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Second Super Saturday in seven days and the upper auction market burps

That's how you do it: Phil De Fegely (Marshall White), 26 Belsize Avenue, Carnegie, under hammer, $1,435,000, 5 bidders and a big, big crowd of around 200 people

At 6.00 pm Saturday the James Clearance Rate for Melbourne’s $M+ property was 56% on the 45  auctions we covered. The Weekly Review Bidderman, our bidders per auction measurement, was at 1.7.

Market Summary

On the face of it that was a big drop from last weekend’s “red zone” numbers.

We agree – but it should be noted that our auction coverage this weekend was skewed towards the higher end properties and, as always, the further up the food chain you go, the thinner the air for bidders.

But please we are not apologists for the market – this weekend the market said maybe, just maybe, that things are flattening out. This weekend, the market, to use that well known property term, burped!

So after this weekend’s less than stellar numbers, is this the beginning of a market shift? Has the market been “Qantased”?

Who knows for sure? All we at James know is that next weekend’s Labour Day breather, now appears to be a timely one for the market, and the ensuing six week run into Easter will be a little less predictable than we thought last weekend.

So, to this weekend’s action and the numbers:

The market was at its strongest in the $1 – $2 million price bracket. Almost all the ‘volcanoes’, auctions with four or more bidders, fell into this price range.

The $1m to $2m market is so deep right now in terms of Bidderman depth that even if halved, the clearance rates wouldn’t show any appreciable difference – three bidders instead of six bidders still gets the job done at most auctions.

Market Canary

This is why we, as keen market watchers, love the higher end and monitor it closely. The bidder depth is sparse and therefore changes in the market environment are far more noticeable.

The $3m+ plus segment is the canary of the market, the ice cap of the Inner Melbourne property and that is why we focus on the results there.

So check out the auction reports above $3m. They were mixed. There were a number of Bought Befores – usually an indicator that a few smart agents thought that Saturday show time for a specific home may have ended up in a fizzer and so they decided to take the bird in the hand.

This weekend, the other big story is the high number of ducks and lone rangers – around 50% in fact. That means that at half the auctions we covered, only one or less than one (i.e. none) put their hand up. Mmmm!

So are we saying the market has done an about face? Nope, what we are saying is, hang on. For the first time since last November some things didn’t fly out the door – especially above say $2.5 million – and that warrants some closer monitoring over the next few weeks.

Was this weekend about?

  • the early birds all flying the coop last weekend
  • the market simply needing a bit more time the digest the very large amounts of stock on offer
  • the vendors had all read James Marketnews last week and put their prices up
  • or was it just a bit of a statistical anomaly (e.g. as a company, we only bid on two homes this weekend, our lowest number for many months – and yet there were a lot of auctions).

Not sure – but it’s certainly something to ponder just before you put in or reject that next offer in the coming days!!

Stales

James Marketnews takes its first break next weekend – it’s a public holiday and there are almost no $1m+ auctions. As we repolish our iPads, and those pesky auctioneers get a chance to clear their niggling injuries, such as a sprained quote or a pulled pass-in, we at James are looking to the Expressions of Interest (EOIs), the privates, the off-markets (unadvertised) and the increasing return of the “Stales” for the action. Right now we are involved in 8 of these types of transactions, mainly over the $3m mark.

That’s right the Stales are returning, those homes that were left on the shelf in 2013 and now have been repackaged (price), re-presented (paint and candles) and rebadged (new agent).

The question when you don’t have the auction bidding vindication is – are those delightful Stales really worth the ask? In fact, are they delights at all?

When they went to market last year and didn’t sell, was that because they were misunderstood or did the market actually get it right?

We are Stale buyers in reasonable numbers. We get out our 2013 Weekly Reviews and cross check with today’s internet listings and we are prepared to revisit the offering if we think the home was right but the price was wrong (and is now right) . We also revisit old listings with the agents over a coffee.

