Roller coaster?

The equity market had the ride of a lifetime over the past week with uncertainty, a falling dollar and Government policy making it not a particularly nice place to be. As one investor wept: “I would rather be on holiday in Bangkok, it’s safer.”

Meanwhile, in real estate …

Over the weekend, the top end did not continue its ever-upward march – it took a delicate step sideways. Is that a little sense we see before us?

Even though three out of four properties going to auction are still selling – which in times of yore would have been regarded as a reasonably healthy result – what we’re seeing, and what agents are reporting, is that buyers are now much thinner on the ground than they have been in recent months. Instead of five or six hands going up, it’s more often one or two. If that continues it suggests a considerable thinning in the numbers of people who are actively looking. With a record number of auctions for this time of year, it is a combination which could provide long-awaited opportunities for buyers.


Bucking that trend:

Developer confidence is creeping back, particularly in South Yarra. There are hundreds of units to be offered over the next 18 months and they may cause a dent in sales of more traditional real estate. Feeling brave?

So. A few more weeks of wide choice then the mid-June hibernation of school hols. Next weekend will be interesting.

Christopher Koren

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Bayside: It’s tough at the top, but …

… but the rest remains solid for the moment*.

Europe’s in debt crisis? The dollar’s hit the skids? Equity markets have taken tickets on roller coasters? That’s nothing, in Brighton cheque books are hiding in pockets.

Brighton and Brighton East were reported as having nine successful auctions out of the nineteen properties on offer (47%), but as three were sold prior, the on-the-day real clearance rate slipped to a dismal 37%.

Among Brighton’s passed in:

  • 3/23 St Ninians Road, a new beach front apartment. Vendor bid: $4.2 million, reserve, $4.7 million.
  • 19 Wellington Street. Classic Brighton on 1100 sq m. Genuine bid: $4.21 million. Reserve a secret. Discussions continue.
  • 2A Emily Street, a contemporary house. 10 principal rooms, 1154 sq m. Vendor bid: $3 million and another reserve we’re not allowed to know.
  • 22 Oak Grove. Vendor bid: $2.55 million, reserve $2.7 million
  • 6 Sheridan Court. Vendor bid: $1.75 million, reserve $1.95 million
  • 1/138 Were Street. Vendor bid: $1.55 million, reserve $1.69 million

Brighton East had little on offer, but:


The premium prices being paid only a month or two ago have left the building (and the land it stands on). Sellers will have to accept that. Truth is, recent rises had taken us into fantasy-land and that’s not healthy.

While for most people – selling and buying elsewhere at the same time – the net effect will not be great, in a fast-changing market there will still be sellers whose expections are too great facing buyers who are not ready to meet them. Time is now on the buyer’s side, but a genuine seller and a realistic buyer who is looking at the long term will still see sales being made.

And so.

There were still some significant sales in Bayside; including Brighton.

  • 11 Sussex Street – 1,300 sq m with the lot: tennis court, pool, basement garage, glass, stone, near countless bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas, sold privately for what is being touted as the highest price in Brighton this year and we believe to be just over $9 million.
  • 26 Oakwood Avenue was reported as sold prior for an undisclosed figure (OK, just over $3 million), a solid result given the week’s uncertainty.
  • 7/15 Well Street sold off the plan for $2.25 million, continuing the strong results in the luxury end of Brighton’s apartment market.
  • 6 Higinbotham Street, 683 sq m of land value only with a dated single level house that has seen better days. Quoted at $1.85-2 million, it passed in at $1.8 million then sold later for … $1.8 million. Vendor, we presume, is not cracking open the champagne.
  • 36 Martin Street, not unlike Higinbotham but on 725 sq m and owned by the same family since it was built in the 70’s, faced subdued bidding which rose to a modest $1.9 million before the auctioneer refused an additional $50,000, passed it in, then went on to negotiate a sale at $2.175 million – a big win for the seller and a pat on the head for the agent.

And Hampton was grinning. All eight sold, from one end of the scale to the other:

Bentleigh the bullet-proof also had a perfect score: eight from eight. Highest among them was 22 Banksia Street: $1.15 million.

There’s a big auction list to absorb in the next two weeks. Time for nerves to be steeled on both sides of the fence.

Damian Taylor

* The price correction has started at the top end, but history suggests that it will trickle down to the middle range and, to a lesser extent, to lower price points.

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