oc | Wednesday 22nd January

This Market Is Building!

Tranquil setting, quiet auction: 30 Elizabeth Street, Elsternwick, Bill Stavrakis (Biggin & Scott), passed in, $6,000,000, no bidders but a big curious crowd of 150 people

At 6.00 pm on Saturday the James Clearance Rate for Melbourne’s $M+ property was 74% on the 35 auctions we covered. The market had a solid number of offerings, so this represented a good cross-section of what quality homes are doing right now.  The Weekly Review , our bidders per auction measurement, was 2.2, up from last week and back to where it’s been for the past couple of months.

  • Ducks (no bidder auctions) – 24%
  • Lone Rangers (1 bidder auctions) – 6%
  • Norms (2-3 bidder auctions) – 46%
  • Volcanoes (4+ bidder auctions) – 24%

A win to the Norms!

The Market right now feels like it’s building. It feels like there are very solid conditions out there for another real lift in proceedings. While there is bad news in sport, in politics and in industry – in the Inner Melbourne $M+ Market there seems to be very little bad news this year, especially when it comes to property with good content.

Biggest Auctions:

  • Toorak, 217 Kooyong Road, John Bongiorno (), under hammer, $3,865,000, 3 bidders
    If auctions were movies, this one would one of those slow-burn thrillers with a nail-biting finish!…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Balwyn, 13 Salisbury Street, James Tostevin (Marshall White), after auction, above $3,700,000, 3 bidders
    A succinct preamble from auctioneer James Tostevin is delivered in the front native garden…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Sandringham, 41-45 Fernhill Road, John Bongiorno (Marshall White), after auction, undisclosed above $3,760,000, 1 bidder
    In front of a big crowd of around 80 people John Bongiorno extolled the virtues of this iconic Sandringham home…(See More in Auction Reports)


  • Mont Albert, 117 Windsor Crescent, Doug McLauchlan (Marshall White), under hammer, $1,670,000, 5 bidders
    A massive crowd of 125 – They can’t all be neighbours – they weren’t! 5 bidders took this home beyond the reserve in an auction slow to get going at first….(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Parkville, 23 Benjamin Street, Milo Rasinac (), under hammer, $1,420,000, 5 bidders
    Auctioneer Milo Rasinac consistently rates for me as one of Melbourne’s best performers and he didn’t let us down here…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Canterbury, 4 Stanley Grove, Antony Woodley (Marshall White), under hammer, $1,710,000, 4 bidders
    Drivers were having fun doing the “Stanley Street Shuffle” with their cars banked up in both directions as the auction for this Edwardian home got underway…(See More in Auction Reports)

Biggest Pass Ins:

  • Elsternwick, 30 Elizabeth Street, passed in, $6,000,000, no bidders
    At least 150 locals turned out to stroll the grounds of this landmark inter-war home in Elizabeth St. With the interior off limits the punters craned their necks…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Canterbury, 54A Mont Albert Road, passed in, $3,800,000, no bidders
    With stately “Frognall” in the background, the deep front garden was an idyllic spot for this morning auction attended by 60 spectators…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Malvern, 25 Wilks Avenue, passed in, $2,700,000, no bidders
    Jeremy Fox and his team stood proudly in front of number 25 Wilks Avenue, Malvern this morning and, after putting a focus on the location…(See More in Auction Reports)

Port Melbourne, 362 Howe Parade, Andrew Edwards (Hocking Stuart), passed in, $1,000,000 no bidders

Round the Grounds

Call Gina buying Stonnington

This week our enquiry has been predominantly in the up to mid $1 million range – and what a competitive segment this is, in all parts of Stonnington! We bought a single-fronter in Malvern East at a Boardroom auction on Wednesday (with three active bidders) that had been scheduled for auction on Saturday (Daniel Wheeler and Justin Krongold, Marshall White).

Buyers looking to downsize into single level homes, apartments, or  just wanting to get into the market, are looking at properties at up to $1.5 million. While there is choice of property style, not all properties offer the same in terms of needs. After weighing up your physical needs against your financial position, emotional needs can often cause a rethink of financial limits. What lifestyle options can you get for properties quoted at low $1 million? And how much more do you get from pushing yourself and going up into the next price bracket by $100,000 – $200,000? Position is, as ever, important.

3Ps Peter buying the North

East Melbourne Terraces

A couple of weeks ago we witnessed 160 Powlett Street, East Melbourne going under the hammer for around $1,500,000. There were nine bidders in total and it leaves you wondering where the other eight bidders are looking now.

Apartments can be found for this sort of price in East Melbourne, but houses pop up far less frequently. Powlett St, while hotly contested, still needed significant investment in order to bring it up to scratch, probably making it an investment closer to $2,000,000 or even more when complete.

A few weeks later, 22 Vale Street, East Melbourne, is going to auction. Will it attract similar interest? How will the price compare? This home is in much better condition, with renovated spaces, so the hard yards aren’t required, whereas 160 Powlett Street was a deceased estate and the reserve seemed to be realistic. So it may not exactly be comparing apples with apples. But with few options currently available around the area, it will be interesting to see the level of competition for this home of similar vintage and size when it is auctioned on 24th August (Anthony Grimwade, RT Edgar).

Vino Guy buying Port Phillip

With thirteen properties over the one million dollar mark scheduled for auction in Port Phillip this weekend, there are signs that stock levels seem to be surviving without the need for resuscitation just yet. Mind you, quality will be in the eye of the beholder with some of these offerings.