So we do buy Stales. But not if the home was wrong in the first place, and not if even with the new paint and those lovely candles and perhaps a new price the home is still wrong, and if buying it was a bad decision in 2013 and will still be a bad decision in 2014.

Market Flavour continues below with over 40 auctions reported on by those James people in the bowler hats and jackets (by all means come up and talk to us, especially if you have a question about buying a home)

Overall Summary of Melbourne’s Million Dollar Plus Auctions:

  • Ducks ($M+ auctions that had no bidders) 29%
  • Lone Rangers ($M+ auctions that had one bidder) 22%
  • Norms ($M+ auctions that had 2 or 3 bidders) 34%
  • Volcanoes ($M+ auctions that had 4 or more bidders at auction) 15%

That’s a win to the Norms, followed by a lot of ducks at over a quarter of the auctions we attended.

, 20 Robinson Road, Jeremy Tyrrell (Fletchers ), under hammer, $2,475,000, 4 bidders

$3M+ Biggest Auctions & Others (for the week):

  • East Melbourne, 193 George St (Abercromby’s) bought during the week for just under $7m
  • South Yarra, 62 Park St (Abercromby’s), Expressions of Interest, in the vicinity of $6m
  • East, 67 Beaver St (Abercromby’s) under hammer, $3,962,500, 3 bidders
  • South Yarra, 33 Rockley Road, (Abercromby’s) before auction, undisclosed
  • , 1 Berenice Tce, (RT Edgar), private sale during the week, undisclosed above $3m
  • Toorak, Douglas St, apartment, Marcus Chiminello (Marshall White), off-market, $3.2m

Biggest Auction: 67 Beaver St, Malvern East, Rob Vickers-Willis (Abercromby's), under hammer, $3,962,500, 3 bidders

Biggest Auctions:

  • Malvern East,  67 Beaver Street, Rob Vickers-Willis (Abercromby’s), under hammer, $3,962,500, 3 bidders
    The sun broke through at the right time and with the return driveway…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Malvern East,  33 Coppin Street, John Bongiorno (Marshall White), under hammer, $3,012,000, 3 bidders
    A classic facade on a classic street was on offer…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Toorak , 27 Balmerino Avenue, Justin Long (Marshall White), after auction, undisclosed above $2,352,500, 3 bidders
    Auctioneer Justin Long invites us to admire…(See More in Auction Reports)

Bidderbuzz: 11 Rosina Street, Bentleigh, Anton Zhouk (Hocking Stuart), under hammer, $1,235,000, 6 bidders

Bidderbuzz:

  • Bentleigh,  11 Rosina Street, Anton Zhouk (Hocking Stuart), under hammer, $1,235,000, 6 bidders
    Anton Zhouk held the reins at this auction in two distinct parts…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Carnegie,  26 Belsize Avenue, Phil De Fegely (Marshall White), under hammer, $1,435,000, 5 bidders
    From the moment I’d turned into Belsize Avenue…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Albert Park,  42 Reed Street, Andrew Stuart (Marshall White), passed in, $1,425,000, 4 bidders
    Hired gun Andrew Stuart conducted the auction today on…(See More in Auction Reports)

Biggest Pass In: 106 Mont Albert Road, , passed in, $6,020,000, 1 bidder

Biggest Pass Ins:

  • Canterbury,  106 Mont Albert Road, passed in, $6,020,000, 1 bidder
    Anyone for tennis? Well that was the setting…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Toorak ,   218 Kooyong Road,  passed in, $4,450,000, 1 bidder
    Deal or no deal is the name of the game…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Toorak,  16 Winifred Crescent, passed in, $3,510,000, 1 bidder
    A crowd that I would describe as curious…(See More in Auction Reports)

Hawthorn East: 4 Ryeburne Avenue, Antony Woodley (Marshall White), after auction, undisclosed, above $1,760,000, 2 bidders

Boroondara: There were 71 $M+ auctions:

