The who-you-know market

Morrell and Koren, the 1st buyer's advocates

This is going to sound like a plug, but please take it as an observation:

We would hate to be buying at the top end if we did not know who we know.


We would hate to be buying at the top end if we did not know who we know.

What we know is fundamental, who we know is irreplaceable.

It’s only through knowing the track records of every agent seriously working at the top end that we know who to trust and who you should never let borrow your car.

Add to that having an acute feel for the instincts of buyers – where the herd is headed and when to hide in the bushes.

The herd instincts have been in play in that row of terraces in St Vincent Place, Albert Park. Three weeks, ten serious hands up, three serious prices paid. Meanwhile, across the tracks in Howe Crescent, a far better house which does not need 12 months of heartache or a couple of million spent on it sold quietly to a lone bidder who will soon move in.

Herds, so easily, run over cliffs.

More softly softly among agents you would trust with your motor has seen a number of top end sales in boardrooms and off-market. That said, there are still relatively few properties which are ticking all the boxes.

One that doesn’t is 32 Canberra Road, Toorak. 21,000 sq ft, pool, court, around $5 million. It’s now had a phone book of agents and a text book of selling methods thrown at it and still it sits, unwanted. So what could possibly be wrong? The house. Just the house.

The year’s big change among agents who are paying attention has been the realisation that they are no longer in the get-the-listings business but are now in the find-the-buyer trade. The good ones are actively getting on the phone (and answering it) and a lot of homes at the top end are being sold before the public gets a whiff.

And then we come to those to whom it would be foolhardy to loan your car. There are some agencies which really need to muzzle their loose cannons. Their reputations are are becoming casualties.

South Yarra over the weekend. A price so enticing that 500 show up and the auction is moved into the park over the road. The property finally sells for $1,005,000, around $200,000 more than the high end of the quoted range when any professional with a brain would have predicted around $1 million and probably quoted somewhere over $900,000.

In the who-you-know stakes, it also helps to know who not to know.

David Morrell

Bayside: Don’t cross South Road

Bayside’s results came in peaks and valleys over the past week.

90% of auctions in the Brightons had sold stickers, the Bentleighs were over 80%, then across South Road sales fell off a cliff. Hampton and Sandringham sold barely one out of three and Beaumaris and Black Rock virtually went missing.

Highest reported private sale price was 24 Cole Street, Brighton: $2,850,000

The highest auction result was again in Brighton: 123 South Road.  A rambling period style family home on 1224 sq m of gardens. It sold for exactly $2 million.

Apart from 116 Cole Street selling for $1,630,000, the rest of the Brighton’s results were all around a $1,000,000.

In Bentleigh only one sale made it over the line and into seven figures: 12B Coates Street sold for $1,010,000.

South of South Road was a different story – virtually no story. A distinct lack of action at all price points.

The prime offering was 61 Beach Road, Hampton, a “…visionary four bedroom home soaring above Beach Road.”

If it soared, it was to a flight plan filed by Icarus. It crashed into a pass-in at $2,450,000, slightly increased in a later offer but still a long haul from its $2,700,000 reserve.

At this stage, May 11 looks to be a reasonably busy auction day while the following week is looking decidely skinny.

May 23 will make or break the month but for that to happen, a swag of new sales campaigns must start on Saturday.

But as observed in last week’s note, this seems less likely than is usually the case at this time of year.

Damian Taylor

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