September 3. Where’s the quality?

A lack of quality was the key issue in this weekend’s auctions: few offerings at the top end and most of the better properties scheduled to be auctioned over the next two weekends. However, there was action off-market. “The Koots”, a large home in Kooyongkoot Road, sold for over $9 million ? and this is Hawthorn not Toorak!!! Also, in Toorak, 4/4 Illawarra Crescent, a 40 square unit sold for $3.6 million prior to auction.

Two properties previously passed in at auction finally found buyers: 24 Chaucer Crescent, Canterbury, sold for $5.5 million (which highlights the perils of vendors’ expectations racing ahead of the market – they were offered $5.85 million before auction and you have to wonder how they feel now!) and 4 Glen Road, Toorak, finally sold for $4 million – which is not bad for a fairly ugly home on 10,200 sq ft on a busy through road – but demonstrates again that even lemons become attractive when there’s lack of choice.

Around the corner, 5A Glyndebourne Avenue, a townhouse, sold for $3.4 million against a $3.25 million expectation.

Another clear indication on how high the market has moved was evident on Saturday with the auction of 132A Kooyong Road, Armadale. It sold for $2.2 million – less than two years ago the current owners paid $1.4 million.

One auction on Saturday demonstrated again how emotions can overrule common sense: 48 Motherwell Street, South Yarra, a single fronted Victorian riddled with damp and with an easement across its kitchen (not something we recommend) sold for $1.2 million against a $920,000 reserve. The buyer stopped bidding at $950,000 ? again shook her head at $1 million, stopped again at $1.1 million and finally bought it for $1.2 million! It appears that she spent $250,000 more than she had intended or wanted to ? and you have to wonder how she woke up on Sunday morning. Foetal position? Post-buyer panic?

But she did have help. There were four other bidders who narrowly missed this “B-grade” property.

Trends? There are significantly more top-end investors entering the market and their influence will continue. They’re at auctions and they’re instructing us to help them diversify their investment portfolios. This increased level of interest from what is in effect a new client group, together with the lack of supply of quality properties, will keep prices very solid before the Christmas slow down.

* NB Links are to agents’ and search websites – they may be taken down after properties are sold.

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