Meanwhile, at the top …

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

The streets are alive with the sounds of estate agents murdering Happy Days Are Here Again. Just listen to the din. Everything is up, up, up. (And already there’s talk that it’s all happening too fast and can’t last.)

Meanwhile, the top end is as usual singing its own song. Or songs.

There are vendors whose expectations have flown above where buyers are prepared to fly (hello, 87 St Vincent Place, you ticked all the boxes, but … quoted at $4 million, passed in $4.2 million, now a stiff climb higher?) and others whose time has finally come (g’day 1/21 Hill Street, a good Rob Mills apartment that could not find love near $3 million six months ago and just sold privately for $3.25 million).

Yes, there is more activity than we have seen for a long time. Over the last week alone we have seen four homes with sticker prices over $20 million and many other new offerings priced within the range of the merely wealthy; and we are receiving an increasing number of requests for our assistance.

No, it’s not fear of further price rises which is driving enquiries, it’s the confidence which comes with the greater range of choices which are emerging. Case in point: 750 Orrong Road. Six months ago it’s unlikely to have been for sale – now it’s the subject of a very confident marketing campaign.

You’ve sold? You’ll probably need to buy. And so the wheel turns.

Much of which is still behind closed doors. Privacy rules.

David Morrell

Bayside: heading

Bayside: Time’s right

Following the mini rally of August/September agents could be heard shouting from the rooftops that all was gogogo and it was time to buybuybuy and sellsellsell. And in that same August we suggested caution was in order: that October would tell.

October is telling. Where we live it’s a solid market, a sound market, but definitely not a boom market. The clearance rates we have been seeing in the low to mid 70% range will face its biggest test when 1600 properties come under the hammer this weekend.

And then there’s a mini-break for the horses and a little time to mull it all over.

Meanwhile, back where we are now, properties priced below $1 million – family homes, town houses and development sites – are still tracking along; but unless the property is an absolute standout, buyers are disinclined to pay any more than their homework dictates.

These are definitely head buyers with their hearts still firmly in check.

Up a notch or two, buyers with budgets between $3.5 million and $5.5 million have been frustrated by lack of both quality and sensibly priced choices.

This middle to upper band property seller is yet to be convinced that this is a good time to either downsize or to jump to the top of the pile. It’s the confidence thing.

Up further notches, the very upper end of Bayside is yet to be really tested but that is about to happen.

A number of buyers are quietly prowling and taking a long hard look at what is on offer but have yet to produce their cheque books.

EOI campaigns on $10 million+ beach front properties such as 17 Birdwood Avenue and 33 Chatsworth Avenue are underway. Vendors are nervously optimistic, their selling agents just plain nervous.

Others at similar price point such as 11 North Road and 10 Mulgoa Street are still sitting quietly on the market. Lookers but no takers.

Rumours continue to circulate regarding interest in 6 William Street (around $15 million) and 12 Moule Avenue (around $20 million), with talk of the latter having gone very close to creating a new Bayside record price. In real estate, both wonders and rumours never cease.

Meanwhile some of the ones that did sell in the past fortnight include 6 Fernhill Road, Sandringham. It’s a pleasant period house with a tennis court and pool but its real attraction is 1520 sq m within the higher density precinct near Sandringham station. With existing approval next door for a multi-unit apartment complex, expect much of the same here. Price was undisclosed but thought to be just over $3.5 million

Also in Sandringham, a contemporary styled family home on 1027 sq m at 16 Tennyson Street was sold on the weekend for close to an undisclosed $3 million.

A twilight auction was conducted on Thursday at 16 Dawson Avenue in Brighton. 979 sq m, north-facing, close to the beach, was due to be auctioned a week later then pressure from several buyers precipitated an earlier time and three of them competed strongly before it sold under the hammer for $3.605 million.

Selling close to $3,700/sq m was equivalent to the peak of 2007; it confirms our earlier comments that quality properties will achieve quality results.

A change of agent and perhaps a rethink on price resulted in a very quick sale for Agent Two at 1 Higinbotham Street, Brighton. Previously taken to auction by Agent One without success, a sold sticker appeared within a week of changing horses for a price believed to be around $3 million.

Sometimes it is simply who you know…

89 Cochrane Street was noted here several weeks ago as having been sold privately for between $4.5 million and $4.7 million. It has at last shown up on the REIV’s results page.

And 66 Cochrane Street (no link) – an extensively and beautifully renovated and extended family house on 1626 sq m, has been sold off-market for over $5.5 million.

Damian Taylor

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