Pick a trend. Any trend.

Here, there, everywhere you look there’s another pundit with the definitive view on what the market is up to/will do next/has done. Whatever.

Here a boom, there all gloom and did you see the number of people (or the absence of people) bidding/attending inspections/putting their heads in their hands and deciding to go to the pub?

So far no-one is using the State election to explain anything, but that can’t be far off.

Kids, it’s always the same: you can sell lemons in a boom, but when the fear shifts from buyer to seller, the keys remain position, house and price. Line up those ducks and a sale will follow. And price, now, is often the hurdle sellers are not setting where buyers can jump it (metaphor counters, how are you going?).

And so to the effervescent:

  • 116 Stanhope Street, Malvern. A renovated Edwardian which had at least five bidders, some local, some imported. With an opening bid of $2.75 million, many hands chased it to $3.18 million where it was on the market and two local families fought it out to the end: $3.462 million. That, we suggest, is fully priced.
  • 9 Nyorie Court, Ivanhoe, on the other side of the Yarra, getting on for 5,000 sq m on the river. Expansive park views but effectively only half the land useable as the rest is on a flood plain. Two bidders, one local, one imported, took it to $2.96 million before it was passed in. Later sold for $3.1 million. Great position, great opportunity.
  • 7 Gavan Street, Portsea. It took just two bidders to push the price $70,000 over the $4.5 million reserve.
  • 5 Verdant Avenue, Toorak. Sold for $1.895 million.

And then the worm turned – as worms do.

What we do know:

  • clearance rates are declining
  • record numbers of auctions are looming
  • prices are stalling
  • there are three weekends ’til Christmas

Looks like a happy time to be buying – and maybe even more so in the post-Christmas wash-up.

Christopher Koren

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Bayside bounces, sorta.

Although still well down on its usual clearance rate, Bentleigh bounced back over the weekend: 12 sales from the 21 auctions. The improvement may be due to the average price of the properties on offer being somewhat lower and thus more affordable. The range was between $320,000 at the bargain end and up to $880,000 at the top – with the noticeable absence of anything over a million dollars.

Beaumaris and Black Rock have gone AWOL over the past fortnight – ten properties on offer and only two sold; with all four of the Black Rock pass-ins only attracting vendor bids. Seems this compact beachside suburb has temporarily slipped off buyer’s radar which suggests that buying opportunities are brewing – the fundamental appeal of the area hasn’t suddenly disappeared. Keep an eye on the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Almost hidden among the desultry auction results was a rare positive: 374 Beach Road, Beaumaris. It sold privately during the week for $2,550,000.

The standout result for Hampton and Sandringham was at 13-15 Edward Street in Sandringham. A local landmark timber Edwardian with an iconic viewing tower and on 1565 sq m, it was reported as sold with its price undisclosed (we believe it was $2.75 million).

The Brightons had a mixed day: 3/9 Glyndon Avenue, Brighton was passed in at $3.1 million (two bidders). The pre-auction quote was $3.3-3.5 million, so a reasonable presumption is a reserve in that range.

Brighton East was busy: seven sold from the eight on offer.

Two houses a few doors from each other sold withing a few hours of each other: 7 Cambridge Street and 10 Cambridge Street, each with a different agency and both quoted at $1.35-1.45 million. Number 7 sold for $1.54 million and number 10 for $1.45 million. And the bragging rights go to?

This was a popular price point in the suburb: 24 Baird Street sold prior for $1.45 million and 7 Creswick Street for an unreported $1.435 million.

Reports of sales at the very pointy end of the Brighton market have been rare lately, so the news of the privately transacted 26 Hanby Street was well received. The selling agents report the property was sold to a locally-based Chinese buyer as of a result of an introduction to the buyer through the recent International Prestige Property Fair held in Shanghai. Although coy about the exact price, our suspicion is a tickle over $6.1 million.

And then …

We wait with ‘bated breath for news of the Expressions of Interest sale at 1 Bay Street which closed last Monday. The number they were looking for was over $15 million. If that’s how it turned out, there will be a number of discreet smiles at the top end.

Almost as impressive – and about half the price – is 50 North Road. EOI’s are due tomorrow.

The late surge (tidal wave?) in properties being offered before the Summer recess is now providing great choice for buyers. Whether there is an equally great number of buyers is a moot point.

Damian Taylor

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