May 1. Market anxiety

Regrettably for purchasers, the top end market is still running hot and that shows no sign of abating. A clear example is 16 Albany Road, Toorak, which was sold prior to auction to a friend of the vendor’s for what is rumored to be around $10.8 million. Again, this demonstrates the anxiety in the market and the desire to secure properties prior to auction without having to compete in the marketplace. We were quite surprised by this outcome as we were aware of two parties who were prepared to pay up to $12 million at auction but they were not even referred to.

Land values again dominated the auction results and continue to lead the market with new records being set. 29 Victoria Road, Canterbury sold for $1.96 million. Its quoted price of $1.2 million+ was over $200 per foot and still attracted six bidders. One hour later, 24 Boston Road, Balwyn sold for a record with four bidders ready to pay over $180 per foot. The appetite for land is continuing and it?s our belief it is brought about by the soaring costs of renovating existing period homes. People are now looking at other alternatives. It can be cheaper to build than renovate.

Off-market transactions continue to be strong. This week we purchased four properties in Albert Park, Malvern, South Yarra and Flinders; each in excess of $3 million. It?s our opinion, given the healthy state of the market, that it is better to secure property prior to auction, thus eliminating the emotive purchases on the day. We have also attended several board-room auctions over the last week and caution must be used at these auctions as games are now being played: what you see and hear isn?t necessarily ?real?.

We have also noticed a growing trend: many more investors are back in the market; some are clients of ours, some will be our competitors. This is particularly prevalent in the $700,000 to $1.2 million bracket with some obviously taking advantage of the changes in superannuation regulations prior to the 30th June.

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