oc | Friday 24th January

3-week Inner Melbourne Auction Challenge continues

Market News banner

John Morrisby sells 54 Maitland Street, Glen Iris Under the Hammer $3,050,000, 4 bidders.

John Morrisby conducts proceedings at 54 Maitland Street, Glen Iris, Under the Hammer, $3,050,000, Volcano 6 bidders. Initial quote $2.2m to $2.4m – raised to $2.6m during the campaign. 6 bidders at that – then 4 bidders at $2.7m – 3 bidders at $2.9m and 2 bidders still in it, above $3m.  Family home, smaller land, ready to move in, central pocket of Glen Iris – Melbourne reality in this current market.

This week in James Market News: 

  1. Continuation of the James 3-Week 100 Auction Challenge
  2. Inside James
  3. Auction Action
  4. Call for Good Quoting Nominations of Agents

Market Commentary Banner205


At 6.00pm Saturday, the overall Inner Melbourne $M+ market results were a Family Home Clearance Rate of 88% on the 33 Inner Melbourne $M+ auctions we covered, combined with a James (bidders per auction) @ 2.2 on good stock numbers.

So James Bidderman continued to be down a tad @ 2.2.

What does that mean? Some will say the market is dropping.

We disagree. What a 2.2 Bidderman means in May, when combined with a 88% Clearance Rate, is a very solid market.

Yes you could argue the market is steadying, you could argue the market is not on the same trajectory as it was earlier in the year – but you could not credibly argue (on the results we are seeing) that the market is falling – or indeed, producing stats that are looking to a fall in the immediate future.

A Bidderman drop is normal for May. Do you remember how strong the market was last year? The three Bidderman May weekly measurements we took last year were 2, 2.2 and 2.5 and the market continued to move upwards from then until……. well until ……. well who knows, it is still gently rising.

The main insight we get and can give from James Bidderman, is engage an experienced representative to manage a pass-in and minimise post-auction agent power lifting or initiate an attempt to buy before hand. Today more homes were sold before or after the auction than under the hammer – even when there was multiple bidding.

1 in 3 auctions – yes 1 in 3 were lone rangers or ducks – for a 1% fee on $3,000,000 for an auction advocate versus paying the $400,000 Agent Powerlift – well you do the maths. But apologies, I digress.

The Justifiable Newspaper Headlines that should appear in Monday’s Newspapers:INNN205

NO the market is not fair and equitable for young people, due to negative gearing (remember I can buy a home on $20,000 income and for a young person that same home costs them $80,000 income – that is unfair and inequitable) AND increasing population (driven by a combination of skilled migration, investment from Asia and other countries AND increases in other Australians coming to Melbourne looking for jobs and security). Demand. Demand. Demand.

YES the market continues to be solid and vibrant – very different from the headlines. There were 96 buyers today on the 109 $M+ properties offered in Inner East/Bayside and there were 131 bidders who missed out. Those underbidders (wounded) will go again next week or next month (and some slightly harder); joining the hundreds of other wounded underbidders, unsatisfied since the start of this year.

Many of these underbidders, who only go to auctions and do not engage with buyer advocates (off markets), will be competing for an increasingly limited amount of auction stock AND we are coming into the 6-week winter auction break.

NO, right now, there is no evidence of a dangerous or falling market. Of course the market may fall as early as spring, but if you want to buy a home and you are turning up next week in the “knowledge” that prices are falling, then you will be upset, as you will miss out; unless you are looking at an overpriced home or a C grader. And by our definitions, the market is only dangerous when it is operating outside sustainable fundamentals – it is not.

The market maybe unaffordable for many – but it is also still very affordable for many others.

But hey, don’t take our word for it – let’s see where we are in week 2 of our 3-Week 100 Auction Challenge.

The 3-Week May 100 Auction Challenge

Bidders per auction, combined with good stock levels, combined with clearance rates on homes at auction.

We at James Buyer Advocates will cover and report back the results on 100 randomly chosen auctions, over $1 million in Inner East and Bayside on 13th, 20th (today) and 27th May.

We do not cherry-pick good or bad results.

The two disclaimers

Expect a slight drop in May, as May and October are the year’s most fluid months due to big stock numbers. A small seasonal drop in clearances and Bidderman is to be expected.

With new underquoting laws in play, it is possible that the market will operate marginally differently during this May transition month.

The 100 Market Tank (weak pun, sorry)

Below is the cumulative total (2 of the 3 auction weeks) we are measuring. Next week we need only 14 of the 33 auctions to buy/sell before 6.00pm to declare a rising market and 55 bidders to take it over 200 bidders to confirm that declaration, of a rising market at least till spring (sans any major event), from the definitions we set out in last week’s James Market Insight.


Inside James

On Saturday night James Buyer Advocates were the guests of James Connell at the 2nd Marshall White Foundation Dinner – this time at the Plaza Ballroom Collins Street (WOW). It was a great night and during proceedings it was announced that over $600,000 has been raised to date, towards their $10,000,000 target to help local unheralded charities, mainly in the area of Homelessness. This is a sincere and wonderful initiative by all at Marshall White (led by James Connell) and whilst we are on very different sides, it is not difficult to acknowledge the excellent community effort by many at MW. Thank you, a great night and well done.


