Quiet. Market sleeping.

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

The top end, as is its want, continues to march to a different drum. Or drums.

Near-city? Asleep. Bayside? Occasional stirrings with fitful nightmares.

So we go. Still quietly active behind the scenes but not much in public prospect in the near-city until the football is decided, the kids are back in school and the September shutdown is behind us.

Just one flicker on the ECG: 27 Hampden Road. One of the year’s wallflowers finally found love at $6,625,000. Original asking price? $7.5 million. There’s a lesson: Love ain’t blind.

David Morrell

Bayside: No champagne.

[pullquote]…no fizz, no zing, no zip. And no lack of reasons why.”[/pullquote]Three weeks into Spring and you can’t help but get the feeling that it’s just not happening: no fizz, no zing, no zip. And no lack of reasons why.

You know them all, from sliding shares to looming debt crises. Will Germany or China ride to the rescue? Will all this doubt be unfounded?

Tis a fog of uncertainty and within that lives timid buyers and when buyers are too timid to buy, sellers become too unsettled to sell.

So it goes. Or not.

And when it does go, it’s the exceptional:

  • 198 The Esplanade, Brighton is a rather special multi-level “penthouse” apartment on the best part of the beach road; overlooking the baths and the yacht club. They were shooting for an exceptional $8 million. The mark was found, eventually, somewhat shy of $7 million. Reality rules again.

Still, a strong price in a market that’s seen very little action above $5 million.

Private sales? Also slow; with the maybe exception of an agent’s trumpet: “$10 million in sales in Brighton East in 20 days!”

Auctions? 15 each in the Brightons and the Bentleighs. 9 and 10 sold.

In the Brightons, not a lot of joy for those looking for over $1 million.

  • 2-4 Sandown Street. Vacant land with nothing on it but a permit for four apartments. Passed in on a $3.5 million vendor bid, with a notional reserve of $4 million. Help?
  • 7 Tovell Street. Modern, well fitted, but somewhat out-neighboured. Passed in to the vendor at $2.475 million and then a real offer of the same amount. Reserve’s a stretch at $2.65 million.
  • 12 Cairnes Crescent. A period house of no great distinction and priced at land value. Passed in at $1.8 million. Reserve a guarded secret.
  • 1/60 North Road. Street-side town house on a majestic though busy boulevard. Passed in at $1.5 million and still a considerable distance to the reserve of $1.8 million.

And the exception:

In the Bentleighs, just one at $1 million+ and that ran into a brick wall.

  • 33 Godfrey Street. Ticks all the right boxes: McKinnon School zone, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, four living areas … but the best offer was $1 million against a reserve of $1.15 million; which suggests it probably won’t last for long.

Bentleigh’s highest sale under the hammer was 7 Mortimore Street. On a subdivided block, it sold for $957,000.

Points south – Hampton to Beaumaris – were quiet. Both auction and private sale activity somewhat subdued.

Despite school holidays, and unlike points further north (Mr Morrell’s hunting grounds) next week is a busy one before the traditional Grand Final auction holiday; and then we are well and truly into October, the true test of the selling season.

And to the person who stole the year: Bring it back.

Damian Taylor

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