oc | Saturday 25th January

Many of today’s auctions were about charades, rather than theatre.

59 Manningtree, Tim Derham $4,300,000 3 Bidders

Is that you Siri? Did I just win the auction? 59 Manningtree Road, Hawthorn, Tim Derham $4,300,000, 3 Bidders.




It’s 6.00pm Saturday and the James Clearance rate for $M+  was a drifting down 62% on the 34 auctions we covered today, in the second week of our James 100 Auction 3-Week Test. Last week it was 68%.

James , that is bidders per auction, was 1.6, which continues the significant drop of the last four months and represents around a 40% drop in bidder numbers from 12 months ago. Last week it was 1.5.

Look at Ducks (0 bidders) and Lones (1 bidder) today – this is why we say that many auctions were charades, rather than theatre.

If you bid, then in 6 out every 10 homes at auction, you were the only bidder – you were the one act drama – there was no other bidder supporting cast.

Hello….. 6 in 10 – in fact only 29% of homes actually sold under the hammer – almost 3 in 4 sold away from the street.

What does this mean for you the buyer?

It’s about the price you pay, versus have to pay.

Today for more auctions than not, this was the scenario below.


What does this mean for you the buyer?

Since the start of Spring 2017, the market has flattened and has continued to do so in early 2018.

Bidder depth on many homes has dramatically reduced.

Therefore it can be about the price you pay, versus have to pay.


What does this mean for you the buyer?

Did we mention about the price you pay?

If this continues, you will see large variances in prices paid, in bidder numbers on certain homes and in clearance results (geographically, price range and type).

ABC Graders

However, our sense is a balanced or levelling market is a good place to be, for buyers and sellers who are willing to listen.

The market does not yet feel doom and gloom – it just no longer feels one of overwhelming volcanoes and mayhem.

So more than ever good agents, smart buyers/sellers and good negotiation practises come to the fore.

  • It takes skill to auction a home with 1 bidder (and still get the 5 bidder price).
  • It takes skill to buy well with 1 bidder (and not pay the 5 bidder price).


At this time in a flattening market it is normal for you, as a buyer, to “hear” about more and more off markets.

Many sellers believe the new market doesn’t apply to them and they still want a courageous price.

After the obvious first question: Is this what you really, really want?

Comes the next question:

Is this home really for sale, Off-market?

Yes the agent says, you can buy it, but………..really?

Is it really for sale or are you just a pawn in the selling agents or seller’s chess game?

1. Are you being used by the seller, to test and unbeknownst to the agent who is showing you the home, the seller is speaking to other agents; who are (by necessity to stay in the chess game) telling the seller what he/she wants to hear…… that they can get more than any offer, you put forward?

2. Or is the selling agent just trying to get the listing and has forgotten to tell you that the owner hasn’t really committed to him/her the agent, or indeed to the action of selling thereby, no matter what you do, what architects you bring through, all your offer will represent; is a piece of information for the seller, not a move forward on a deal.

This is not to say that we don’t buy a number of off markets, we do.


So how can you tell if the “secret” – is really one that you have a chance of buying?

Besides getting a buyer agent to represent you (a selling agent has conflicts in off markets in relation to buyers) here is our 4 Rule Off-market Test:

Rule No 1: Can you get reasonable access when you want?

Rule No 2: Is there an indicative selling or asking price (say…on an email) that makes some sense to you?

Rule No 3: Does the agent who is taking you through have a sales authority and is it an exclusive one and how long for – meaning is he or she actually authorised to sell to you?

Rule No 4: When you have indicated you wish to offer, are the seller(s) willing to prepare an $800 Section 32 to receive your offer? Not prepared to do that on a $6,000,000 sale? Mmmm…. that takes frugal to a whole new level OR “maybe, it ain’t really for sale!”

Answer No to any of the above?  Then you may be on the emotional hook for a home that is not really for sale and others that are for sale, may well be passing by your rose coloured glasses.

Off markets are an excellent way to buy and sell; however there are many traps for new players and you can be distracted for months away from other more purchasable homes, if you are not prudent.

Say Yes to Off-market, but say No to somebody else’s chess game, by following the 4 rule Off-market test.


42 Berkeley Street Hawthorn $9,010,000 4 Bidders

This Scotch Hill auction tells you how the market is. Rip roarer volcano with Chris Barrett, but basically ran out of puff at the top end of the range. Good agent read – solid market response. 42 Berkeley Street, Hawthorn $9,010,000, 5 Bidders.

Surrey Hills, 5 Junction Road (Scott Patterson, Kay & Burton) under the hammer $2,600,000, 5 Bidders

Hawthorn, 42 Berkeley Street (Andrew Hayne, Marshall White) under the hammer $9,010,000, 5 Bidders

Malvern East, 24 Turner Street (Mark Wridgeway, RT Edgar) under the hammer $4,700,000, 4 Bidders

For all 34 James Auction Reports


15 Fairbairn Road Toorak $4,013,000 3 bidders

Some serious conversations with Nicole Gleeson and others at 15 Fairbairn Road, Toorak $4,013,000, 3 bidders.

