oc | Friday 24th January

Some goodies amongst the limited stock

Big crowd, big auction: 3 Fermanagh Road, Camberwell (Steven Abbott, Jellis Craig), after auction, $4,700,000, 2 bidders and a huge crowd of around 150 people

At 6.00 pm on Saturday the James Clearance Rate for Melbourne’s $M+ was 67% on the 36 auctions we covered. The , our bidders per auction measurement, was 1.7 – a little down on previous weeks.

  • Ducks (no bidder auctions) – 19%
  • Lone Rangers (1 bidder auctions) – 25%
  • Norms (2-3 bidder auctions) – 45%
  • Volcanoes (4+ bidder auctions) – 11%

A win to the Norms!

Right now it is proving a little hard to work through exactly where individual properties are going to end up. We have been genuinely surprised at some of the results, given the fever pitch activity of June and before. However there is nothing consistent, with a number of homes that have rocked along at levels one would expect in what is effectively the highest priced Melbourne market in history.

Funny isn’t it? After all the doom and gloom of the past few years we are now at the top of Melbourne’s Everest. We are up higher than we’ve been before and the market seems OK with that.


In August we are on low stock levels, although there are some goodies in amongst the limited stock. The election appears to have had some effect on bidding – not because buyers are nervous, more so because they can see some vendors holding back in terms of listing and therefore they are saying I won’t bid now but take my chances to wait and see what stock shows up in late September and early October.

Let’s wait and see how that strategy turns out.

So the market has very much turned into a steady-as-she-goes one. We think that for now prices have stopped the very strong march northwards we were seeing just two months ago. Not that there has been a big shift in the market, but the market has moved from dynamic to steady. Next month it may change again.

This can be said to be normal for this time of the year.

Given that three out of the next four weeks will have less than 100 $1million plus auctions in Bayside and Inner East, it really won’t be until the end of September before we will be able to say with certainty whether this year’s Spring market is noticeably different from what was a very strong Melbourne Autumn market.

Couple of greenies: 187 Rouse Street, Port Melbourne (Michael Szulc, Cayzer), after auction, undisclosed above $1,060,000, 1 bidder

Biggest Auctions:

  • Camberwell, 3 Fermanagh Road, Steven Abbott (Jellis Craig), after auction, $4,700,000, 2 bidders
    A great crowd for this auction and rightly so as the property was a very good one. Auctioneer Steven Abbott kicked things off right on time…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • , 9 Dawson Avenue, Peter Kennett (), after auction, $3,950,000, 1 bidder
    Isn’t it wonderful when, on a crisp and sunny winter’s day, you can see the bay glistening at the end of the street, or the avenue…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Balwyn, 3 Monash Avenue, Chris Ewart (Christopher Russell), after auction, $3,160,000, 2 bidders
    A sizeable crowd turned up to watch auctioneer Chris Ewart put an equally sizeable home to the market and for once the weather held out as the crowd…(See More in Auction Reports)


  • Hampton, 49 Holyrood Street, Stephen Wigley (Hodges), under hammer, $1,795,000, 6 bidders
    This was the smallest auction I attended this weekend – but by no means was it the quietest…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Elsternwick, 26 Downshire Road, Bill Stavrakis (Biggin & Scott), under hammer, $1,925,000, 4 bidders
    Waiting, waiting, waiting……. and out pops the exquisitely groomed Angelos Stefanis – making eye connection with some in the crowd…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • , 7 Bell Street, Antony Woodley (), under hammer, $1,135,000, 4 bidders
    I love an Antony Woodley auction. His delivery is commanding, energetic and entertaining….(See More in Auction Reports)

Biggest Pass Ins:

  • Kew, 8 Lytton Street, passed in, $3,225,000, 2 bidders
    A quiet court location in the Sackville Ward, great place to be on sunny Melbourne late winter day. Properties don’t come up in the Lytton Street…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Middle Park, 64 Canterbury Road, passed in, $2,850,000, no bidders
    The sun was as warm as a Melbourne midwinter can provide and Oliver Bruce had to compete with Canterbury Rd traffic to get across…(See More in Auction Reports)
    Malvern East, 2 Ferncroft Avenue, passed in, $2,580,000, 2 bidders
    A huge crowd of about 140 people gathered around the street to watch the auction of this new Hampton’s style home…(See More in Auction Reports)

Rounds the Grounds

Klarity Kris buying Bayside:

This weekend the Bayside auction list was looking pretty healthy, with 25 properties at over $1 million available to purchase. Some good ‘land/major renovation’ properties, such as 49 Holyrood Street, Hampton, 47 Lynch Street, Brighton, 38 Regent Street, Brighton East and 81 Martin Street, Brighton were also up for sale. Movement on these properties provides further indications that buyer confidence is improving, given that whoever buys them will need further unquantifiable amounts of money to improve them.

