Market pops! It’s Perrier!

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates


Not the champagne, the water.

A little sparkle. More than there has been in a long while, but more likely to cause a run on the products of Vergèze than those of Champagne.

For the first time in a long time, auctioneers are losing their fear of Saturdays. While the crowds may be yet to throng, at least more than the neighbour’s dog is showing up.

The weekend?

A couple of those we suggested watching for indications of where the market may be headed came and went with all the pop of a bottle of water.

73 St Vincent Place sold for a little over $3.9 million, overshadowed by the next in the row (it’s a terrace) – 75 went last week for a sliver over $4.3 million.

40 Howe Crescent, South Melbourne, is about as good as Port Phillip gets but went for the-horse-hasn’t-bolted $4.5 million after an initial bid of $4.3 million.

… which suggests that top end clearance rates are creeping up while prices remain reasonably flat. What is notable is the ever-greater trend to off-market. Quiet sales are taking place, out of sight to all but those with an invitation – and then negotiation becomes the key. There are many dark corners.

More indications?

On the 4th of May, keep an eye on the auction of 23 Hill Street, Toorak. On May 16, expressions of interest also close on 59 St Georges Road.

And we hear that, following a most unusual arm-wrestle, 35 Clendon Road has slipped quietly off the market.


Chris Koren

Bayside: April away, come back in May?

Auctions over the past month in Bayside? In one word: quiet. Although sales have been ticking over, the handbrake has been a lack of much to buy.

Of those properties that did make it to auction in oft-interrupted April, clearances remained steady. Most of those which were passed in were sold by negotiation.

As always, wallflowers continue to wilt – but not in the numbers seen last year.

Over the past quarter, the re-emergence of buyers spending from $2 million to $2.5 million has also had a surprising impact on the median price of Brighton houses. It has now topped $2 million for the first time. Without wishing to debate the merits of median price as the measure of the health of a market, it is of interest for the moment but is unlikely to be sustained.

What it does support is the steadily rising confidence that has been gathering a little pace since September of last year. It has gone from a shuffle to a steady walk and while that is an increase in momentum, it is not likely to go past a stride.

Some sales of note over the past few weeks include two up-market houses, one brand new and the other barely used.

46 Bay Street (sorry, no link) is on the corner of Holmwood Avenue and sits on about 800 sq m. A very clever design and a craftsman construction connected with a cashed up downsizer and the property was snapped up prior to officially hitting the market for a healthy but reasonable $4.8 million.

One block back from the beach, 1 Webb Street is also on about 800 sq m. Multiple bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas again appealed and this did not last long at $4.425 million.

A sale a few weeks after auction ensued at 176 The Esplanade. A two storey attached house has rear access to Victoria Street and despite the compact land, stunning views were sufficient to command an eventual price of $2.375 million.

Usually under-the-radar Rothesay Avenue (so far under there’s no listing on the web) blipped briefly with the sale prior to auction of number 15. It is understood the buyer will demolish and rebuild. The price? $2.3 million. Somewhat ahead of recent land-only sales in the area.

While next month should see a return to increased auction numbers as sellers get in before the cooler Winter months, there are relatively few forthcoming auction boards on fences at the moment and reports from agents indicate their phones aren’t ringing as expected.

We will ‘bate our breath.

Damian Taylor

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