Toorak, 15 Fairbairn Road (Gowan Stubbings, Kay & Burton) $4,013,000 under the hammer, 3 Bidders

Glen Iris, 166 Finch Street (Andrew Hayne, Marshall White) $3,845,000 under the hammer, 3 Bidders

Malvern East, 13 Emo Road (Daniel Wheeler, Marshall White) $3,680,000 under the hammer, 4 Bidders

For all 34 James Auction Reports


5 Junction Road Surrey Hills $2,600,000 5 Bidders

Come dance with me. 5 Junction Road, Surrey Hills, Scott Patterson, $2,600,000, 5 Bidders.

Kew, 10 Gellibrand Street (Richard Earle and Greg Toogood, Jellis Craig) sold after auction, 1 Bidder

Hawthorn, 66 Illawarra Road (James Tostevin, Marshall White) $4,330,000 under the hammer, 3 Bidders

Hawthorn, 59 Manningtree Road (Tim Derham, Abercromby’s) $4,300,000 under the hammer, 3 Bidders

For all 34 James Auction Reports


14 Cross Street Brighton Passed in $1,925,000 0 Bidders

About the only enterprising thing in  all day. Dead as a doornail by the water. 14 Cross Street, Brighton. Passed-in $1,925,000, 0 Bidders.

Elwood, 10 Kingsley Street (Torsten Kasper, Chisholm & Gamon) undisclosed, sold after auction, 1 Bidder

Middle Park, 308 Richardson Street, passed in $3,150,000, 0 Bidder

Brighton East, 48 Shasta Avenue, passed in $2,500,000, 0 Bidders

For all 34 James Auction Reports


10 Kingsley Street Elwood Sold after auction just over $4,300,000 1 Bidder

Matching T-shirts, matching glasses, matching elbows!! 10 Kingsley Street, Elwood – Torsten Kasper, sold after auction just over $4,300,000, 1 Bidder.

Armadale, 17 Denbigh Road, passed in $6,600,000, 0 Bidders

Hawthorn, 32 Lisson Grove, passed in $5,700,000, 0 Bidders

Malvern, 41 Thanet Street, passed in $3,800,000, 0 Bidders

For all 34 James Auction Reports


James Buyer Advocates earns it income by providing bespoke buyer advocacy services for high-end family home, apartment and buyers and have been doing so since 2002.

James Buyer Advocates puts significant resources into creative solutions for Younger Homebuyers, Launch Housing (Homeless Prevention Program) and The PlasterHouse (a ’s rehabilitation hospital in Arusha) Tanzania.


Selling your home and homelessness.

The Launch/Hanover private rental fund is beginning to grow substantially, thanks to the many James Buyer Advocates clients who are using the buy/sell programs, to SELL their home in a better way, having explored all the options.

How the “free” selling service works.

1. You are looking to sell, you contact James Buyer Advocates – Mal James 0408 107 988 or office 9596 8822.

2. Mal and Gina provide you with an experienced buyers’ view on how your home can be sold. They also provide you with one to three names on who really will best sell your home, from an agent’s point of view. Their depth of experience on the other side is invaluable – to show you the difference between marketing (themselves) agents and the reality of what a really good agent can do.

3. James Buyer Advocates reviews marketing, agents and presentation costs. Interviews (with you) for an off market, EOI, auction or other sale form. You make the agent selection. A donation is made by the winning agent from their already competitive commission, towards the Launch/Hanover Private Rental Support Program. James Buyer Advocates NEVER receive any money from selling agents.

Result: a 3-way win:

  • You get the best agent, not just somebody who has the time to ring you every week – why aren’t they ringing their current listing’s buyers in this market?
  • The best agent gets your job.
  • One more vulnerable family IS NOT on Melbourne’s streets.


Rebecca’s story


Rebecca (36) was living in private rental with her husband and two children (13 and 7). Rebecca and her former husband always maintained the rental payments, however, a few months ago the marriage broke down and Rebecca’s former husband moved out, leaving her to maintain the rental payments on her own.

Rebecca’s seven-year-old daughter has Pierre Robin Syndrome, which affects her hearing, eye sight, and requires ongoing surgery for a cleft palate. This affected Rebecca’s ability to work and unfortunately she lost her job at a large retail franchise.

Rebecca is in receipt of a Centrelink income (Parenting Payment and Carer Allowance). As a result of losing her employment and co-contributing rental payments from her former husband, her rent became unaffordable and she accrued significant rental arrears.

Support provided

Rebecca was referred to the Homelessness Prevention Private Rental Support Program to enable her to maintain her housing while she worked to stabilise her financial situation. Rebecca has a good employment history and is motivated to secure full-time employment.

Launch Housing supported Rebecca with $2,700 through the Housing Establishment Fund, a separate source of funding, to clear her arrears before commencing this program. A total of $1,086 has been provided through the Homelessness Prevention Private Rental Support Program with further funds committed.


We are pleased to report that Rebecca has engaged well with this program. The Homelessness Prevention Private Rental Support Program has provided Rebecca with much needed breathing space to stabilise her finances and address personal matters.

Rebecca is actively looking for full-time employment and is looking forward to a positive future in her home. This has only been made possible with the incredible support of the Homelessness Prevention Private Rental Support Program.

Next James

Next weekend is the holiday long weekend and so there will be no James Market News reporting.

We have held over our 4th and final part in Value is not Price and Price is not Value until the week after – sorry, we’ve had a super busy week with clients.

March 17th: will also be the third and concluding week on the James 100 Auction Test – showing where the Opening / Pre-Easter market is at. Bidderman – Market Size and the Wounded Underbidder – Prices.


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