  • Canterbury, 29 Maling Road, Mark Dayman (Marshall White), passed in, $2,755,000, 1 bidder
    The sun is shining and there is a only a breath of wind…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Hawthorn East, 4 Ryeburne Avenue, Antony Woodley (Marshall White), after auction, undisclosed above $1,760,000, 2 bidders
    An early morning start to this auction brought a few…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Canterbury, 3 Dryden Street, Steven Abbott (Jellis Craig), after auction, above $1,675,000, 1 bidder
    In front of a crowd of around 40 people Steven Abbott…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Camberwell, 17 Nelson Road, Simon O’Donoghue (O’Donoghues First National), passed in, $2,500,000, no bidders
    Gathered in the front yard, 50 people…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Hawthorn East, 47 Campbell Road, Simon Derham (RT Edgar), passed in, $1,600,000, no bidders
    The sign on the curb beside the coffee cart…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Glen Iris, 5 Ferndale Road, Doug McLauchlan (Marshall White), passed in, $1,325,000, 1 bidder
    A watchful gathering had assembled but…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Hawthorn, 67 Haines Street, Campbell Ward (Jellis Craig), under hammer, $1,241,000, 2 bidders
    With an opening bid of $1,000,000 auctioneer Campbell Ward…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Hawthorn, 20 Robinson Road, Jeremy Tyrrell (Fletchers), under hammer, $2,475,000,4 bidders
    The crowd of 80 spilled out onto the street…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Camberwell, 20 Moorhouse Street, Scott Patterson (Kay & Burton), passed in, $3,000,000, no bidders
    A crowd just shy of 100 turned up before this Edwardian…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Camberwell, 7 Sycamore Street, Hamish Tostevin (Marshall White), passed in, $1,900,000, no bidders
    Hamish Tostevin was at the reigns…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Mont Albert, 1 Kinloch Avenue, Richard Earle (Jellis Craig), passed in, $1,400,000, no bidders
    A quiet auction where the only action…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Surrey Hills, 9 Bristol Street, Antony Woodley (Marshall White), passed in, $2,052,500, 2 bidders
    Such a nice leafy street here that when…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Canterbury, 106 Mont Albert Road, Richard Earle (Jellis Craig), passed in, $6,020,000, 1 bidder
    Anyone for tennis? Well that was the setting…(See More in Auction Reports)

Toorak: 2/62 Mathoura Rd, John Bongiorno (Marshall White), under hammer, $1,415,000, 3 bidders

Stonnington: There were 36 $M+ auctions:

  • Malvern East, 33 Coppin Street, John Bongiorno (Marshall White), under hammer, $3,012,000, 3 bidders
    A classic facade on a classic street was on offer…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Toorak ,    218 Kooyong Road, Tim Derham (Abercromby’s), passed in, $4,450,000, 1 bidder
    Deal or no deal is the name of the game…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Armadale, 3 Elm Grove, Gowan Stubbings (Kay & Burton), passed in, $2,200,000, no bidders
    Gowan Stubbings was our auctioneer here and opened proceedings…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Malvern East, 67 Beaver Street, Rob Vickers-Willis (Abercromby’s), under hammer, $3,962,500, 3 bidders
    The sun broke through at the right time and with the return driveway…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • South Yarra , 17 Hawksburn Road, Justin Long (Marshall White), passed in, $2,200,000, no bidders
    A  two-storey period home with a modern twist…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Toorak, 27 Balmerino Avenue, Justin Long (Marshall White), after auction, undisclosed above $2,352,500, 3 bidders
    Auctioneer Justin Long invites us to admire…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Toorak ,  2/62 Mathoura Road, John Bongiorno (Marshall White), under hammer, $1,415,000, 3 bidders
    Auctioneer John Bongiorno said there are buyers…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Toorak , 16 Winifred Crescent, Justin Long (Marshall White), passed in, $3,510,000, 1 bidder
    A crowd that I would describe as curious…(See More in Auction Reports)

