oc | Thursday 23rd January

Market picking up, but still lacking depth

Did we say there was no excitement? There was a bit! (RT Edgar), sells 13 Cole Crt, Toorak, under the hammer for $5,500,000, 3 bidders

At 6pm on Saturday, the James $M+ Clearance Rate was 60% across the 30 auctions we attended.

The Bidderman was 1.3 bidders per auction. This confirms our view that while the market is looking okay when you look at clearance rates, it is thin on the ground when it comes to bidders. Almost two thirds of the auctions we attended this weekend were either ducks (no bidders) or lone rangers (one bidder). There were only two volcanoes (4+ bidders) out of our sample of 30 auctions attended.

Market Summary

STOP PRESS: Monday August 13th: After news of two strong sales in Bayside on the weekend, two more can now be confirmed and they are 78 Esplanade for we believe over $8,500,000 – and 1 Wellington St for we believe over $7 million – we believe also with Jonathan Dixon. (See Our $3M Plus Market Report)

With around 70 auctions this weekend, this was the first market mini-test to see if there was any excitement out there in Inner Melbourne property-wise. Next week and the week after we are back to a paltry 50 or so auctions over $M+ in Inner East and Bayside – when 100 is a strong weekend.

Let’s get straight to the action:

Biggest Sales:

  • Toorak, 13 Cole Court, Jeremy Fox (RT Edgar), under the hammer, $5,500,000, 3 bidders
    With Ferraris and Lamborghinis lining the street, there was a feeling of excitement and anticipation in the air…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Camberwell, 608 Riversdale Rd, (Kay & Burton), after auction, undisclosed above $3,135,000, 2 bidders
    This stately Ussher and Kemp home (circ. 1899), with a contemporary interior, attracted 60 curious onlookers into the front garden…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Brighton, 45 Middle Cres, Jonathan Dixon (JP Dixon), under the hammer, just under $3million, 2 bidders
    Thoroughly professional, and highly entertaining throughout the proceedings, Jonathan Dixon promised a brisk auction, in line with the brisk weather, as very dark clouds threatened above…(See More in Auction Reports)

Crowds were out at some auctions on Saturday: James Tostevin (Marshall White), at 13 Raven St, , in front of a big crowd of around 150 people. Passed in, $3,000,000, no bidders

Bidderbuzz Auctions:

  • Glen Iris, 8 Viva St, Andrew Hayne (Marshall White), under the hammer, $1,885,000, 5 bidders
    A big auction, with five bidders vying for the prize…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Mont Albert, 17 Victoria Cres, Richard Earle (), under the hammer, $2,810,000, 4 bidders
    This auction had it all. It was filled with light-hearted banter, spirited bidders and lots of twists and turns…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Elwood, 1 Addison St, Gerald Delany (Kay & Burton), after auction, undisclosed, 3 bidders
    The sun shone on the crowd that had gathered to see Gerald Delany take this property to auction…(See More in Auction Reports)

Biggest Pass Ins:

  • East Melbourne, 123 Gipps St, passed in, $3,800,000, no bidders
    With the gentle trickle of water from the property’s fountain, the chatter from the crowd of 50 and the four dogs sitting patiently at the feet of their owners, the scene was set for this East Melbourne auction…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Brighton, 22 Normanby St, passed in, $3,300,000, no bidders
    Campbell Cooney had just come from another auction at which heavy black clouds hovered ominously above…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Kew, 13 Raven St, passed in, $3,000,000, no bidders
    Huge turnout for this auction – 150 people at least in attendance and over 200 groups went through the ‘opens’, according to auctioneer James Tostevin…(See More in Auction Reports)


Elwood: Not a lot has been happening in Elwood of late. It has taken on the mantle of a bit of fringe suburb, which is surprising to us. Prices have just not been flying there like they used to. Take, for example, the land sale at 5 Ruskin St Elwood which had been listed with another company at $1.35m to $1.45m earlier before being sold by Michael Townsend of Hodges for around $1.1m. That sale price says land in a good street in Elwood is around $2300 per square metre, which is a fair drop from the $3,000+ per square metre we were using in calculations 18 months ago.

The $3m+ Market:

The $3m+ market is starting to leave the blocks for Spring, albeit as slow as our Gold Medal count in the first week. There is a trickle of good stock coming and if the market can see a few more blockbusters like 13 Cole Court then, who knows, maybe some life will return to the this Spring.

Two $3m+ auctions are worth noting. 123 Gipps St, East Melbourne had an asking price last year of $6 million and this weekend passed-in on a vendor bid, with no bidding, at $3.8 million. Our rating was 762/1000, but we had concluded our comment last year by noting that the asking price was brave. So no surprises there. On the other hand, we thought 13 Cole Court, Toorak (Jeremy Fox) was a good build, but we figured it would sell for no more than the high $4 millions and could struggle if the asking price was too brave. But what do we know? There were three bidders and the property sold for $5.5 million under the hammer.

Some recent quieter sales:

  • Brighton, 12 Normanby Street, Dennis Bowen-Day of Biggin and Scott , bought for early to mid $3 millions
  • Toorak, 5 Highgate Hill, Tim Derham of Abercrombys , bought for early to mid $3 millions
  • Armadale, 8 Royal Crescent, Heather Elder of Marshall White, bought for a tad under $3 million

Agent Question: How has the market been since the school holidays?

David Hart, Buxton (Brighton): ”Since the holidays, the number of sales across Brighton has been well down on previous years. Over the last 3 weeks or so, stock levels have been steadily rising in anticipation of the spring market. Our own forthcoming auction listings have tripled in that time, and quite a few owners are now contemplating a spring sale. The market has been quite healthy for quality, well priced homes. It would appear that most vendors and buyers are now pretty much on the same page with price.”

Mark Wridgway, RT Edgar (Toorak): “The local market has been fairly consistent since the school holidays. I would describe the market as ‘buoyant’ with both vendors and buyers reaching agreement – you will notice that there are very few properties remaining unsold for an extended period. The school holiday slowdown was typical of most years, perhaps stock levels dropped a little lower than average, but stock levels have recovered quite strongly for the pre-spring selling season.”

Scott Patterson, Kay & Burton (Hawthorn): “We have noticed strong numbers of buyers attending open for inspections and auctions, particularly around Hawthorn and Hawthorn East in recent weeks. This was evidenced at 2 Nicholson Street, Hawthorn East where a 150+ crowd watched 6 bidders fight for the property. Quality sells in any market but this also illustrated that demand is currently outpacing supply. Stock levels appear to be improving as sellers are locking in for auctions on the 15th and 22nd September prior to school holidays and the AFL Grand final. The $1m-$2m (market) continues to be the most active segment of the Boroondara marketplace.”

Buyer Masterclass: A bit of a think piece this week as we look at how to get your head around price when others maybe losing theirs.

Big Issue Video: The August Video is UP and we cover Stock, Price and Risk

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