oc | Thursday 23rd January

Depth of demand holds up on another weekend of big numbers.

John Piccolo looks a little concerned, but he needn't worry with 8 bidders on board, as a sale was a sure thing. 73 Bowen St, . Bought under the hammer, $1,393,500.

At 6.00 pm the James Clearance Rate for Melbournes $M+ was 65% and The Weekly Review Bidderman, our bidders per auction measurement, was a solid 2.2.

Last weekend we reported a strong start for our first Super Saturday, with Bidderman a very healthy 2.2 bidders per auction on big numbers of stock on offer with almost everywhere 70%+ clearance rates. The bidders were out in force at Melbourne’s million dollar plus auctions, with more than 20% of auctions ‘volcanoes’, with four or more bidders.

This weekend was another Super Saturday, with nearly 150 $M+ auctions, and Bidderman was again extremely healthy at 2.2 bidders per auction, showing that even on big numbers there is currently significant market depth, especially in the $2m range.

The only real exception to the continuing good news story from a market point of view was Bayside. Last week it was Top of the Pops. This week the clearance rate took a tumble down to 44%. Even then, we did see two bidders fight out a $6m plus battle for some good land and a so-so home at 28 Victoria St Brighton, which last year a mostly off market campaign failed to attract a serious buyer for. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in Bayside in the run up to Easter.

We think there is real depth at $2m – this is the opposite to the early parts of last year, when this was a weak price segment.

By way of example below, here are some of the homes, mainly in the $2m range, we have negotiated for on behalf of clients over the last fortnight or so. This does not include off markets.

Suburb Agent Description Method Price Range Bidders
Mark Wridgway Period Home We Bought before Auction $2.5M+ 1
Glen Iris Maddie Kennedy Single Level Home We Bought at Auction $2.5M+ 3
Malvern East Marcus Chiminello New Home We Missed at Auction $2.0M+ 4
Brighton East Rob Strickland New home We Bought before Auction $2.0M+ 2
Armadale Lachie Fraser-Smith Period home We Bought at Auction $1.5M+ 2
Brighton Stewart Lopez Period home We Bought after EOI $5.0M+ 1
Malvern East Glen Coutinho Land We Bought at Auction $2.5M+ 2
East James Redfern Land We Bought before Auction in a Boardroom Auction $2.5M+ 4


Next week provides an early auction breather (Labour Day weekend and no Marketnews) so we have to wait a fortnight to see if this very strong run continues. Bidderman says it will, but an en masse change in vendor expectations may thwart that!

Below is the headline you will read in The Weekly Review in our Buyer Article this week – it was submitted to print before this weekend’s second Super Saturday, but in our opinion the headline rings true for right now! After Easter who knows!

VOLCANOES OF DEMAND ERUPT ON MELBOURNE’S SUPER SATURDAYS

Read the big bidder auctions below, with more in our Auction Reports. As well, the Expert Commentary from a number of agents at the end of this article seems for the most part to be saying the same thing.

Another win to the Volcanoes!

  • Ducks (no bidder auctions) – 24%
  • Lone Rangers (one bidder auctions) – 24%
  • Norms (2 or 3 bidder auctions) – 24%
  • Volcanoes ( 4 or more bidder auctions) – 28%

Elsternwick, 7 McCombie St, Bill Stavrakis, (Biggin & Scott), under hammer, $1,151,000, 8 bidders
“It’s hard to say who was the star in the auction of this 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom, double-fronted Edwardian renovation. Was it the house itself or was it entertaining auctioneer, Bill Stavrakis? A crowd of 120 or so had gathered in this leafy oasis in the bustle of busy Elsternwick”…(See More in Auction Reports)

Camberwell, 73 Bowen St, John Piccolo, (Woodards), under hammer, $1,393,500, 8 bidders
“An excellent turnout of more than 90 people for this original Californian Bungalow had consummate auctioneer John Piccolo poised and ready for action. Straight out of the blocks, Bidder 1 made his move at $1,150,000”…(See More in Auction Reports)