Highett: 24 Nicol St, Mark Earle (Buxton), under hammer, $1,354,500, 4 bidders

: There were 46 $M+ auctions:

  • Sandringham, 4 Salisbury Street, John Clarkson (Hocking Stuart), passed in, $1,800,000, no bidders
    John Clarkson spoke fondly of Salisbury…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Hampton, 112 Orlando Street, Robin Parker (Marshall White), under hammer, $2,351,000, 3 bidders
    I wondered about the value of a sea view…(See More in Auction Reviews)
  • Brighton, 34 Orchard Street, David Hart (Buxton), passed in, $1,300,000, no bidders
    A crowd of 30 had gathered to watch auctioneer…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Brighton, 36 Cochrane Street, Peter Kakos (Marshall White), passed in, $2,200,000, no bidders
    A quiet auction with Peter…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Black Rock, 48 Iona Street, Rob Strickland (Marshall White), after auction, undisclosed, above $1,450,000, 2 bidders
    Around 85 on lookers gathered today…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Highett, 24 Nicol Street, Mark Earle (Buxton), under hammer, $1,354,500, 4 bidders
    With 150 people sufficiently intrigued…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Brighton, 73 Halifax Street, David Hart (Buxton), after auction, undisclosed above $1,830,000, 3 bidders
    Auctioneer David Hart and agent Stefan Whiting…(See More in Auction Reports)

St Kilda: 23 Baker St, Torsten Kasper (Chisholm & Gamon), under hammer, $1,810,000, 2 bidders

: There were 37 $M+ auctions:

  • Albert Park, 42 Reed Street, Andrew Stuart (Marshall White), passed in, $1,425,000, 4 bidders
    Hired gun Andrew Stuart conducted the auction today on…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Elwood,  54 Ruskin Street, Sam Gamon (Chisholm & Gamon), under hammer, $2,382,000, 3 bidders
    Standing amongst the plane trees…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Albert Park, 150 Richardson Street, Geoff Cayzer (Cayzer), passed in, $1,700,000, no bidders
    Another beautiful day for an auction in Melbourne…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • St Kilda, 23 Baker Street, Torsten Kasper (Chisholm & Gamon), under hammer, $1,810,000, 2 bidders
    When starting the auction, auctioneer Torsten Kasper…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Albert Park, 138 Beaconsfield Parade, Kaine Lanyon (Marshall White), passed in, 1 bidder
    The auction of 138 Beaconsfield Parade…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Elwood,  72 Spray Street, Adam Guest (Wilson), after auction, $1,450,000, 1 bidder
    Auctioneer Adam Guest projected his voice…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • St Kilda, 4 Robe Street, John Bongiorno (Marshall White), passed in, $2,500,000, no bidders
    The scene was set with a large Edwardian home on…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • South Melbourne, 366 Park Street, Oliver Bruce (Marshall White), after auction,  above $1,660,000, 2 bidders
    Oliver Bruce began proceedings by giving…(See More in Auction Reports)

Carnegie: 11 Holywood Grove, Ian Whiteside (Marshall White), under hammer, $1,350,000, 4 bidders

Glen Eira: There were 13 $M+ auctions:

  • Carnegie, 11 Holywood Grove, Ian Whiteside (Marshall White), under hammer, $1,350,000, 4 bidders
    A festive atmosphere greeted auctioneer Ian Whiteside…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Caulfield North, 14 Beresford Street, Jim Sidiropulos (James Steel), passed in, $3,360,000, 3 bidders
    A confident man stood out from the crowd…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Carnegie, 26 Belsize Avenue, Phil De Fegely (Marshall White), under hammer, $1,435,000, 5 bidders
    From the moment I’d turned into Belsize Avenue…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Bentleigh, 11 Rosina Street, Anton Zhouk (Hocking Stuart), under hammer, $1,235,000, 6 bidders
    Anton Zhouk held the reins at this auction in two distinct parts…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • McKinnon, 115 Wheatley Road, Nick Renna (Hocking Stuart), passed in, $930,000, 1 bidder
    Auctioneer Nick Renna set up his stall before the assembled…(See More in Auction Reports)

