The weekend with the lot

We had something of everything:

  • little choice
  • wonderful opportunities
  • some surprises
  • large numbers
  • mostly subdued bidding
  • an occasional out there result

… sounds a bit like the new government.

Overall impressions?

  • there’s a bit more confidence around – possibly due to us at last having a government
  • the number of quality AAA properties continues to dwindle at an alarming rate
  • in at least 50% of top end properties, vendors are still well ahead of the market
  • sub-$1 million investors are returning quite quickly
  • the appetite for quality is still largely unsated – those on offer attracted three to six serious bidders

A couple of days can still change prospects: as a result of two auctions in Malvern over the weekend, a property purchased on Friday night would now be expected to sell for somewhere north of an additional $300,000.

That said, when we bought we came in somewhat under expectations, but there were still some runaways:

  • 24 Somers Avenue, Malvern, arguably the best on offer. On the market at $5.65 million, four bidders pushed it to $6.060 million.
  • 24 Netherlee Street, Glen Iris, originally quoted at $1.7 million plus, amid reports of interest north of $2 million, it was on the market at $2.3 million and nine bidders pushed it to $2.66 million. This was one case where the under-bidder should have been breaking out the champagne and toasting his narrow escape.
  • 100 Stanhope Street, Malvern. On the market at $2.3 million – four bidders took it to $2.66 million (popular number).

The goss:

  • questions being asked about slow hammers – there may be a cure in sight
  • underquoting and dummy bidders (both blossom in the Spring) arousing the attention of Consumer Affairs Victoria. Reports of “observers” at over 100 auctions may seem reassuring, but we saw none – and if we didn’t, nor did the agents.

Top End Turkey Award:

To the agent who had the brain-fade which decided that an invitation-only auction was  worth a shot. It missed (as did the same property at two earlier public auctions this year). What’s also missed is a big-bang advertising spend. And any buyers we’re advising: there’s something not quite right about this.

David Morrell

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Bayside sparks don’t fly

Bayside continues to chug along with about a 65% clearance rate, but the spark normally associated with the advent of Spring has taken a holiday. Auction crowds are down along with – with a few exceptions – the number of active bidders at each auction.

There are some agents who will tell you that we’re now back to “normal”. That a “balance” between buyer and seller and clearance rates of 65% to 70% point to a now “healthy” environment, but that’s a point lost on potential sellers. They are not convinced, at least not yet.

Agents are lamenting the poor forward listings for early Spring. An even clearer signal of the lack of conviction among sellers is the low level of appraisals being sought.

And yet, and yet …

It could still all turn around and become furiously busy in November and December.

Our advice to buyers? Be patient, but also be aware that if the ideal property comes along, it’s most likely that you will not be the only one putting your hand up.

And then came the weekend …

Beaumaris and Black Rock had half a dozen private sales during the week and eight auctions scheduled over the weekend. Two sold prior and only two of the remaining six were sold.

Hampton again performed well relative to its neighbours: five sales from eight auctions with two very different homes which both saw the hammer falling at $1,405,000.

  • 14 Banks Avenue is a beautifully renovated and presented timber California Bungalow with 4 bedrooms and all of the designer bits
  • 71 Thomas Street was originally a red brick 1930’s style that has grown out and up over the years and now offers six bedrooms of Brady Bunch space. It last sold in April 2009 for $1.2 million, so there should be enough to cover the stamp duty

In a location many consider superior to those two, 45 Service Street didn’t quite fire. Its highest bid was $1.5 million; only a little shy of its $1.575 million reserve.

Brighton continued to be active although not as busy as expected for this time of year. A respectable eight results from 12 scheduled auctions.

  • 14 Cowper Street topped the day. A single-level 4-bedroom period house, with only two bidders it sold a snick above the top of its quote range. Knocked down for $1,932,500.
  • 99 New Street, a partially renovated weatherboard bungalow on 745 sq m, sold within its quoted range. Sold for $1,490,000.

The upper end of the auction market continued its struggle with the offering of a brand new luxury town house at 61 North Road. Despite the recent sale of a similar property in the development for over $2.7 million, the only genuine bid was the opener: $2.2 million – immediately countered by a vendor bid of $2.5 million. The reserve is still a long hike from the opening bid: $2.825 million.

On Brighton’s private sale front:

  • 11 Well Street, the hugely successful Avignon development, saw another two apartments sold; these for $2.3 million each. A “Sold Out” shingle cannot be far from the front fence.
  • 22 Tennyson Street, a resort style house with pool and tennis court on 1600 sq m, has sold after the close of a recent Expression Of Interest campaign. Although the selling agent would not confirm it, we understand the price was just over $5 million.

And then came a busy top end in Elwood …

  • 76 Addison Street sold for $1.95 million
  • 31 Ormond Esplanade.”Fontainbleau” (circa 1929) is an Elwood landmark and has reinvented itself over the years until its most recent incarnation back to a superbly renovated family house sold for what is being claimed as a record for the suburb – the price was not commented on by the selling agent, but good authority tells us it was in the vicinity of $4.25 million.

Did someone mention a football game next Saturday night?

Go Sainters!

Damian Taylor

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