oc | Thursday 2nd April

Some Chinese buyers have worked out agent quoting, but many local buyers appear to have not.

Big Clearance Rates and Big Bidderman continues.  Hawthorn East, 46 Harts Parade, Carla Fetter, Under the Hammer, 3 bidders, $2,525,000

Big Clearance Rates and Big Bidderman on Big Auction numbers continues. Hawthorn East, 46 Harts Parade, Carla Fetter, Under the Hammer, 3 bidders, $2,525,000

At 6.00 pm on Saturday, the James Clearance Rate for Melbourne’s $M+ property was 90% on the 30 auctions we covered. James Bidderman, our bidders per auction measurement continues to be through the roof on big stock numbers at 2.9. Hello, did we write 90% on big auction numbers  and Bidderman nearly 3 – is this real? Look at the under the hammer rate, it was 70% today – that is double much of last year and last year was a solid and increasing market. This pre Easter market is equal to the strongest we have seen.

Overall Summary of Melbourne’s Million Dollar-Plus Auctions:

  • Ducks ($M+ auctions with no bidders) 7%
  • Lone Rangers ($M+ auctions with one bidder) 14%
  • Norms ($M+ auctions with 2 or 3 bidders) 48%
  • Volcanoes ($M+ auctions with 4 or more bidders at auction) 31%

Bigger Auctions:

  • Middle Park, 353 Richardson Street (John Bongiorno, ) after auction, $4,750,000, 3 bidders
    On a beautiful autumnal morning (9.30am is way too early for this reporter on a Saturday) the were out in droves with their coffees, kids and dogs … (See more in Auction Reports)
  • Hawthorn, 4a Kooyongkoot Road (, Marshall White) under hammer, price undisclosed (bought range: $4,512,095 – $4,963,775), 3 bidders
    Incredible weather and a fantastic front garden set the scene as this period home in an iconic street was put to the market … (See more in Auction Reports)
  • Kooyong, 10 Monaro Road (Warwick Anderson, RT Edgar), under hammer, $4,500,000, 2 bidders
    A rally of cars roared by and interrupted Warwick Anderson the second that he called for an opening bid … (See more in Auction Reports)


  • Kew, 66 Campbell Street (Steve Abbott, Jellis Craig) under hammer, $3,050,000, 6 bidders
    This auction attracted a large crowd of people to attend and lots of them were Asian families, it looked like a bidding war was going to be unavoidable today … (See more in Auction Reports)
  • , 64 Mason Street (Andrew Macmillan, Jellis Craig) under hammer, $2,430,000, 6 bidders
    More than 20 bids were taken before this property was bought … (See more in Auction Reports)
  • , 19 King Street (Walter Dodich, Kay & Burton) under hammer, $1,360,000, 6 bidders
    With the crowd and neighbourhood dogs gradually accumulating in this slight Richmond street, Walter Dodich made a late appearance, but got the auction underway in no time to make up for it … (See more in Auction Reports)
Big Crowd for Bayside (100) Brighton, 3 St James Mews, Brian Devlin / Peter Kakos, 3 bidders, Under the Hammer, $3,550,000

Big Crowd for Bayside (100) , 3 St James Mews, Brian Devlin / Peter Kakos, 3 bidders, Under the Hammer, $3,550,000

Market Action:

Today was another frantic day at auctions in the Market.

During the week we have met with a number of current and past clients as we talk about anything from upgrading, to buying homes for kids, to downsizing and three key points came from all those coffees we drank:


  • Most buyers are UNDERESTIMATING the change in in their existing homes, particularly the significant change in the last few months. THIS IS A BIG ISSUE. You don’t want to overestimate of course, but massive under underestimation of your sale price means you restrict your next buying parameters (perhaps unnecessarily).
  • Many people are UNDERESTIMATING the power of this market, they think it is an aberration. We do not share that view while the fundamentals are so obvious and so strong. Of course we have no idea how long it will last, but the bidder depth from overseas buyers is, as David Hart from Brighton Buxton described it, “profound.”
  • Some buyers are UNDERESTIMATING the notice time their banks need to approve a loan, especially a reworked one which needs to go back to their internal credit departments. The Banks are making it more difficult for those who do not have their finances completely in order. A number of buyers are finding it is not a fait accompli when they ring up on short notice, with the expectation the banks will immediately approve a loan at a higher level than they had approved last year. THIS IS A BIG ISSUE if your auction is next weekend and you need the banks help. Our advice is to get your house in order now – pardon the pun.

What does this all mean? If you UNDERESTIMATE the above, you are going to make it even harder than it already is to buy. But get it right and you increase your chances of better buying outcomes.

Fast and Furious, Steve Abbott takes bids from $3,000,000 to $4,410,000 where 14 Stirling Street Kew was sold under the hammer for $4,410,000. Bidderman 3

Fast and furious, Steve Abbott takes bids from $3,000,000 to $4,410,000 where 14 Stirling Street, Kew was bought under the hammer. 3 bidders

QUOTING – REAL LIFE @ $2 million

Today at auction our clients had two misses and three successes at the auctions we bid on across Melbourne. At $4m our clients got one and missed one.

