Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

Listen …

Silence. It’s all around us. Silence.

[pullquote]… not even an echo.”[/pullquote]First comes the expressions-of-interest campaign, followed by … not even an echo.

Nothing. No agent chest-thumping. No shouting it’s all joy again. Nothing. Either the sale has not been made or it’s at a price the agent would rather not admit to.

All of which, if you read the signs, suggests one of two things.

First, that what was on offer was not all that special – for the AAA top end is still remarkably resilient.

And, second, for the rest, for the also-rans, that time is very much on the buyer’s side – negotiations we have recently been a party to have been running into months; and prices have been softening throughout.

But if you can’t read the signs – as can too-easily happen to recently-arrived overseas buyers – it’s too much cash too quickly and an eon to regret.

10 Rathmines, Street, Toorak. Passed in on a vendor bid of $4.3 million – and an immediate offer (accepted) (no surprise there) of $4,588,000.

But if no-one else wanted it at $4.3 million, why tip in close to another $300,000? It underlines, again, that if a negotiation takes two minutes, someone has paid too much.

In this market, anything over $3 million has a very small chance of selling under the hammer and maybe a 40% chance post-auction. Everything points to patience.

As we have commented here before, patience can be a very profitable virtue.

David Morrell

Bayside: reality is catching

When there was bidding at this week’s Bayside auctions it was mostly lackluster and infrequent. No surprises there.

Highest price was 1 Norwood Avenue, Brighton – a comfortable single-level brick bungalow on an exceptionally wide allotment of 1050 sq m, with a favourable northerly rear orientation and less than 100 metres from the beach. It’s been an on-again, off-again story. Three months ago the agents were talking above $3 million and reported the sale was on at $3.2 million. Then off again. Things cooled during the cooling-off period. Then Saturday’s reality check: One bid of $2.855 million and then passed in. Sold soon after for not a lot more.

There was another outbreak of reality at 11 James Street, Brighton. Over two years(!) ago, the hope was for more than $2.2 million. Now in its third(!!) year on the market, it went to auction on Saturday and two bidders took it to $1.825 million before it was passed in. It sold a little later for about the same figure and sighs of relief all ’round. !!!’s to agents and advisers.

5 Birdwood Avenue could use its own reality-check. Passed in on a vendor bid. How much was bid? Not telling. What’s the reserve? That’s a secret. Will we see a sale at a price that justifies all the mystery? Don’t think so.

In Brighton-used-to-be-Gardenvale, 144 Cochrane Street – on larger-than-usual 840 sq m – was expected to do well and has apparently sold for $2 million.

A slice of history sandwiched between Nepean Highway and Landcox Park created its own kind of record over the weekend. Half a street went to auction and more than half sold. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 Tregenna Court, Brighton East, had been in the same family for over 100 years. On Saturday four of the seven properties parted company for between $722,500 and $810,000 – and at those prices the remainder are unlikely to be around for long.

Further need for reality? 76 South Road, Brighton-but-nearly-Hampton got as far as a vendor bid of $1.9 million, later topped by an offer of $2 million which was gazumped by a reserve of $2.3 million and would someone please pass the smelling salts.

Overall the Brightons scored 15 out of 25 sold, but most were at the lower end. Some worth keeping an eye on where the big kids play are 112 The Esplanade, 43 Seacombe Grove (about $10 million) and 4 Wellington Street (around $5 million).

Not a lot happened in the rest of Bayside, with the exception of the Bentleighs – 9 out of 10 sold.

Damian Taylor

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