A stand out was 15 Ruskin Street, Elwood, a free-standing Edwardian with good land content of 471 sqm (Sam Gamon of Chisholm and Gamon). It recently sold before auction for an undisclosed price. This has been a bit of a trend in recent months, where buyers not wanting to miss out on good offerings have been keen to bring things to a head in terms of price during the campaign phase.

$3 million +

Just Quietly In Stonnington: A solid brick 1920s residence at 20 Montalto Avenue, Toorak 792 sqm sold earlier in the week for in excess of $4,000,000 (Marcus Chiminello, Marshall White). It last sold in 2010 after passing in on a vendor bid of $3,800,000 with a different agency.

Architect Adam buying $3M+ Boroondara

The market continues to perform well and on my regular chats with agents the feedback is very positive. Interestingly, the clearance rates at the bigger firms for auctions are more often than not exceeding the average clearance rate.

Among the recent activity at this level is the sale of 26 Alexandra Avenue, Canterbury (Duane Wolowiec & Robert Ding, Marshall White) for $4,150,000 during a successful Expression of Interest campaign. According to Robert, there were another two buyers keen to pay over the $4 million mark for that property. Add this one to the growing list of large, French Provincial-inspired modern homes sold in the last month or so.

In Kew, 20 Fellows Street, (Rob Fletcher, Fletchers) sold this week for a figure believed to be near $5 million. This was a fine original mansion which had been used for apartments, and is on a large land holding of 2000m2.

Another big landholding sold recently at 43 Cascade Street, Balwyn North (Paul Richards & Evan Lykourinos, Bekdon Richards). The renovated 1930s home is set up for entertaining, on land of 3000m2. It sold for a price believed to be around the $5 million mark.

In addition, I understand 8 Lytton Street Kew (Laurence Murphy, Hocking Stuart) is under offer. This is another significant land sale in Kew’s Sackville ward area at over $3 million. If you placed no value on the house, that puts land at around the $2800 mark.

Klarity Kris buying $3M+ Bayside:

Over the next few weeks we will see the $3 million plus market being further tested.

Kickstarting the run this weekend was 41-45 Fernhill Road, Sandringham (Robin Parker/Barb Gregory, Marshall White), a five bedroom home circa 1908 with six living areas, a lap pool and tennis court on 1850 square metres.

Over the next couple of weeks the following properties are scheduled for auction:

  • 11 Wolseley Grove,
  • 3 Lorraine Street, Hampton
  • 121 New Street, Brighton

There are also properties for sale ‘quietly’ or ‘off market’ which are changing hands behind the scenes, with homes such as:

  • Modern family home, with 4 bedrooms and 2 living rooms on large land, with a pool in the Golden Mile
  • Single storey period home with 4 bedrooms and 2 living, a walk to shops and beach in the Diamond K
  • Modern family home, with 3 living areas and 4 bedrooms, a walk to shops and beach at Hampton’s ‘Brighton Beach’

Balwyn, 13 Salisbury Street, James Tostevin (Marshall White), after auction, undisclosed above $3,700,000, 3 bidders

Other Services now being provided by James Buyer Adovcates

James Buyer Advocates has always been known for family homes but we are in other markets as well.

Apartments: In the last month we have further strengthened our Top End Apartment Buying Division with the engagement of John Hazen, previously a director at Metrobuild (low to medium rise quality top end apartments). If you would like to really understand what the different sqm rates, in different buildings, on different floors are really going for and what the difference is between a good apartment and a not-so-good apartment financially and emotionally, or you simply need a hand to understand the Off Market or Expressions of Interest processes from a buying perspective then please call our office 98043133 for an appointment.

Sub-Million: Due to a substantial increase in enquiry demand from younger buyers, our group is now offering buyer advocacy services to the below $1 million market in Inner Melbourne through our company called Bidderman.com.au. Over the next few months you will see the launch of another website and you will begin to notice more of our new younger dynamic team around the traps. Similar systems, same ratings, similar negotiation strategies and we anticipate similar results = good buying decisions for our younger clients. So for buying help under a million – Bidderman.com.au. In the first instance please call 98043133

Chinese Community: This is not a new market for us but we are now putting more resources into helping the Chinese community. Despite the lessons, our Chinese is very basic and so we have added Diane, a very good translator, to our on-call team. Below is an abridged version of our Market News that appears in Vision Times.

Agent Survey: How is the top end market ($2-3m+) market going? Are people coming out of their winter hibernation and putting their homes on the market?

(Nick Johnstone, Brighton): “The top end market is very strong at the moment – we are just starved of properties. We definitely have more buyers than sellers in that top end , the interest is very strong from mainland China and the ex-pat community , who see great value in the top end of our property market. There is no secret that Melbourne is the ‘ go to’ city ahead of Sydney to . From a domestic point of view, it is clear rates are extremely low and staying low, so what a great time to upgrade with money at historically cheap levels.”

(Marshall White, ): “There is no doubt that the $3m+ is coming back after a quiet-ish school holiday and winter break. We are currently dealing with large numbers of offers on properties in this range and this activity is encouraging prospective vendors to sell now, especially in the low environment we are currently in.”

Arch Staver (Nelson Alexander, Fitzroy): “Finally we are beginning to see the hibernating vendors of $2m + properties engage us. We have a good handful of quality homes in the mid $2m range and a small selection of $3m plus homes now locked in for late September and early October. A definitive election result and perhaps one more easing from the RBA and who knows, we may start following the Sydney market which is presently bubbling in that price range.”


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