Half Time

by Mal James & Gina Kantzas

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

Where are Prices at Lockdown 2?

As we go into Lockdown 2 and basically real estate in Melbourne grinds to a halt, we’ve attempted to draw a macro line in the sand, on where we think things are at right now – across our Inner Melbourne Top End Market.


As we go for our half time break, it feels


  • Like demand is there for ready to move in homes, but nervous on the rest.
  • Low in quality PPPs supply.
  • Unsettled, but not overly negative on A-grader price – possibly due to low supply. Looking at all homes including B/C-graders then price is negative and may continue to drop further.


When we come out in 6 weeks?


  • We expect A-grader, ready to move in homes/pricing to have some pep for the first month out of this lockdown.
  • The rest of the market is genuinely a toss of a coin.
  • Yes a fair bit of negativity is likely however, we still feel Inner Melbourne home price rises are a possibility later this year – particularly if you accept that we have had a significant fall already. 

All Price$ Are Emotional

Great Homes we’ve bought and sold in the last 20 years and why were they great?


Emotion is why?


We feel Emotion is 1 and 2 in most buying decisions, with Cost of Building at the bottom.


  1. Interpretation of decision maker spouse’s Emotion
  2. Emotion of other spouse on home
  3. Position
  4. Luck – timing, other bidders, read something?
  5. Agent and campaign
  6. Strategy – process
  7. Banks
  8. Asking Price
  9. Due Diligence Logic
  10. Actual Price
  11. Cost of Property Build


What are some of a home’s aspects that create Emotion, Feelings, Je ne sais quoi that really count in terms of buyer decisions and in many cases price?


That is a million-dollar question – in some cases a multi-million-dollar question.


Smart agents know how find and match buyer and seller emotion.


To highlight the often-underrated value of emotion we are producing a series focussed on one key emotional point that we think bought or sold 20 of the homes we have bought for or sold for in the last 20 years.


Hope you like it.


Gina, Simone, Phoebe, Mads, Kathy, Mal and Randall

Window$ and Planting$

Why Perth Street as our start?


Well everybody could have a home like this – every single person in Australia.


The living room, bathroom and bedroom stick in my mind even now – 15 years after purchase.


It really changed how I viewed single-fronters and what a designer can contribute under very tight space constraints.


The concept and execution to this day remains in my mind – a classic.




Garden and light aspect created from garden and light wells neatly developed into a very tightly bunched row of single fronted period homes.


Boring new homes, ugly period homes can all be completely transformed in terms of space, feeling, desirability by windows and garden aspects.


The beautiful and incredibly smart thing done by the creator of this renovation was each window made a different frame and garden picture.


One of the garden windows was almost tropical – bathroom. The living area had a tight vine creeper on the neighbours wall to give a sense of space and design and European wine flavour.


So different, yet it completely worked, even in a period home – it gave each room a different aspect, a different perspective and a different feeling.


I really enjoyed buying this home for you Mark and Leonie. It still sits in my mind as one our Top 10s and it was only just on a million dollars. Thank you


Learning: Framing your feeling – garden aspect windows that bring in a mottled light – even in the tightest of spaces really lift the desirability (and price) of a home.


Another learning was the value of experts – there is no way this was possible by an amateur home renovator.

Our Game


Over the next six weeks of Marketnews let’s have a bit of respite from it all and let’s see if we, our families and our community can work out a play, that helps us with buying, selling and holding A-grade property (in Melbourne).

Name of Game: Family Homes Buy Hold Sell (Melbourne Edition)

Winners and Losers: Of course

Dice: Yep – there is luck involved

Goal: To get through 5 Levels

Level 1: Start and First Home

Level 2: Adding a Family

Level 3: Investing

Level 4: Set Your Life

Level 5: Community Smarts

Path to levels involves:

Skill, Luck, Money, Others, Experience, Acquired Knowledge and Time

Player Icons:

Moneywoman, Agent, Bidderman, Seller, Tenant, Taxperson, You and a few others


  • Individual, Family, Community
  • A, B and C-Graders
  • PPPs
  • Compounding Gains, Transfer Costs, Tax management
  • Growth, Cashflow, Risk
  • Demand, Supply, Price
  • Market, Rumours, Alliances
  • Ethics, Lies, Due Diligence Database

Cards: Yes, there will be questions

Now for our Family Home Game to Work:

  1. Simple to learn as in Checkers
  2. Encompassing More as in Game of Life
  3. Skill specific as in Monopoly
  4. Engaging as in Fortnite
  5. Community Minded as in Pandemic

Let’s get a basic start and endgame clarified by next week

Yes we are still open and thank you Victorians

We are still open for business – planning – searching – preparing – thinking – and we thought we’d put out some positive property emotion for most of the days that Dan, Jenny and Brett have us staying at home.


We support you and sensible opposition/criticism – however please keep going, don’t worry about a few bungles, we all make them and it’s not the big picture.


And to all the brave health, food supply and essential service workers; we sincerely say thank you – you are appreciated.

Why James?

Secret Sauce