oc | Thursday 23rd January

$2m+ is leveling quickly as buyers become more discerning on price; but $1m+ remains full steam ahead on almost anything!

Rob Vickers-Willis in fine form at 14 Wheatland Road Malvern with a big crowd of a 100 producing 6 bidders and a post auction  result in excess of

Abercromby's Rob Vickers-Willis in fine form at 14 Wheatland Road Malvern with a big crowd of a 100 producing 6 bidders and a post auction result in excess of $2,250,000. Photo: Julia Atkinson

It is 6pm Saturday and the James Million Dollar-Plus Clearance rate for the 36 Auctions we attended today was a solid  75 per cent on good .Toorak Mismatch

The “frenzy” feel has left the highest of the higher end market for now as the new age businessman and establishment money, who determine the Toorak market, reconsider after

(1)    looking at their business’s forward estimate balance sheets.
AND
(2)    looking at the prices being asked.

While we are indicating we think the market has cooled in the last fortnight, we are not saying prices are dropping – they are just leveling a bit as buyers say; no more – nope – that’s enough – I don’t wish to afford anymore. Consequently at the TOP END there are now fewer occasions when there are multiple extreme bidders pushing prices 10% beyond the previous week’s experiences. This in effect has produced a leveling of demand at the $2m+ mark and consequently vendors are selling at market expectations in line with last months performances or they are not selling.

The price surge since November 2009 on top of the unending climb since March 2009 may well be showing some light at the end of the tunnel for distressed buyers.

But please . We felt this cooling about a month ago and then the pre-Easter weekend slapped us in the face and said: “No buddy you’re wrong – no market leveling here”. That same cooling feeling or perhaps better described as less frenzied feeling is flowing freely throughout the Top End of the market today as buyers simply say. No.

No – I’m not scared anymore – I need to be sensible and if I can’t buy it at that; then I need to move on and find one I can.

This could become the May 2010 buyer mantra as we have good stock levels for the next 4 weeks. How long will it last? Personally I think it is a thought of some substance and we may see an extended period of buyer caution.  We are saying buyer caution not buyer inaction.

Many (not all) of the buyers who have a few million and then some to spend on a home understand money. They understand balance sheets; they work and/or mix in positions where they observe what is happening in business. And businesses right here and now are asking questions of the future.

So while buyers are not panicking in any shape or form – they are still around in very strong numbers – they as a collective seem to have taken a more circumspect view of what a home is worth to them. Buyers seem happy to leave it to those that must have it (bullish buyers or unrealistic sellers) and move on in search of a home that is good quality and sensibly priced.

Let’s hope this is the case because no one, bar an opportunist, loves operating in a boom and bust market. And if we keep booming then we are going to bust.

The Inner Melbourne Median Market say $1million to $1.5million is a completely different animal and this is to be expected. At this level discretion is not an option – you need to house the family. They are getting bigger or you are moving here or you are leaving home. Buyers need to buy and they still are in strong numbers. Nope. This market is still giving the impression it is well and truly unsatisfied and still has an incredible appetite for the markets offerings at this price level.

Some of today’s (Saturday May 1st) stats on the auctions we covered

Over $2million – Bidderman 1.9. Clearance Rate 60%

Address Bought Price Bidders
12 YOUNG STREET, Not Bought 0
3 KEITH COURT, BRIGHTON 2900000 4
10A MONOMEATH AVENUE, CANTERBURY 2800000 2
15 GRATTAN STREET, HAWTHORN 2490000 5
13 LYNDHURST CRESCENT, HAWTHORN 3151000 1
6 KEAM STREET, EAST 2000000 1
94 CLAREMONT AVENUE, MALVERN 2245000 3
14 WHEATLAND ROAD, MALVERN 2300000 6
2 WILLIS STREET, 2111000 3
32 GRANDVIEW GROVE, PRAHRAN EAST 4410000 3
7 KENSINGTON ROAD, Not Bought 0
76 CAROLINE STREET, SOUTH YARRA Not Bought 0
76 MASON STREET, SOUTH YARRA Not Bought 0
22 DAVIS AVENUE, SOUTH YARRA Not Bought 0
5 HOPETOUN ROAD, TOORAK Not Bought 0
  Clearance Bidderman
  60% 1.9

Under $2million – Bidderman 3. Clearance Rate 82%

Address Bought Price Bidders
16 MERTON STREET, 1412500 3
22 LORANNE STREET, BENTLEIGH 1320000 2
27 ALFORD STREET, BRIGHTON EAST 1386000 3
4 CARRINGTON GROVE, BRIGHTON EAST 1605000 4
79 ATHELSTAN ROAD, CAMBERWELL 1521000 2
29 HAWDON STREET, 1445000 5
161 ROSE STREET, FITZROY Not Bought 0
35 CHARLES STREET, 1755000 2
9 MYRTLE ROAD, HAMPTON 1620000 4
11 MYRTLE ROAD, HAMPTON 1453000 3
83 MANNINGTREE ROAD, HAWTHORN Not Bought 1
10 WATTLE ROAD, HAWTHORN 1245000 3
43 NICOL STREET, HIGHETT Not Bought 1
112 EDGEVALE ROAD, 1660000 5
23 SELBOURNE ROAD, KEW 1600000 1
67 EMO ROAD, MALVERN EAST 1381000 4
11 CLIFTON STREET, 1867500 3
5 DICKMANN STREET, RICHMOND 1092000 5
  Clearance  Bidderman
  82% 3

The market is not going backwards, it is just rejecting those who are still on the rise and rejecting those agents who have promised the world and then some, run a campaign accordingly and looked around at auction time surprised it’s not 15% over last week’s best result.

However buyers the market is not weak; it is still very strong at the right price for the right home.

Buy happy

Mal

Malvern 14 Wheatland Road auction crowd in excess of 100.

Malvern 14 Wheatland Road auction crowd in excess of 100.

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