oc | Friday 24th January

Started 2015 like a runaway train – finished 2015 like an express

Great Property, Great Auction, Great Result. The Market has eased a tad, but is still very, very strong on the right ones. 181 Ashworth Middle Park, Kaine Lanyon, Volcano, Under Hammer, $3,741,000

Great , Great Auction, Great Result. The Market has eased a tad, but it is still very, very strong on the right ones. 181 Ashworth, Middle Park, Kaine Lanyon, Volcano, under hammer, $3,741,000.




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We started 2015 like a runaway train. I remember vividly giving advice on a Kooyongkoot Road property – All I did for three weeks before the auction was apologise to our client as I revised our price estimates up 5%, then another 10% and finally another 10%. The home that in December 2014 I thought would nudge $4,000,000 if it went crazy,  zoomed past $5,000,000 and then some in February 2015. This was not a one-off, the market had shifted 10% to 20% over . Why? The Chinese community went ballistic. If it had they bought it, well they tried to buy it, as they still had to beat other Chinese buyers.

Last week we reported an easing in Chinese bidding – that may or may not be temporary.

And today for our last James Market News for 2015, we report that 2015 has finished like an express train. The market feels more controlled – or perhaps we’ve simply become used to it – but it is still incredibly strong.  The results today on huge stock numbers and record auction numbers were strong clearance rates, strong Bidderman and increased Volcanoes, especially on A-graders.

So have things really changed since February?

The market is higher in price now than it was in February 2015, but James Bidderman and the Clearance Rates are essentially the same.

Bidderman: February 21st 2015 – 2.8 and November 28th 2015 – 2.7 bidders per auction.

Clearance Rate: February 21st 2015 – 76% and November 28th 2015 – 77%.

Its been one-hell-of-a-ride in 2015; the strongest increases in demand I have ever witnessed.

Yes, we all recognise there has been a mood change in the last one/two months – but there have also been an awful lot of homes on the market; today was the biggest auction day ever, last week was huge, as was the week before.

For the first time this year we are seeing some homes with no interest, but those homes for the most part are C-graders, and this happens in late spring every year. Basically, with the flood of homes we now have two clearance rates. The C-grade Clearance Rate which in May to July was the same as the A-grade Clearance Rate above 80%. The C-grade Clearance Rate is now plummeting and probably well below 50%. Last week showed the Asian market is backing off right now, however there is also a lot of, to be succinct and technical, “crap properties” on the market in and surrounds right now.

In our opinion the A-grade Clearance Rate, across Melbourne is still absolutely rocking along – its on a different track to the C-graders and while it’s no longer a runaway train as it was when we started 2015, it is still, for the most part, an express train as we finish 2015.

For us, we need to see a ragged start in 2016 before we’re joining the chorus of market downers.

They may well be right – but they also may well be wrong. We all really don’t know, but it’s great fun to talk about, hey!

We await 2016 with excitement.

In the meantime, don’t write off the rest of the year – we at James Buyer Advocates are buying off markets (if price is right) and competing at auctions over the next three weeks.

Another Volcano - No not John Morrisby - it was the auction. 25 Ash Grove Malvern East, under hammer, $2,540,000

Another Volcano – No, not John Morrisby – it was the auction. 25 Ash Grove, Malvern East, under hammer, $2,540,000.

While James Buyer Advocates is working through till Christmas, this is the last James Market News for 2015. We will get over it and we hope you will as well.

Thank you to our intrepid reporters Val, Sara, Catherine, Joshua, Chris and Bridget – we simply couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you to all the agents and principals (who don’t always want us there) but nonetheless let us report without restriction.

Thank you to our behind the scenes champs in Yener and Jim and our co-ordinator Randall (mate, you’re cool under pressure and a superstar). And to those at James Buyer Advocates out there bidding each week – Gina, George, Sim, Rhi, Helen, Naomi and soon Craig, Brooke and Matthew.

A big thank you to our clients who support us when we buy and when we miss (which has been a few times this year, sorry).

And finally thank you to our almost 10,000 weekly subscribers and readers. See you all in 2016.