Elsternwick, 28 Park St, Phillip Kingston, (), under hammer, $1,340,000, 6 bidders
“With cakes, lollies, loud speakers and singing, I wondered if this was going to be a concert? Or it might well have been the start of the Comedy Festival with entertaining auctioneer Phillip Kingston as Master of Ceremonies”…(See More in Auction Reports)


Port Phillip – Clearance Rate was 65% on 27 auctions – solid
Three out of the four auctions I attended last weekend had well-known local agents bidding on behalf of others. You do see this every now and then at auctions. But to see three on one weekend made me wonder if it’s the beginning of a new trend for 2013. …(See More in Guy’s Port Phillip Market Wrap)

Boroondara – Clearance Rate was 77% on 53 auctions – strong
There is a good feel to the market right now. Buyers are positive and vendors seem to be on board too and are meeting the market. Along with this, the media is mainly positive about the market, which always helps.. …(See More in Adam’s Boroondara Market Wrap)

Bayside – Clearance Rate was 44% on 19 auctions – poor
This week, have both been eager to see whether the market would back up last week’s clearance rates. Nine fewer homes were up for auction this weekend, but that’s still 20 auctions over $1,000,000.. …(See More in Kris’s Bayside Market Wrap)

Stonnington – Clearance Rate was 85% on 38 auctions – strong
Last weekend was the first test of the market and Stonnington passed with almost an “A” grade (in the old school standards), with a healthy 78% clearance rate.. …(See More in Gina;s Stonnington Market Wrap)

$3m plus. We totally support David Morrell’s opinion in the mid week Financial Review – that “at the Top of the Top end, it is too early to tell”. Sure there were two sales this weekend over $6 million, and last week the East Melbourne auction had 4 bidders around $5m, but, as David pointed out, there are a stack of homes in Toorak still unsold from last year. This means there is a large overhang to clean up before this price segment can really go anywhere.

Possibly, if a number of those vendors moved from wanting a price to wanting a result, then they too might enjoy the current market enthusiasm occurring a little lower down the food chain.

This weekend’s $3m+ auction results were mixed. Although, with 6 bidders for 47 York Street St Kilda West, $3,130,000 (Michael Paproth), there are still 5 buyers with that sort of money sipping lattes at Armstrong St Foodstore.  And while we are seeing some examples of off-market and EOI sales e.g. Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East (Marcus Chiminello) for around $7m on Monday, we are also seeing a number of non events at the Top End (see below).

Price Check

  • Kew, 6 Alfred St, Scott Pattersonpassed in at $3,150,000 – 1 bidder. This property, which is prime location Sackville ward land with a south-facing rear, was purchased recently for around $4,000,000.
  • South Yarra 82 Toorak Road West Marcus Chiminello – under the hammer $4,365,000. The price paid was within a few dollars of what was paid in 2009.
  • Brighton – 26 Victoria St – Leigh Hallamore and Brian Devlin and Regina Schmidt – $6,200,000. Even though we feel the market is quite positive, this was still the price shock of the day. Basically two blocks of prime Diamond K Brighton land side by side with a house on it that we don’t rate. But let’s be generous, let’s say its worth $1,400,000 (and it’s not at this level of offering). Then even with that home “valuation” the sale price makes for land worth well in excess of $3,000 per sqm. For me the numbers stacked up to a million less – so this was a top result!

Developers – By the way two developers have paid $13,000,000 between them this week for sites. (Camberwell 100+ Apartment Site and South Yarra – currently 18 single bedroom apartments)

This Weekend’s Biggest Auctions

South Yarra, 32-36 Domain St, Gerald Delany, (Kay & Burton), after auction, $6,450,000, 1 bidder
“Quite a crowd turned out to watch the auction of this large property, which is being offered with plans and permits for five luxury architect designed apartments, according to the Kay & Burton team. Gerald Delany was our master of ceremonies”…(See More in Auction Reports)

Brighton, 26-28 Victoria St, Leigh Hallamore, (Buxton), under hammer, $6,200,000, 2 bidders
“Auctioneer Leigh Hallamore started the auction at 26-28 Victoria Street by motivating the crowd with talk of improved clearances and more buyers in the market. Whilst everything seemed set for a quiet auction”…(See More in Auction Reports)