Hampton: 112 Orlando St, Robin Parker (Marshall White), under hammer, $2,351,000, 3 bidders

Bought Before Auction during the week:

Malvern, 50 McKinley Ave, (Marshall White), undisclosed in excess of  $3,400,000

Albert Park, 48 O’Grady Street, (Cayzer), undisclosed

Brighton East, 35 Comer Street, (Nick Johnstone), undisclosed above $2,000,000

Toorak, 6 Duffryn Place, (RT Edgar), undisclosed

South Yarra, 33 Rockley Road, (Abercromby’s), undisclosed, above $3,200,000

Camberwell: 20 Moorhouse St, Scott Patterson (Kay & Burton), passed in, $3,000,000

If this is your first time to James Marketnews  – welcome to our weekly trusted, independent buyer information reports!

1) Buyer Advocates – We are buyer advocates reporting from a buyer’s point of view. We receive no paid advertising from sellers or selling agents and we have no financial connection with sellers of selling agents – just solid, professional and  respectful (where justified), working relationships that are always at arms length. We average up to 5000 Bayside and Inner East $M+ readers each reporting weekend. Each weekend we at James are out there in  force in our hats and jackets at over 40 auctions – a great market cross section. In the past week we have bid on properties in Sandringham, Malvern East, Mont Albert, Hampton, Elwood, Middle Park and Brighton – we bought 6, missed 1 and are still working on 1. Bidders numbers at each of these were 1, 4, 2, 4, 3, 3, 6 and 3 – our company average Bidderman was over 3.

2) Blogs – Below you will see a summary of what we witnessed, then some snippets from each auction – you will be able to find what you want to know under each heading. Boroondara with Architect Adam(HawthornKew) covers Canterbury and surrounding suburbs); Stonnington with Call Gina covers Toorak, Malvern and surrounding suburbs; Bayside with Klarity Kris covers Brighton, Hampton and surrounding suburbs, and Port Phillip with Cafe Guy covers Elwood to Albert Park and nearby suburbs. We also have insights into buying strategies in our Masterclass articals, as well as specialist blogs on the $3 million plus market with Mal James (the original man in the hat) and Apartments with Call Gina.  If you want even more detail go to our blogs and detailed auction reports which you can access through our grey navigation bars at the top of this page.

3) James Home Ratings - Here you will see numbers like 745 and 789: these are quick snapshots or our thoughts on the homes we have visited. We visit hundreds of homes every month on behalf of our buying clients. If you want to find out more detail, either google the address and then click on the James Home rating or go to our site at www.james.net.au and type in the address. You can also go to the grey navigation bars at the top of this page. The detail you will see is only the tip of the iceberg on what we supply to clients. We also provide detailed due diligence, and negotiation strategies for EOI and private sale negotiations and bidding and auctions, pass-ins and boardroom auctions – as well as off markets (unadvertised homes)

Results Guide: If you are new to James Marketnews, welcome again and thanks for reading – you will find a more detailed report of each auction under our Auction reports section.

Stock: Indicates levels ie, overall choice. If levels are above 80 it’s a strong weekend stock indicator.

Clearance Rates: Indicates the level of agreement on price between seller and buyer and the higher the percentage consistently, the stronger the overall market. If clearance rates are consistently below 60% it’s a cool market; 60% to 70% it’s a normal or balanced between buyer and seller, Inner Melbourne Market and if the market is consistently over 70% (meaning 7 out of 10 homes sold just before, under the hammer or just after auction ) then it’s a hotting up and/or strong market.

