confidence issue: they want to see other people bidding before doing so themselves.

Lack of choice also rules in the middle market, where there were a lot of unreported results. Meaning? What it usually means: vendors didn?t get what their agents had promised them. Agents love to crow and clearly there wasn?t a lot to crow about.

Investors? Gone.

You would have found the Easter Bunny more easily than one of those. Their winter hibernation has come early.

All eyes now look to April 19 when the market has its first real test after the holiday slowdown and there will be an indication of its health as a whole.

But don?t be misled, the top end isn?t going backwards, it’s still very much the same, just not the bushfire of last year.

The lesson for today? Patience. Something regrettably not practised often by many, especially on the peninsula.

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