oc | Wednesday 22nd January

Bidders out in force on a big weekend

Bidders, bidders everywhere: Buyers were out in force on Saturday. At 12 Valley Parade, Glen Iris (Nathan Waterson, Jellis Craig), there were five vying for the . Bought under hammer, $1,020,000

At 6.00 pm on Super Saturday, the James Clearance Rate for Melbourne’s $M+ was 79% on the 28 auctions we covered. The , our bidders per auction measurement, was at 2.9. Not only is that higher than we’ve seen in a long, long time (we’ll have to check our records) it is also a massive jump since our last edition.

And what about those Ducks? Never before have we seen zero ducks.

Overall Summary of Melbourne’s Million Dollar Plus Auctions:

  • Ducks ($M+ auctions with no bidders) 0%
  • Lone Rangers ($M+ auctions with one bidder) 24%
  • Norms ($M+ auctions with 2 or 3 bidders) 28%
  • Volcanoes ($M+ auctions with 4 or more bidders at auction) 48%

Wow! That’s a big win to the Volcanoes, with four or more bidders at almost half the auctions we covered. And yes, not one duck!

Buyers were out there and competition was strong, with many people vying for a limited number of properties before the auction scene cools off for winter.

This weekend we heard auctioneer after auctioneer explain that the next time buyers would have a chance to bid would be late August – and with low interest rates, it was better to get in now than risk new buyer competition.

Will the market go up, down or stay the same? This has been the talk of the town recently. Yes, A Grade properties are consistently getting bidders, but many buyers have anticipated the usual downturn in winter in terms of stock numbers as well as hoping for lower prices.

But what has this weekend shown us?

The market has been supported by an underlying simmering of wounded underbidders and an emergence of expectant buyers (i.e. recent vendors.)

What did the long weekend break do?  Did it give buyers time to think and time to plan? Were buyers thinking about another break (i.e. the four week July break) and were they thinking about needing to move into a rental while they kept searching?  Last week we mentioned the high auction stock levels this year. Those vendors who had sold earlier in the year now need to buy. Did this have an impact on this weekend’s action, and how will this impact on next week, which is the final big auction week before the (almost) winter hiatus?

And we say almost because we have now noticed that some auctions are scheduled for the 28th of June and 5th of July. We will wait and see.

Big crowd: 128 Powlett Street, East Melbourne (Gerald Delany, Kay & Burton), passed in, $3,500,000, big crowd of 100 people


What flow-on effect from this weekend’s big shift (if any) should we prepare for?

We have had plenty of discussions about flow in our time and in particular about what the flow of a home means in our James Home Ratings system. Good flow means the design of the home is an easy one – where your movements feel free and non-calculating. And, as mentioned in one of our architecture articles from 2009: Good flow should never cost any more in the scheme of a renovation – it is just common sense.

But at this time of year, Flow comes to mind in other contexts and can be important in “making things happen.” This weekend, people made things happen. And the flow of the seasons also made things happen this weekend – it was frosty outside and we felt it as a force against our bodies and our minds.

We’ve also been discussing the flow of an auction campaign recently by wondering whether the long weekend we just had  would perhaps break up momentum, and what effect  the July school holidays would have on negotiations and vendors and buyers actually coming to agreement. Well, lo and behold this weekend we saw a resurgence in bidder numbers.

Let’s say it again because it’s exciting – Bidderman moved from 1.9 to 2.9 Wow!

But one flow which hasn’t had much focus is the flow of an auction itself. How does the flow affect the motivations of the auction players? This weekend was a good example of everything coming together for many, except of course for the many underbidders left in the wake.

And what is auction flow anyway? Although it’s hard to describe, we consider it as “being effortlessly led.”  This doesn’t mean being led where you do not want to go but to where you may need help to go.

A good auctioneer will lead the crowd with interest, as they are players here too. Was there “free flowing bidding” or was it disjointed? Was there an interest in the crowd? And auctioneers can be instrumental here. But of course the smart working agents make it all possible during the marketing campaign.

This weekend we met a neighbour of a family home we bought after a pass-in. There were 4 bidders. As we walked back to our car later on, the neighbour mentioned her exasperation with the auction. It felt uncomfortable, she said, as it lacked flow!

Just as there are many architectural tricks to help achieve good flow, there are many buyer tricks to get results.

Bidding frenzy: Mark Dayman () fields bids from 6 parties at 41 Cole Street, East, under hammer, $1,721,000

Biggest Auctions:

  • Hawthorn East, 21 Mowbray Street, James Tostevin (Marshall White), $4,650,000, 5 bidders
    Built by the current vendor this gorgeous, light filled house had all the right ingredients and the crowd was buzzing…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Brighton, 34 Hanby Street, Campbell Cooney (Hodges), under hammer, $3,360,000, 4 bidders
    Suggesting an opening bid of $2,600,000 Campbell Cooney turned to the crowd of 60…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Malvern East, 11 Ellis Road, Jeremy Fox (), under hammer, $2,855,000, 2 bidders
    A classic Jeremy Fox auction today, the type you don’t forget. Almost 30 minutes long…(See More in Auction Reports)


  • Hawthorn East, 41 Cole Street, Mark Dayman (Marshall White), under hammer, $1,721,000, 6 bidders
    Another auction where there were plentiful bidders but not much heated action…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Surrey Hills, 23 Glendale Street, Toby Parker (), under hammer, $2,530,000, 5 bidders
    About 70 people gather for this auction. Auctioneer Toby Parker gives a glowing spiel for this near home on a significant land holding…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Bentleigh, 1 Pleasance Street, Matthew Mitchell (Biggin & Scott), under hammer, $1,135,000, 5 bidders
    Fifty people gathered to see Matthew Mitchell auction 1 Pleasance Street. With an opening bid of $900,000…(See More in Auction Reports)

Biggest Pass Ins:

  • East Melbourne, 128 Powlett Street, passed in, $3,500,000, 1 bidder
    Situated in a tree-lined elegant street, hidden behind an unassuming Victorian Façade,…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Malvern East, 22 Westgarth Street, passed in, $3,190,000, 2 bidders
    A Pleysier Perkins renovation, a beautiful tree-lined street and a strong  crowd of some 110…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Armadale, 22 Royal Crescent, passed in, $2,500,000, 1 bidder
    A large tree had inconveniently fallen across Kooyong Road, momentarily diverting traffic down Royal Crescent…(See More in Auction Reports)
  • Agent Survey: How has June shaped up this year compared to the same time last year (stock wise)?

    Damian O’Sullivan (Marshall White, ): “June this year is comparable to that of last year which is pleasing considering the large volume of properties we have sold in the preceding 4/5 months. The weekends of 14th, 21st and 28th will be particularly busy before the lull that is July when the market typically slows whilst we prepare for the spring market. Having said that, people should not discount selling in the quieter times when is constant yet there are fewer properties competing on the market.”

    Mark Wridgway (RT Edgar, ): “Our stock levels are well and truly above last years, in the order of 30% higher currently. Clearly the market has been strong over the last 12-18 months, and this increase on prices drives an increase in activity.”

    Maurice di Marzio (Hocking Stuart, /Hawthorn): “Volume seems to be down by about 15% in terms of listing numbers but sales results appear to be on par with same time last year. We have experienced a much busier period in the first 2 quarters of this calendar year so this would explain the level of activity being slightly less prevalent than this time last year. Having said that, I firmly believe we will see a very healthy and busy spring market this year.”

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