Architect Adam buying

Given the smallish number of auctions we’ve had in the past few weeks, it has been hard to get too much of a read on where things are heading. But one thing I have noticed is that the quality of properties do seem to have improved. I have certainly rated more homes at more than 700/1000 in the past couple of weeks than I have for very long time.

Vino Guy buying Port Phillip

There were only ten properties up for auction this weekend at the $1 million plus level in Port Phillip. The pick of the bunch was 97 Kerferd Road Albert Park. (Greg Hocking Holdsworth, Greg Hocking) which was being quoted at $1.7m plus. The property has been renovated and is in very good order throughout, offering comfortable living, although the extension to the rear is a little awkward by today’s standard. You would expect most buyers will be looking to add a second storey extension to improve the floor plan flexibility.

Call Gina buying Stonnington

While the weather took a turn for the worse this week, agents’ attitudes went the other way, going positive, with talk of plenty of recent listings and more off-markets. I have even noticed a bit of a spring in their steps lately.

Importantly, we’ve seen a variety of properties in all price brackets listed recently, giving buyers some (although still limited) choice if they are ready to buy now. However, I am also hearing more and more buyers voicing a fear of the competition that is traditionally associated with the Spring market. This anxiety does not seem to be so much a fear of missing out on better properties, but of paying higher prices.

Life's pretty casual in Duke Street, Prahran: Andrew Macmillan (Jellis Craig Bennison Mackinnon) sells number 37 after auction, $1,715,000, 3 bidders

$3m+ plus

Following on from last week’s report, we are seeing further signs of an improving market, with an increase in the number of properties being sold above $3 million. Even while agents are telling us of unprecedented low levels of stock, there has been an increase in buying activity – not just in the Bayside market but in all of Melbourne, with some saying Bayside up 25% and some saying Melbourne up 30%.

In the Boroondara market there is bit to talk about this market. It is certainly up from this time last year, and importantly I think the quality overall is better. No doubt confidence from local buyers as well as those from abroad is driving this.

Some recent sales of interest, by two separate agents, are all modern French Provincial inspired homes. This continues the trend from previous good sales in The Ridge, and Deepdene Road.

The Stonnington Market

This year in the Gascoigne Estate, there has been little in the way of choice for buyers who want a home that is ready to move into. Most homes on offer (both on and off-market) have needed major renovations. Many of those are still for sale, at least partly because it seems there are fewer people prepared to spend an extra $400,000 to $800,000 updating a period home to a modern style of living and possibly overcapitalising in the process.

Agent Survey: How is the   ($3m+) market going? Are people coming out of their winter hiatus and putting their homes on the market?”

John Clarkson (Hocking Stuart, Brighton): “It is strange even though the market has a bit of pre – spring, (spring in the air) that vendors are still sitting on their hands re listing their homes . It makes you think they are waiting until everyone else jumps (and guess what they will miss the boat and we will have an over- ) Clearly the buying enquiry has increased and there is a flight to quality. The basic principles have stayed consistent. If you are realistic with your price and will listen to the market you have an excellent chance of a positive outcome.

James Redfern (Marshall White, ): “Yes we do believe people are now making firm decisions on now being a good time to sell ….definitely more confidence and a real feeling that the market is up and there are more buyers ready to buy at this end of the market. We are busier, say 25-30% up, in terms of listings on last year ..”

Glen Coutinho (RT Edgar Boroondara): “The top end is still very strong there are a lot of people listing now to get in before spring and whilst are listed for spring auction they hope to sell in the winter when there is a shortage of stock also some people are trying to get in before election and football finals. We have sold two in Hawthorn, both in the $3.7-$4m range which shows confidence.”

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