oc | Friday 24th January

Hasta La Vista Winter!

The Great Triumvirate: John Bongiorno, Rae Tomlinson and James Connell at 46 Wheatland Road, Malvern, under hammer, $1,830,000, 6 bidders

At 6.00 pm on Saturday the James Clearance Rate for Melbourne’s $M+ was 69% on the 39 auctions we covered. The , our bidders per auction measurement, was 2.

  • Ducks (no bidder auctions) –23%
  • Lone Rangers (1 bidder auctions) – 17%
  • Norms (2-3 bidder auctions) – 46%
  • Volcanoes (4+ bidder auctions) – 14%

Another win to the Norms!

Biggest Auctions:

  • Toorak, 6 Heymount Close, Justin Long (Marshall White), under hammer, $4,050,000, 3 bidders
    Justin Long backed up from success across Toorak Rd to auction this 1970s SJB home in a quiet and well manicured Toorak cul de sac…(See More in Auction Report)
  • Armadale, 134 Kooyong Road, Mark Wridgway (RT Edgar), after auction, undisclosed above $3,310,000, 1 bidder
    “Your own private little resort” was the description frequently used by auctioneer…(See More in Auction Report)
  • , 8 Carpenter Street, (Marshall White), before auction, $2,621,000, 1 bidder
    Agent Kate Strickland kindly supplied me with details…(See More in Auction Reports)


  • Malvern, 46 Wheatland Road, John Bongiorno (Marshall White), under hammer, $1,830,000, 6 bidders
    Blossoms and bees mingled with the 80 strong crowd who attended today to see auctioneer John Bongiorno put this period home…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Surrey Hills, 31 Wandsworth Road, Patrick Dennis (Jellis Craig), under hammer, undisclosed above $1,500,000, 6 bidders
    You could feel the vibe at this auction and the sun was out to help power proceedings on….(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Kew, 4 Sir William Street, Tim Heavyside (Fletchers), under hammer, $2,450,000, 5 bidders
    “You’ll want to put your hand a little deeper in your pocket for this one”, said auctioneer Tim Heavyside…(See More in Auction Reports)

Biggest Pass Ins:

  • Brighton, 141 New Street, passed in, $5,300,000, no bidders
    Such elegance and grandeur behind the front fence of 141 New Street in the heart of Middle Brighton…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • , 156 Page Street, passed in, $3,200,000, no bidders
    It is a truism that rarely is the size of the crowd indicative of an outcome, as was once again demonstrated today…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • South Yarra, 20 Howitt Street, passed in, $3,210,000, three bidders
    Happy Birthday Melbourne! Yesterday saw our town reach 176 years of age…(See More in Auction Reports)

Ready for the main event: Mark Earle (Buxton), 106 Thomas St, Hampton, under hammer, $1,890,000, 3 bidders

What is really happening in the Inner Melbourne Auction Market

The market has been moving upwards since October 2012 – and anyone who questions the idea that this market is rocking along at a strong clip must be in a different city to the one we are bidding in.

Last week we bought 2 from 2 and the week before 7 from 10. These homes averaged in the $2 million to $3 million range.

This weekend our company bought 3 from 4

  • Malvern with Rae & Heather – 6 bidders – missed.
  • Surrey Hills with Pat Dennis – 6 bidders – we bought
  • Mont Albert with Jeremy Desmier – 3 bidders – we bought
  • Moonee Ponds with Bill Carp – 3 bidders – we bought.

Although it’s a small sample, let’s look a little closer at what happened with these properties this weekend:

  • All four were homes with good land content
  • All four were in the $1.5m to $2m range
  • Two were on the market with the opening bid – so Jellis Craig and Marshall White auctioneers were ethical in these instances, as was Fletchers last week. Keep it going boys and more buyers will bid!
  • All four sold under the hammer – so there was a meeting of minds on all four (Bidderman averaged 4.5 bidders per home)
  • Crowd sizes basically averaged 100

What do we think this means?

  • It means that in terms of bidder depth the market is hot right now in the $1 million to $3 million segment
  • It means that a number of vendors are being sensible on price and not getting ahead of themselves.
  • It means that while we have seen some .big price increases this year, we haven’t as yet been flying past the previous price peaks of 2010 and 2007.
  • It means there are a number of buyers who missed out and are still looking, and they will probably bid more aggressively next time around.

You might think the agents and we at James are talking the market up. We wish we were that good – don’t forget that in late 2011 and early to mid 2012 nobody could create any market love. But Spring, which officially starts next week, looks like it will be hotter than how I felt in my suit this weekend.

Moonee Ponds, 44 Steele Street (Bill Karp, Barry Plant), under hammer, undisclosed above $1,270,000, 3 bidders

What about stock?

For buyers it’s not all plain sailing. Our market is being interrupted by that Canberra thingo next week and then two weeks later it will be interrupted again by the Grand Final.

Summary on the Good homes

  • Bidder depth – strong. Underbidders will get more aggressive in the short term!
  • Supply – not bad, but we have some interruptions!
  • Price – is actually OK providing you understand that it’s back to top price on a number of good homes. How long that will last is anyone’s guess!

Agent Survey: “We are starting to hear about stock shortages for the first time. So do you think we will have stock shortages early Spring and is it an across the board thing or is it just certain price or type or geographic segments?”

Kate Strickland (Marshall White, Brighton): “There is a definitely buzz in the air as the days get longer, the  weather gets warmer and the flowers are starting to bloom. Couple that with high success rates at auction, and confidence at its best in years and we have a budding spring market ahead! It’s hard to comment on other , however will bloom as it always does as the sun starts to shine and people become inspired to upgrade, downsize or change their lifestyle choices. We will see stock levels rise in the coming months as they do every year- it just might be a late flurry!”

Kaine Lanyon (Marshall White, Albert Park): “We are seeing a very positive influx of listings for spring thus far, no shortages from what I can see at this stage. It has been a very healthy winter, and it looks like spring may deliver a wonderful selection for buyers in all price points if the listing activity we have seen over the past two/three weeks is any indication.”

Desiree Wakim (Marshall White, ): “We have a steady amount of properties coming through our offices in Bayside, Boroondarra and . The first half of spring might be lighter due to the school holidays, but traditionally the second half should be stronger, and our offices are starting to list a range of family homes now for October and November.”

Tim Picken (Kay & Burton, Hawthorn): “Currently there are some good quality stock shortages l think mainly due to the election. Vendors have been holding off but plan to be on the market into October and November. The improved confidence , low interest rates and reduction in the dollar should be enough for this spring to be solid as it absorbs more stock over the next 6 – 10 weeks.”

Note that there will be no Market News next week due to Election Day but we will return on September 14 after the dust in Canberra has settled.

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