However we want to focus on the $2m-plus buyer range, as this is now the “quasi-minimum” price for a lot of Inner Melbourne. Good position (within 1km of infrastructure), good land (600+ sqm) and good building (liveable) and you have to buy at auction is beginning to equal $2million as a minimum.

We want to focus on this because some local $2m buyers are losing the plot out there, but they don’t have to.

The three homes we competed on at the $2m price level today:

  • Champion Street, Brighton
  • Campbell Road, Kew
  • Glen Road (Scotch Hill), Hawthorn

We highlight the massive differences between the agents quote and the end result.

  • Please we are not highlighting this to get CAV out of their slumber. With agent quoting CAV is often raised as a distraction; but doing so is a furphy that does not help buyers.
  • We are not expecting or asking all agents to agree with what we are highlighting as many feel lower quoting helps their sellers and their job is to work for the sellers. Many also feel their job is not to inform buyers, but to get as many buyers to their home as they can.
  • No, we are highlighting quoting because many Chinese buyers have worked out agent quoting and do not get emotional about it. Some local buyers could learn a lot from this.

Think about this:

  • Many Chinese buyers have in many cases no real contact with selling agents and in many cases can’t speak English, yet they are able to buy well and locals are not. Why? Is it just money?
  • Many Chinese buyers do not listen to selling agents – they form their own opinions on or get assistance from their friends or buyer advocates (we work for Chinese buyers and Australian buyers from Chinese backgrounds regularly). This is a key message. Many local buyers listen to agents, some of who fill their heads with mush ( inconsequential numbers and circumstance to get them to auctions) and this in turn confuses them if they are inexperienced or naive buyers.
  • Many Chinese buyers work out their values on results, meaning on land and building calculations and they get advice. Why don’t all locals do that – it really does work (most times)?

Quoting Bidding

This graphic above shows the three homes at the expected $2m price level which we bid on today.

  • The red is the agent quote. See how consistent it is with 3 different agents on 3 different homes in 3 different suburbs.
  • The orange is the Chinese bidding, which as you can see was also consistent across the board
  • The blue is what we at James bid and the Black Boxes is the James expected selling range that we at James Buyer Advocates quoted (in writing) to our clients, the week before the auction, on where we felt the home should sell.

Please note

  • During the first few weeks of 2015 it was understandable for agents, sellers, advocates and buyers to get pricing wrong as the market shifted big time. Yes agents and advocates can’t get it right every time (but they shouldn’t get it wrong every time either and pretend they don’t know what is going on).

Building Guides

Following on from our above article on QUOTING and the James Land Value Guides supplied last week, we are presenting today the James Building Value Guides.

As with our Land Value Guides this is a very simple overview.

For our clients we provide a detailed analysis prior to bidding on where good value in this current markets lie for land + building + emotion.

Building 1PCB-547x448

Building 2

Please note these values represent an overview. They are guides. All pictures are by way of example only.
We have done a fair bit of rounding, so as to simplify the different and changing values in Melbourne Buildings.

Building Values change dramatically with:
+ Building Quality
+ Chinese Bidding
+ Better Precincts
+ Building Size
+ Auction Volcano Interest
– Poor Floor plan
– Poor Land Features
– Poorer Precincts
– High Vendors

There are some auction results that we consider are outliers, in that they appear to us to be under or over the market.

Some buildings, eg ones that cannot be bulldozed are, in 2015, actually discounting the land value; such is the insatiable appetite by overseas buyers for land you can build on.

If you are considering using a buyer advocate and would like an up to date report on building values, then please contact us on our mobiles or at our offices 9804 3133. The above are guides only to show comparisons and should not be relied on in specific instances without further professional due diligence.

Next edition of Marketnews we will provide our Emotion Guides.



Following on from our comments last week specifically on land sales of Brighton and surrounds v land sales of Balwyn and surrounds, we pose the question again. Is Bayside land undervalued at present and if so how long will that last with the current accelerating demand from Overseas Buyers?


words experts graphicAgent_Mar-21_2015

Agent Survey: What is the strongest growing house type in 2015?

Rob Vickers Willis (Abercromby’s): Any quality family home central to the private school belt and underpinned by Asian interest in the $4-8 million range. A couple of recent sales of this type were 12 Avenue, , 106 Stanhope, Malvern and 21 Shakespeare Grove, Hawthorn all selling strongly.

Campbell Cooney (Hodges, Brighton): The strongest growing property in 2015 is, and will be, land. Technically, this is not a house, so if the question is restricted to the “strongest growing house type” then the highest demand will be for the owner-occupied, median priced family home. Consequently, this demand will cause competition and therefore higher growth than other types.

Scott Patterson (Kay & Burton, Hawthorn): So far in 2015 we have noticed that homes of all types are in demand. Historically the period style homes have held their value the best, however there is now strong demand for homes on land 700sqm+ and particularly those free of heritage overlays where buyers can build new. Landmark properties on substantial land holdings are also experiencing dramatic rises in value.




James Market News and the next few weeks with Easter, School holidays and Anzac Day:

March 28th, April 4th, April 11th – No James Market News due to Easter

April 18th – James Market News

April 25th – No James Market News due to Anzac Day

May 2nd – Full James Market News Resumes and runs through to Winter School Holidays.

Please Note James Buyer Advocates will be open as usual except for Easter Holidays and we will be transacting (if the right deal) during these times.

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