Snap! Weekend auctioneer stares at feet. Embarrassment? 100 in the throng and not a murmer? Not a whiff of a bid? Whats his next trick?

Snap! Media – the recipients of the rivers of real estate advertising gold – now acknowledging that cracks are appearing in the market.

Snap! More and more, the top end is becoming the off-off-market market (no agent required).

Snap! Jeremy Grantham (who we have time for) musing that our market bubble may fail to burst.

Snap! 63 St Georges Road goes for just under $8 million. A year ago, that would have been sneezed at.

Snap! 6 Benson Avenue, Toorak, good block, flies half a mill past its reserve and well above where we were prepared to fly.

Snap! Quality still very thin on the ground – one-in-twenty if were lucky.

Snap! Déjà vu. Again. Right house, right area, close to friends, schools, etc – and a forest of hands will still go up. 300 sleeps/year (Ive got to live somewhere, Id better enjoy it.) still rules, regardless of interest rates or, at times, sense.

Snap! Déjà vu demonstrated at 18 Currajong Road, Camberwell. Half the people bidding had already moved in.

Snap! Deals being done when vendors move to meet the market – including some who a year ago were offered a ransom more than they’ll accept today.

Snap! Agents caught parading results when vendors want privacy. Short-term glory, long-term regret.

Snap! Corporate bonuses being felt on the Peninsula. Many on the prowl. Early start to holiday house market?

Snap! 2nd-tier agent ossification spreads: The internet is bad for business. Yes, its cutting your chances to promote yourself with your clients advertising money, but ignoring it has all the future of ignoring a tsunami.


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Bayside: Tipping Point?

Brighton excepted, it looks like the Reserve Banks play on Cup Day has had an immediate effect on the hip pocket of buyers in Bayside.

Bentleighs clearance rate went into free-fall: only 6 from 18 properties sold. The common theme was a pass-in on a vendor bid followed by a slightly increased real offer and then lots of blue sky to the reserve. After Bentleigh’s long dream run it seems that buyers have now dug in, leaving a lot of vendors stranded on the rock of optimistic expectations; and with interest rates odds-on to rise again post-Christmas, the weekend’s disappointment levels could well continue.

Of those that sold, 42 Vickery Street at $1,275,000 was one extreme 4/29 Pell Street at $429,000 the other.

Everywhere from Hampton to Beaumaris struggled. Just four sales in 13 auctions.

Among the unsold:

The highest published price for the weekend was the very sold $3,535,000 paid for 45 Dickens Street, Elwood. A large red brick Edwardian, it ticked most of the boxes and is on, by normal Elwood standards, a very generous 827 sq m.

And then came Brighton.

Its (rare) 90% clearance rate eclipsed the Melbourne-wide number of 61%.

But apart from the rare 800 sq m block at 15 Hammond Street ($1,915,000), the rest of the sales were well under Brighton’s median. It confirms what we have been saying for some time: the auction market is brisk enough up to the high $1ms but – with an occasional exception – regularly stalls above that.

That occasional exception – last week – was 11 Kent Avenue in the Golden Mile. A fine example of the Spanish Mission style, what the buyers really wanted was its 1077 sq m with lane access to the adjacent street. It sold for $4.1 million.


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