October 15. The end of the perfect calm

We’re back. And while the real estate world is now all present and correct after the holidays, the real Top End action will not kick start again until Wednesday, when 11 Nareeb Court, Toorak comes face-to-face with its market. This could be the clearest signal of what’s to come.

We’re heading toward the first big test of the top end this year. While not everything on offer is AAA, there are more properties coming on to the market now than we have seen all year.

But it hasn’t been a complete hive of inactivity.

Off-market, there has been a competition between three parties which took one property to $825 per foot. Assume that land value was a little over half that and you can see the premium being paid for quality properties where everything’s done and the incoming owner can move straight in.

And while Toorak, Armadale, South Yarra, Malvern and Brighton were all quiet, there was some activity in fringe areas such as Kew. 7A Redmond Street sold for $3,420,000 (advertised “In excess of $2.6 million” – and, yes, it was that) and 32 Yarravale Road which sold, as expected, for $2,275,000.

But some vendors still managed to get carried away. 3A Monomeath Avenue in Toorak was passed in on a vendor bid of $2.3 million with a reserve of $2.7 million. The owners have bought elsewhere, so you can imagine there’s some pressure on them to meet the market over the next week or so. 6/61 Marne Street, South Yarra passed in with a real bid of $1.5 million and a vendor hoping for $1.75 million.

We also saw several Glen Iris properties passed in without bids. Given that Glen Iris has been a bit of a hot spot over the past six months, you would have expected some competitive bidding.

But the biggest surprise of the weekend was a single-fronted brick home at 44 Perth Street, Prahran. Advertised at “$770,000 plus”, the reserve was $850,000 and three investors pushed it to $1,028,000. Only 12 months ago we were buying similar properties for $700,000.

Two lessons:
1. The appetite for inner suburban living is unsated.
2. Investors are returning and out-bidding home owners.

$1 million+ for tiny houses in Prahran? We live in interesting times.

… and the scourge continues in Sydney

Last weekend was a little quieter in Sydney as a result of the school holidays. Nevertheless, there were some solid results and there’s no sign of the market running out of steam regardless of election news.

The big scourge continues to be underquoting by certain selling agents. Unrepresented buyers are spending thousands of dollars each week on conveyancers, building inspectors and pest reports induced by selling agents’ price guides that bear no resemblance to actual sale prices. Underquotes between twenty and thirty percent are common. We require agents to disclose the basis for their price guides. No basis and the guide could be deemed to be misleading or deceptive under the fair trading legislation with the agent having the onus to prove otherwise. Not a nice position to be in when the point is taken. There is no substitute in this market for thorough due diligence of your own.

The inner west continued its run with $1.8 million being paid for 15 Margaret Street in the quiet achieving suburb of Abbotsford. Closer to the City, $ 1.8 million was also paid pre-auction for 25 Louisa Road, the narrow glamour strip in Birchgrove while at 49 St Georges Crescent, Drummoyne, the vendor knocked back $1.76 million for a P&O style house with northern views on the high side. The big spend in the west was $2.77 million being outlaid for 5 Malvern Crescent, Strathfield.

Some significant and confidential off-market activity in the east last week saw over $8 million paid for a rare waterfront site. Paddington prices continued to reflect the shortage of supply with $1.72 million buying a narrow but tidy three bedroom terrace with DA approved plans at 93 Windsor Street. That’s big money for a home facing south to the rear.

The beachside suburbs continued their run with $ 2.36 million outlaid for a three bedroom house at 87 Boundary Street, Clovelly.

Meanwhile, in the north, demand continues its run ahead of supply in the $1.2 to 1.5 million bracket with $1.5 million being paid for a three bedroom house in a cul de sac at 10 Echo Street, Cammeray and $1.65 million being paid around the corner at 2 Weringa Avenue.

Northbridge took line honours on the lower north shore this week with $7.95 million buying a waterfront with all the bells and whistles at 15 Dorset Road.

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