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50 Asling Street, Brighton (David Hart, Buxton), Under Hammer, $4,130,000, 6 bidders

20 Brynmawr Road, Camberwell (Antony Woodley, Marshall White), After Auction, price undisclosed (Bought Range: $3,931,900 – $4,325,500), 0 bidders

181 Ashworth Street, Middle Park (Kaine Lanyon, Marshall White), Under Hammer, $3,741,000, 4 bidders

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125 Head Street, Brighton (Peter Kennett, Hocking Stuart), Under Hammer, $1,840,000, 5 bidders

2 Murray Street, Brighton East (Jonathan Dixon, JP Dixon), Under Hammer, $1,500,000, 5 bidders

167 Finch Street, Glen Iris (Stonnington) (Andrew Hayne, Marshall White), Under Hammer, $2,756,000, 4 bidders

Have you got a ticket sir - can you show me some identification!  No mucking around with Messrs  Patterson and Picken. 44 Wattle Road Hawthorn bought after above $3,500,000. 2 bidders

Have you got a ticket, sir – can you show me some identification! No mucking around with Messrs Patterson and Picken. 44 Wattle Road, Hawthorn, bought after, above $3,500,000, 2 bidders.

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34 Ferrars Place, South Melbourne $4,600,000, passed in, 1 bidder

8 Derril Avenue, Malvern $3,225,000, passed in, 1 bidder

12 Glyndebourne Avenue, Toorak $3,150,000, passed in, 3 bidders


A Professional Auctioneer and Agent.

In our life it’s all too easy to bag our friends on the other side of the transaction – the selling agents. And so many times they make it so simple with their under quoting lies and their refusal to take offers – in fact the refusal to do anything remotely innovative or out of the ordinary.

I think it’s been a dozen times in the last two months that I’ve been made to feel like I had to apologise to an agent for giving a written offer, well over their quote. If only their clients knew how many agents spend most of their time talking the property down and talking buyers out of making offers – go figure. This week we made an offer on a private sale and the agent complained that a “next day” response was unreasonable – he never responded and he couldn’t tell us a buy price. It’s a private sale – go figure.

But it’s Christmas – lets talk about the good agent – the one you should be getting if you are selling.

He (or she) is the one who’s smart enough to get the good listings and begins a campaign conservatively, however is also openly saying where the price may be going in a successful campaign.

He is a leader of buyers, not a follower. He is a manager of his selling client, not a lackie.

He gets good prices he stands by, rather than prices that buyers dictate to him. He doesn’t collapse at the first sign of pressure. He’s been an agent I’ve known for nearly 15 years.

During the campaign:

He stays in touch with our buyer (unaware we are together) – even though they’ve said no. He reinvigorates interest as he hounds him politely, telling him that low $2m will buy it – which it would, if there were no other buyers. The good agent has plenty of buyers on this one.

So the buyer he talks up, gets us to do the prep work and we work our client up from the low $2m to the mid $2m’s telling him even at mid $2m’s, all we are is a chance – as this is a great property and he is a very professional agent.

The agent also follows me up the day before, as he will have done to all his buyers – he talks firmly and calmly – outlining what might be. He’s probably done this for ten other potential buyers in the day before the auction.

“You might buy it at low $2m and you might miss out at mid $2m”.

His pre-auction day patter is a lot rarer than it should be – few agents actually think buyer education is worthwhile – go figure. The professional agent gives you hope and makes you wonder all at the same time.

And so to the auction.

The auction is about to begin and we now have a budget of some hope, but with no guarantees. A quick word to the agent, who is now the auctioneer and we strike a deal – we will give a good bid, if it’s put on the market – we don’t talk specifics – but there is an understanding.

A professional auctioneer doesn’t dismiss this, as so many do. This auctioneer is savvy, but he is also fair – he gets his vendor’s approval and we are away.

We open the bidding strongly, however, others are in quickly and he holds back his “on the market understanding” to see if we are the strongest – but then he puts it on anyway. Smart.

Four bidders spoke, but he had another four who didn’t.

The auction is run with authority, with humour, with empathy and then with strength.

His pathos is brilliant. His number retention perfect and his suggestions spot on.

I’ve been involved in the Australian and New Zealand auctioneers competition in 2015, but what I witnessed today would have streeted most in the field.

His voice projected well, his tone changed with the mood when required – he rested us, he pushed us and he entertained us.

The way he carried himself, carried the auction, carried everybody’s dreams and disappointments was a privilege to witness.

He got a great price – no, he and his client got a bloody fantastic price.

We didn’t buy – we were well and truly beaten – in fact, I haven’t bought off him this year – but nonetheless, he made me feel good to watch a true, ethical professional.

It restores your faith in human nature.

Well done, sir – there are several of you and I dips me hat to you.

Big Crowd for a Andrew Campbell, Stefan Whiting, David Hart spectacular - 6 bidders, under hammer, $4,130,000 - 50 Asling Brighton

Big Crowd for an Andrew Campbell, Stefan Whiting, David Hart spectacular – 6 bidders, under hammer, $4,130,000 – 50 Asling, Brighton.





















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