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Did it Suck or did it Sizzle? We think it Sizzled!

The Old Boy with a smile on his face - must have been a good Super Saturday. Iain Carmichael (BenMac), 33 Belson St, , passed in, $1,800,000, 1 bidder

At 6pm on Saturday, the James Clearance Rate for $M+ was 71% on the 42 auctions we attended. The Weekly Review , our indicator, was 1.8 bidders per auction.

  • Volcanoes – Of the 42 auctions we covered, there were seven auctions with 4+ bidders. That’s not bad!
  • Ducks (no bidders):14%    Lone Rangers (1 bidder):27%  Norms (2 and 3 bidders):40%  Volcanoes (4+ bidders):19%
  • Hammer Rate (sold under the hammer) was 1 in 3 auctions
  • Bought Befores – There were five. (This is an increasing trend, which means buyers need to think more laterally.)

The market had stepped up a notch over the last fortnight or so, and we, along with many agents, were predicting a strongish Super Saturday. Looking at the results, that is pretty much what has happened. (Our one proviso: with so many auctions around, we focused purely on the goodies. So our numbers could be said to represent the “good $M+ home index” rather than the “all $M+ homes  index”.)

With the high stock levels (the largest of the year so far), we said last week that if we saw Bidderman approaching 2 bidders per auction and a Clearance rate over 60%, that would say positive things about the market.

With a James $M+ Clearance Rate at 71% and Bidderman at 1.8, we think the market got more than a scrape-through pass this weekend – it actually did pretty well (and so have the selling agents).

When you compare this to exactly the same Super Saturday last year, you can see the significant improvement. Last Year (October 22nd 2011) the James Clearance Rate for $M+ was 43% on the 46 auctions we attended and Bidderman was at 1.3 bidders per auction. Big difference!

Why is this happening?

Two key reasons

1)      Buyers – After any drought those with the strongest thirst come to the fore. There has been a big stock drought and now that has eased it created some very strong results, compared to what most expected 6 weeks ago.

2)      Many sellers really have worked out that if you price correctly you will sell.

A few words of consolation for those buyers who missed out this weekend:

  1. After a while the thirstiest are satisfied, so late Spring could still be all right for those left. But you may still have to lift your game a tad.
  2. Activity breeds more activity, so we would expect more properties to be coming onto the market over the next few weeks (as well as more off-markets).

But the fact is that, right now, some buyers are lambs to the slaughter at some auctions. Which means you need to think laterally – your competition certainly is.

For sellers, here is our best advice:

If you have a great A-grader, the risk of a poor result is lower than two months ago – as long as you price to market. Remember that the action may well run on a little after it’s “on the market”.

If you have a B grader that is priced correctly then it should also sell, which wasn’t always happening a few months ago. But if you price too high – in other words, go after a price rather than a market result – your campaign will not leave the starting blocks, let alone get the result you were counting on.

What our advocates experienced this weekend.

On Saturday, we bid on properties at , two in , Malvern, , Middle Park and . We lost more than we won, a sign of an improving market.

It’s worth noting that Super Saturday started before Saturday for some. During the week we bought for clients at Yarraville (Leo Dardha and Adam Welling) in a 5½ hour negotiation (well done to seller, buyer and selling agents for hanging in there!). In Surrey Hills we purchased for clients through an expression of interest, before an in-house auction bidding competition on Thursday (Dawn Kay and Michael Scudds). On Friday we bought an off-market property for clients in Stonnington which involved two agents and agencies working together (John Morrisby and Andrew Hayne) and two homes (well done to all). On the middle sale involving Michael Scudds of Ian Reid Vendor Advocacy – we’ve had a few dealings with Michael and this joint agency arrangement, and we have found his procedures consistent, truthful and to the benefit of the seller.

Regarding those properties we had an interest in: we thought 201 Liardet St Port Melbourne (Oliver Bruce) would get more and we thought 67 Coppin St Malvern East (Rae Tomlinson) and 93 Abbott St Sandringham (James Paynter) would get less. The rest were pretty well as predicted.

Why are Super Saturdays Important?

This was a really useful day for those that like to watch the market – it was one of the 6 auction majors during the year (see Buyer Masterclass). These big days are really important because they give you a true picture of the state of the market’s health right now. With such strong , all of us in the market can see the depth of demand (Bidderman) and are able to form our own opinion of price direction from the Clearance Rate.

So what happened out there on Saturday?

Some big results on Super Saturday. 4 Stawell St, Kew, James Tostevin (Marshall White), under hammer, $2,970,000, 2 bidders

Price Segments

  • $1m+ – Of the 20 auctions we covered, we saw a Clearance Rate of 65% and Bidderman of around 2. If things stay like this, then prices will get better. The big question is whether things will “stay like this”. Our best guess is they will, at least till , as there is good bidder depth and vendors are now more informed. Bidders (4,3,2,3,5,4,3,2,1,2,1,1,3,1,3,2,0,0,0,0)
  • $2m+ – Of the 10 auctions we covered, there was a Clearance Rate of 80% and Bidderman of also around 2. This price segment has been improving for some time now. Bidders (4,3,2,1,2,4,2,2,0,0)
  • $3m+ – Of the 7 auctions we covered, the result was about 50/50. There were 12 bidders across those  7 auctions, including two volcanoes (4+ bidder auctions).
    Footnote: Non auction highlight of the week was 3 Bonleigh Avenue Brighton (Nick Johnstone) – Golden Mile waterfront at $6,500,000 or $8,643 per sqm.