South Yarra, 82 Toorak Road West, Marcus Chiminello, (Marshall White), under hammer, $4,365,000, 4 bidders
“Summer may have come and gone, but not so the buyers. Under a clear blue sky with a hint of autumn in the air, a crowd of 50 gathers to watch auctioneer Marcus Chiminello put this imposing terrace through its paces”…(See More in Auction Reports)

Biggest Pass Ins

Hampton, 38 Bolton Ave, passed in, $4,200,000, no bidders
“A crowd of about 75 people gathered to watch the auction of this large land holding in Hampton. However, gathering around the cul-de-sac at the end of the street, it felt quite quiet”…(See More in Auction Reports)

, 120 Winmalee Rd, passed in, $4,000,000, no bidders
“The entrance to this Balwyn new-build hosted a bigger jumble of one-off shoes than a Myer stocktake sale. The footwear count was 90 pairs – a decent-sized crowd had indeed rolled up”…(See More in Auction Reports)

Carlton North, 29 Wilson St, passed in, $3,500,000, 1 bidder
“The charm of this freestanding historic home in Carlton North was not lost on those who turned out to inspect this magnificent property with several groups relaxing in the front and back garden oasis. A crowd of close to 200 people gathered, and in some cases reclined”…(See More in Auction Reports)


David Hart, Buxton, (Brighton): “The market this year has started with a degree of – certainly not with the gusto of 2007, or 2009, but with more vitality than 2008 and 2011. Buyers and sellers appear to be on the same page regarding price, which certainly stimulates more competition at auctions. If you look at the recent history of median price statistics, the prices are set to have an upward trend once again. I’m pretty optimistic about the 2013 market.”

Gary Peer, Gary Peer, (Caulfield North): “The opening weekend of auctions for 2013 has possibly been the most surprising in recent years. The relatively subdued market conditions of 2012 provided no indication of the significantly buoyant and bullish buyer behaviour on the real estate year’s opening weekend. Our agency sold 17 of the 20 scheduled auctions with many of our auctions attracting 3, 4, 5 and even 6 bidders. These scenes were very few and far between in 2012 and more aligned to the boom markets of 2007 and 2010. We have another 20 auctions this weekend which we will be closely observing as to whether last weekend was ‘bolt out of the blue’, or a sign of things to come.”

Kaine Lanyon, Marshall White, (): “2013 has got off to a cracking start, the auction success rates are as good as we have seen since 2009 (admittedly we are only two weeks in.) But, all in all, it would have to be one of the better starts compared to the previous six years. The depth of buyer interest is very good for the majority of our properties and most importantly the buyer sentiment and confidence is alive & well. Importantly, the top end buyers are also ready to purchase if they can find that elusive quality offering. Should be a solid year for inner bayside property.”

Tim Picken, Kay & Burton, (Hawthorn): “The start of 2013 has been very similar to the start of 2009. Back then the previous 6-9 months through the GFC the market came back anywhere from 5% through to 20% depending on the quality of the property and the value of the property. We have seen similar falls in 2011 and 2012 due to the softening of the Chinese economy, Europe’s problems and the fiscal cliff scare in the US. However as approached last year, we started to see more confidence especially in China and the US. The media were starting to report healthier clearance rates and as a result we had some encouraging results through November and December. As we commence the busy March selling period, we have seen a lack of quality properties available over summer and strong stock market gains which has definitely seen more energy in the market over the last 3-4 weeks. With the election now locked in and improved business confidence, 2013 should be a good year with growth of between 5% – 10 % expected across the better areas of Melbourne.”

Tom Roberts, , (Carlton North): “Historically the start to any year brings with it a dearth of stock and if you look at any year 2008 through to 2013 it will be born out in the statistics. This year is no different but with the early positioning of Easter and a smattering of public holidays in the early part of March and towards the end of April we seem to be having a tighter than usual level of stock on the market as compared to the aforementioned years. This incorporated with a positive sentiment in the market place is looking to make this year one of the stronger starts from a price point that we have seen for a number of years.”

Big sale in Brighton. 26-28 Victoria St, Leigh, Brian and Regina (Buxton), under hammer, $6,200,000, 2 bidders

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