by Gina Kantzas and Mal James

Saturday, October 10th, 2020

Market in a Minute

Our Market Eco System is Re-emerging


For the last two months we have been in a deep freeze in Melbourne Real Estate.


Suddenly the weather patterns changed with the announcement that we could return to one on one inspections. However first week back we were all seemingly caught on the hop –things were pretty flat.


This week we have begun to see an unthawing, as more of our market eco system begins to re-emerge. It felt a lot better – buyers were around, sellers are going to market and simply put, the phones began to ring more.


But for whom are they ringing?


Let’s look at our market eco system.


It has many layers in position and property type and price. With price, 3 such layers are $1m to $2m, $3m to $6m and the rest above that eg $7m+. It’s very much like a forest.


The ground cover – the vegie gardens – the $1m to $2m segment always has some life, as there are always more buyers than sellers for entry level houses in Inner Melbourne. True to form this market is already sprouting again – with some agents recording 2, 3 even 4 sales in the $1m to $2m this week just gone. This segment is currently feeding the positive news stories and no it’s not all fertiliser.


To the TOP now, the forest canopy. The big trees @ $8m, $12m and $15 million.


When this level is firing, the market can be like a bushfire. However right now it is still in somewhat of a slumber, due to closed borders heavily restricting expat and international buyers, as well as some locals. This all dampens demand and reduces buyer urgency, which in turn gives a gloomier tone to market news.


So we have positives coming from the bottom and not so positives from the top. This is a generalization and of course A graders, well priced and with a good agent will prove this blanket statement has some holes in it.


The market giants have one eye open – they are looking around – watching below for signs of life – and there will be. The cost of money is so low that some will still want to reach for these stars – A grade, well priced stars that is.


And that brings us to the all-important eco system understory – the middle if you like – the $3m to $5m segment. This segment is where we like to take the temperature of the market, to see if we are warming or cooling.


This price segment is one of many interconnections. Banks, Buyers and Sellers going up and down and those moving sideways such as Renovators. This is the market segment of real choice – where many don’t have to if they don’t want to. This is where many have the resources of the big trees but only choose to go there if it feels right.


Experienced market watchers monitor the understory – the $3m to $6m segment, for clues on how things are really going. So it feels potentially positive, however like a new dawn, in a new era, it will take some time for the truth to arrive.

20 Year - Big Response

Some notes received on Hanh

One of the joys of writing marketnews is the letters and phone calls you receive on top of the great clients you meet.


Great story, what a woman – Jen



Wow- what an incredible story.

When I first read your opening line and at the end it said … and she’s a women. I was wondering where you were going with that.

I get it and … “I’m a woman too”.

I …….. have bought over six homes in my time and like this beautiful woman, I too have experienced discrimination when purchasing because I’m a chick …. I’ll be different to some of those agents out there … everyone is equal.

Thanks for sharing Hahn’s story.





Thank you for sharing Hanh’s story. What a gift to read. Gill



Hi Mal and Gina


Just a shout out to say thanks for the upbeat newsletter every Monday.  It is such a refreshment from the …. newspapers and the ……!!


Lots of insights in your newsletter throughout the pandemic and positive vibe of the coverage.  The past client stories have also been of interest and made me reflect that using you guys to assist us with the purchase of …….. was a great decision.  We are very happy with our strategy to upgrade and none other than having the extra land space during the pandemic – who knew!!


We are just waiting on the stage 4 restrictions to ease so we can commence our renovation. 


Hope you are your families are well.


Kind regards

Kate and Nik



Exchange with Philip Schols, with Donna, a 4-time client with us, on the story I AM HANH.


Check out their latest Mentone adventure on federation.22 on Instagram

Hi Mal,


Great story with Hanh – I admire her and the Vietnamese culture.


By the way our neighbours are all fantastic and this house has such a history.  I seriously can’t work in the front yard without being stopped by neighbour after neighbour to tell me a story about the house or tell us they are so glad we didn’t knock it down and develop.  Its amazing how many people have said that watching us renovate it has been a highlight in the covid period.


The Hanh story got my interest because I have had a lot to do with Vietnemese refugees over many years, my college had several boarders of Vietnamese students, I new many from my days at Ford motor company and I have even employed ?????? a Vietnamese refugee.


The Vietnamese I find have a great culture and have always built lasting relationships with them.  I also have several clients from Vietnam and I respect the way they do business.


Philip Schols


Dear Philip,


Good to hear about your home mate.


I think you call that good community and good provenance.


Couldn’t agree with you more on the Vietnamese culture. In many ways Vietnam has changed my life. I’ve learnt from a Vietnamese monk in France called Thich Nhat Hanh (long story) and I loved the culture when I went there.


Hanh is a special person – I’ve learnt a hell of a lot off her …… it was a great story by Gina.


Let’s catch up for a beer post Covid



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


Emotion is why?

Emotion is largely unpredictable in individuals and largely predictable in a group on the 3P’s – Price, Property and Position.


This paradox is our greatest learning of our 20 years – our home ratings come from it.


Here are 20 more learnings, through a wonderful jumble of homes, emotions and people in an equally wonderful 20 years (so far).


Enjoy – we still are.