Geographical Segments

Clearance Rate


Oct 22 2011

Oct 27 2012



61% Solid pass on Good Numbers
Port Phillip


67% Solid Pass on Good Numbers


61% Solid Pass on Good Numbers


81% Rock Solid Distinction

Biggest Sale of the Day:

  • Port Melbourne, 8 First Point, David Wood (Hocking Stuart), after auction, $4,100,000, no bidders


Biggest Auctions:

  • Kew, 24 Dean St, Hamish Tostevin (Marshall White), after auction, $3,920,000, 2 bidders
    There was a sense of expectation from the crowd…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Kew, 4 Stawell St, James Tostevin (Marshall White), under hammer, $2,970,000, 2 bidders
    Great crowd of around 150 people for this lovely ‘Mini Mansion’…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Camberwell, 31 Nelson Rd, Scott Patterson (Kay & Burton), under hammer, $2,848,000, 2 bidders
    This was auctioneer Scott Patterson’s sixth auction for the day..(See More in Auction Reports)


  • Hawthorn, 17 Melville St, Scott Patterson (Kay & Burton), under hammer, $1,661,000, 5 bidders

Pass Ins:

  • Camberwell, 139 Wattle Valley Rd, passed in, $3,500,000, no bidders
    ‘Every single party in the street has been held at this house’…(See More in Auction Reports)


Biggest Auctions:

  • Malvern East, 67 Coppin St, Marcus Chiminello (Marshall White), under hammer, $3,355,000, 4 bidders
    This one had all the ingredients for a lively contest…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • South Yarra, 18 Avoca St, Jeremy Fox (RT Edgar), under hammer, $2,645,000, 4 bidders
    The crowd of 85 filled the inclined street and auctioneer Jeremy Fox…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Armadale, 14 Royal Cres, Gowan Stubbings (Kay & Burton), undisclosed above $2,500,000, 0 bidders
    There were enough onlookers for this Gowan Stubbing’s auction…(See More in Auction Reports)


  • Malvern, 29 Raleigh St, Daniel Wheeler (Marshall White), after auction, $1,462,500, 3 bidders
    Auctioneer Daniel Wheeler addressed a crowd of 50…(See More in Auction Reports)

Pass Ins:

  • Kooyong, 26 Monaro Rd, passed in, $4,700,000, no bidders
    The only thing super about this auction was the opening vendor bid of $4,700,000..(See More in Auction Reports)

Deal done on Super Saturday. 21 Mary St, St Kilda West, Karl Gillon (Buxton), under hammer, $3,300,000, 5 bidders

Port Phillip:

Biggest Auctions:

  • St Kilda West, 21 Mary St, Karl Gillon (Buxton), under hammer, $3,300,000, 5 bidders
    Cast your mind back to Super Saturday five years ago when auction..(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Elwood, 8A Vautier St, Rob Harvey (Hocking Stuart), under hammer, $2,650,000, 4 bidders
    The crowds gathered to see this hidden, architecturally stunning…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Port Melbourne, 201 Liardet St, Damian O’Sullivan (Marshall White), $1,350,000, 2 bidders
    With this being the the biggest auction weekend for nearly two years..(See More in Auction Reports)


  • Middle Park, 86 Harold St, David Sullivan (Hocking Stuart), under hammer, undisclosed, 3 bidders
    Auctioneer David Wood was like all agents in Melbourne today …(See More in Auction Reports)

Pass Ins:

  • Albert Park, 45 Greig St, passed in $1,050,000, no bidders
    Going against the vibe of Super Saturday, it was a small crowd..(See More in Auction Reports)


Biggest Auctions:

  • Brighton, 148 The Esplanade, Jonathan Dixon (JP Dixon), after auction, undisclosed in the mid $3m’s,
    Jonathan Dixon stood in the timber panelled dining room of “Moana”..(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Sandringham, 93 Abbott St, James Paynter (Hodges), under hammer, $2,330,000, 3 bidders
    Not a big crowd here to witness this James Paynter auction…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Sandringham, 77 Victoria St, Scott Banks (Scott Banks), after auction, $2,400,000, 2 bidders
    In popular Victoria St, number 77 is a modern architect designed…(See More in Auction Reports)


  • Hampton, 71 Littlewood St, Nick Johnstone (Nick Johnstone), under hammer, $1,804,000, 3 bidders
    Big crowd of 100 or so here to witness the sale of nicely renovated…(See More in Auction Reports)

Pass Ins:

  • Brighton, 2 Middle Cres, passed in, $3,600,000, 1 bidder
    Jonathan Dixon gathered the large crowd of 50 people into the house..(See More in Auction Reports)

Private Sales and Off Markets

And finally, with the improvement in parts of the market, its important to note that the market is not just about Super Saturday Auctions. Right now there are a number of off-markets and private sales going on. As a company, we have got a number of negotiations hopefully coming to a conclusion sometime soon (depending on the involved) at $6m+ in Stonnington, $4m+ in Port Phillip and $3m+ in Bayside. We are also just beginning negotiations on a few Expressions of Interest in Stonnington and Boroondara, all for over $3m. These could take a week, they could also take months, or they may not happen at all (again, depending on the involved).

Whilst we are still working as advocates, Marketnews is off to the races next week. Upon its return on November 10th we begin our final sprint to Christmas. Yep only 6 (maybe 7) more auction Saturdays till comes!

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