Out on the hustings this week at James Buyer Advocates, it was different this week from last week with three to bid on, instead of six to observe.

Firstly, success on the Peninsula over $1 million (Liza Milchman) – not sure what it is about the Peninsula – no real enquiry for us last year, however in 2017, three buys with hopefully a fourth to come, so far this year.

54 Maitland, Glen Iris, John Morrisby, Bought Under the Hammer, $3,050,000 with 6 bidders. James Home Rating below. A really good market bellwether, as it was a home that many women would really have a good feel about. Initial agent quote was $2,200,000 to $2,420,000 and was lifted to $2,600,000 during the campaign. At auction it was on the market, close to the quote and kept zooming past $2,700,000 still 4 bidders left, past $2,900,000 with 3 bidders left and then past $3,000,000 with 2 bidders. Quaint home that two to three years ago was early $2 million’s.

These are the prices guides we gave to our clients at the start of the campaign. Unfortunately it was a volcano auction, we reached our limit and we stopped. Congrats to the winning buyer – well done. This is part of what our substantial buyer rating reports look like.

54 Maitland


18 Weatherly Grove, Brighton, Robin Parker and Kate Strickland, bought under the hammer at $3,160,000, 3 Bidders. Our client bought this one as an investment – rent now and develop later. With little value in the home, this sale puts good land in Brighton circa $4,000 per square metre and it was within our price guidelines, given to our client, also three weeks ago.


18 Weatherly Grove Brighton (Robin Parker) auction at 4.00pm - yes we bought our pyjamas along just in case it was a drawn out pass-in. Is that Adam Gillon squeezing into shot on the right? Under the hammer, 2 bidders, $4000 per sqm for Brighton land.

18 Weatherly Grove, Brighton (Robin Parker) auction at 4.00pm – yes we bought our pyjamas along just in case it was a drawn out pass-in. Is that Adam Gillon squeezing into shot on the right? Under the hammer, 2 bidders, $4000 per sqm for Brighton land?

Gina Off Market

Auction Action

Stonnington Purple banner

Mark Wridgway sells 3A Monomeath Ave, Toorak Under the Hammer $3,805,000, 3 bidders.

Mark Wridgway sells 3A Monomeath Avenue, Toorak Under the Hammer $3,805,000, 3 bidders. One of a pair townhouse on smaller land, but with solid design characteristics.

Toorak, 3A Monomeath Avenue (Mark Wridgway) sold Under the Hammer $3,805,000, 3 bidders

South Yarra, 65 Caroline Street (Andrew Hayne) sold Under the Hammer $3,475,000, 3 bidders

Glen Iris (Stonnington), 184 Finch Street (John Bongiorno) sold Under the Hammer $3,310,000, 2 bidders

For all 33 James Auction Reports

Bayside Blue Banner

Stephen Smith sells 9 Thomas Street, Hampton After Auction $2,500,000, 2 bidders.

Stephen Smith sells 9 Thomas Street, Hampton After Auction $2,500,000, 2 bidders. Dated family home in a good central Bayside location.

Albert Park, 28 Hambleton Street (Greg Hocking) sold Under the Hammer $2,950,000, 4 bidders

Hampton, 1 Backhaus Street (Stephen Wigley) sold After Auction $2,500,000, 1 bidder

Brighton, 3 Hayball Court (Craig Williamson) sold Under the Hammer $2,415,000, 4 bidders

For all 33 James Auction Reports

Inner East green banner

Alastair Craig sells 9 Sunnyside Avenue, Camberwell Under the Hammer $3,850,000, 2 bidders

Alastair Craig sells 9 Sunnyside Avenue, Camberwell Under the Hammer $3,850,000, 2 bidders. Dated but very liveable home, probably land value for many. If land value only then $75,000 more than what we paid for the identical block next door at auction in December of last year. See James video below.

Camberwell, 28 Kintore Street (Alastair Craig) sold Under the Hammer $5,020,000, 3 bidders

Camberwell, 9 Sunnyside (Alastair Craig) sold Under the Hammer $3,850,000, 2 bidders

Surrey Hills, 73 Middlesex Road (Richard Earle) sold Under the Hammer $2,975,000, 2 bidders

For all 33 James Auction Reports


Under Quoting

POSITIVE and SUPPORT Agents and Improved Quoting with 10 x $500 cash prizes AND publicity to selling agents who do the right thing.

We are looking to find selling agents who have:

  1. Quoted ethically/legally by providing the indicative selling price (not below their thoughts on value, another buyer’s written unconditional offer and/or the seller’s reserve).
  2. Quoted ethically/legally with 3 “real” comparables and the suburb’s median price and …… as required CAV taskforce / legislation.
  3. The home was “on the market” and/or sold within or very close to the 10% quoted range.

So please send to mal@james.net.au examples of good agent quoting and we will publicise the selling agent on James Market News (10,000+ readers) and give the agents a $500 cash prize.

To see our conditions read here please.

Subscribe to our Market News Newsletter


Be with James

Would you like to talk to us about finding or negotiating on your next home?
We buy 100 homes for our clients every year.
We buy Inner East and Bayside over $2m.
View more MasterClass Articles

Inside James Market News