Bidderman: This is our own unique market indicator which indicates bidder demand per auction or market depth and when it consistently hovers around 1 it’s a very cold and lacklustre market (GFC); when Biddermanaverages up to 2 bidders per auction it’s a solid market. If Bidderman averages much over 2 bidders per auction and up towards 3 (eg in 2007 and early 2010) history shows the market is hotting up and prices are going up. Why? When there are 3 bidders at an auction, there is a successful buyer and 2 unsuccessful ones – those 2 unsuccessful ones go harder at the next auctions, usually against still more bidders (from other auctions) which, human nature being what it is, usually result in price increases. When you combine a big stock weekend  (supply) with a strong clearance rate (agreement) and a solid Bidderman (demand depth and ongoing demand prediction), then you have a very clear and unambiguous indicator of exactly where the market is at right now.

Agent Survey: Which “sub-markets” do you think are performing the strongest, and which are the weakest? Steve Tickell (Hocking Stuart, Brighton): “General confidence is good both in the lower to middle price sectors, and attendance numbers at opens and auctions up by at least 50% from this time last year, though compared with our near neighbours inland in Bentleigh we still lag behind in terms of the fever pitch-level that seems to exist with auction bidding and general purchasing demand. Lower-end apartment and unit sales have been stronger, coming off a poor 2013-14, however values have not risen markedly from where they were after the price fall of 2009/10. Many off-plan resales (properties bought off plan and now just completed) are starting to be effected, and interestingly appear to be selling for much what was paid a few years ago, with little if any capital growth in many instances. This augers well for the astute investor looking to buy new properties in excellent developments, at a price that has been somewhat quarantined for that time but will show good rental returns. (not to mention good tax depreciation opportunities as well.) Land is the flavour of the month – or should I rephrase that to say, “land value type” properties are the flavour of the month, with demand outstripping supply. There appears to be a healthy demand for those buyers wanting to buy land for single homes or to renovate and add value. The demographic is made up young couples seizing on the opportunity to buy at what they perceive to be lower prices than what they would have paid a few years ago at the height, and empty-nesters or mature families (teenage kids) now ready to move out of their renovated Cal Bung or similar, into a brand new contemporary home.

Paul Pfeiffer (RT Edgar, Toorak): “In my opinion, the strongest sub-markets are those areas that are attractive to our international friends, which are also areas of local demand due to education, either public or within the private school belts. I often say to buyers that “firstly we make property decisions that please our wives and then as we bring children into the world, our decisions then shift to the needs of our sons and daughters. If you look at the “highly regarded” schools in any suburb, the prices of properties within easy proximity are higher than those that are not.  In my (opinion), the weakest sub-market at the moment is over $10m. In Toorak you could not confidently put a property to auction and expect to be sold on auction day. There are a number of $11-25 million properties sitting and waiting for the right buyer to appear.”

Gary Peer (Gary Peer, Caulfield North): “I believe the strongest sub-market is for liveable and solid houses in the $700,000 – $1,200,000 bracket. Many of these properties have been significantly sought after, a number of auctions have produced 6, 7, 8 and even up to 10 bidders. Period homes have attracted the most interest. Suburbs such as Carnegie, St Kilda East, Elsternwick, Caulfield North, Glen Huntly and Murrumbeena have produced many of the strongest results. At the moment some off the plan properties have been slower to move than we would like. Whilst at the lower end of this price range (between $400,000 – $600,000) seem to move at a reasonable rate, smaller properties in the next price range ($600,000 – $800,000) have taken a little longer to be absorbed.”

Campbell Ward (Jellis Craig, Hawthorn): “Investors seem to be especially prevalent in the apartment market at present with older style apartments performing well, particularly Art Deco buildings and boutique developments. I have noticed a strong increase in demand for $2m+ period homes in the Hawthorn/Kew area, especially amongst growing families ‘scaling up’ from inner city suburbs. More broadly I have observed a significant increase in activity across the Inner Eastern residential market, with property generally performing extremely well across all sub-markets.”

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