The Off-market is a swamp right now

by Mal James & Gina Kantzas

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

Footy’s back, protests are back, cafe society is back – Mmmmmm all good, but I miss a bit of the Covid quiet already.

Market in a second

Its 6:00pm Saturday - what a week

There is a lot more positivity in 2020 than in 2008 – most agents we speak to are in a good place – a better one than 2008 and a better one than a month ago.


There is a quiet acceptance that things are not as good as they have been BUT we can make them better and we can still have some great results, some great months, some really good runs…..IF

Executive Summary

1.  May 2020 – 100 “Auction” test results

2.  Looking a little closer before the valium

3. The Off-market is a swamp right now

4. The Market can go up in the second half!

May 2020 - 100 Auction test results

Four times a year (Opening, May, Spring and Christmas markets) we select 100 auctions randomly over a 3-week period and we report the results. The market we report on is Inner Melbourne (Port Phillip, Bayside, Stonnington and Boroondara) – mainly $2m plus. In other words, the Top End of town.


With the May lockdown we could not do auctions, so we randomly chose – 100 homes on and off market that we could have covered at auctions, if street auctions were allowed. We extended the time by a few weeks allowing for all the changes. Here are the results.


Clearance Rate Legend


  • Above 70% – hot market
  • 60-70% – balanced market
  • Below 60% – cooling market


May 2020 – 100 Auctions (all homes below)


  • 32 sold
  • 61 still for sale
  • 6 upcoming auction or EOI
  • 1 withdrawn


That is a Clearance rate of 32%


The geographical breakdowns in each council are below.

Lets look a little closer before the valium

Question: Mal, why are the REIV and Domain Stats so different to yours in Marketnews. The agents are quoting clearance rates in the 60’s and were even in the 70’s, although Domain had gone into the 50’s this weekend.


REIV and Domain stats now have almost as many unreported results as actual sales. In poorer markets, agents tend to under report bad news and this distorts the statistics.


So Domain and REIV results are tending to exaggerate the positives. Today in the REIV’s clearance rate calculation of 64% – there were 143 reported as sold, but there were 123 reported as no result. The Domain’s clearance rate of 57% was based on 176 reported as sold, however 138 had no result reported


Having said that – it would be very fair to say our Marketnews May clearance results are exaggerating the negatives.


The May 100 Auction test was skewed to high end Inner Melbourne ($3m+) and that is performing a lot poorer than lower end Inner Melbourne (1m+)


We also selected a lot of off markets and this is currently proving to be a far more problematic market than the auction market.

The Off-market is a swamp right now

Demand: The overall market is weaker in actioning demand than a few months ago, than last year and for the average of the last decade.


Having said that, when we compare high end transactions to this time last year – its similar in number. However, in May of last year there was an election and the high end of town also went into hibernation post Easter. If you compare Top End (3m+) transactions between October of last year and this May or February of this year and May – then you see a significant drop


Underlying Demand at the Top End: is sitting back unsure of what the rest of the year holds and so as soon as a current offering offends on price or agent talk – the uncertain buyer moves away from the brink of action to underlying again – as there is not as much desire or pressure to act.


Price: The strength of this current post-Covid (hopefully) market lies in the bottom price segments. It is a lot icier at the upper echelons.


The market feels like it has dropped 10% quickly at lockdown and then levelled out since – mainly based on aspirational to actual pricing differences AND low turnover.


At the Top End we are not so sure price/cost is as critical – for us it is about finding a real buyer for sellers and a real seller for the buyers.


Supply:  It actually feels like there could be plenty of stock at the Top End – it just feels like Off-market is the best way to sell it due to a lack of buyers BUT overall this market is pretty well stuffed right now, due to a complete lack of credibility.


The Off-market is a quagmire of BS right now – it’s the Wild West and that is hurting buyers and sellers using this method. No authority, no contract, no written/market asking price for way too many homes and that means when there is a real option to buy and sell, it is hidden in the swamp  – this is in part why the higher end market is slower than it needs to be.


C’mon girls and boys stop wasting everybody’s time. It’s either for sale or it’s not and if it’s not then don’t clog up the system please!

The old is new again

Another really interesting thing to note was pointed out by Simone in our office.


We were initially surprised – over the number of early sales in the May 100 Auction test – after a few weeks we were at nearly 30


However, in the later parts of the May 100 “Auction” test that number remained almost unchanged meaning:


  • Sellers get your offering right from the start and that gives you the biggest chance of selling


  • Buyers you on the other hand may benefit from knowing, that if the home is new to market and well-priced, then you may well have competition into this coming Winter market.

The market can go up in the 2nd half

We said there were three catalysts to an up- market in the 2nd half of the year.


Belief: That the market has actually fallen, and it is in your self-interest to act now.


Trust: In the system. Street auctions are restoring that in part. An even more common part of high end selling and buying is the Off-market and it is a joke right now. Trust needs to be restored with authorities, real asking prices and contracts. There is so much BS right now.


Fluidity$: This is not bank-bashing – they have now become a part of almost every transactional conversation and fair enough – but this is also in part why Top End demand is non actioning. Yes, the OS market is closed now – but in the 2nd half of 2019 the Top End rose against a declining OS / Chinese market – it rose because money was available to locals. At the moment it is not. Any suggestions?

Next week: Work your advantage in buying and selling and buy/selling?

Bayside Port Phillip


McGregor St

Middle Park

Passed-In (2 bidders)

Sargood St


Sold After (1)

May 100 Auction Test data

Bayside – 35 properties

13 sold

18 still for sale

3 upcoming auctions and EOI

1 withdrawn?



ELWOOD, 38 Southey Street. Brendan Walker (The Agency) Under offer

Original ISP: $2,050,000 – $2,200,000

Current ISP: $2,150,000


HAMPTON, 1 Kyarra Street. Kris Barker (Nick Johnstone) Under the hammer, $undisclosed 16th May 2020

ISP: $2,050,000 – $2,150,000


ALBERT PARK, 102 Merton Street. Michael Szulc (Cayzer) Under offer

Original ISP: $2,150,000

Current ISP: $1,975,000


BRIGHTON EAST, 39 Shasta Avenue. Halli Moore (Buxton) Private Sale, $undisclosed 13th May 2020

 ISP: $2,150,000 -$2,250,000


ALBERT PARK, 18 Draper Street. Simon Gowling (Greg Hocking) Private Sale, $undisclosed 13th May 2020

ISP: $2,600,000 -$2,800,000


HAMPTON, 40 Mills Street. Jenny Dwyer (Belle Property) Private Sale, $undisclosed 12th May 2020

ISP: $2,900,000 – $3,100,000


HAMPTON, 21 Margarita Street. Stefan Whiting (Buxton) Under Offer

ISP: $5,900,000 – $6,195,000


HAMPTON, 17 Sargood Street. Nick Johnstone (Nick Johnstone) After auction, $undisclosed, 13th June 2020

ISP: $2,650,000


HAMPTON, 40 Service Street. Jenny Dwyer (Belle Property) Under the hammer, $undisclosed 13th May 2020

ISP: $3,450,000 – $3,750,000


ELWOOD, 10 Byrne Avenue. Jock Langley (Abercromby) Before auction, $undisclosed 20th May 2020

ISP: $6,000,000 – $6,600,000


BRIGHTON, 47 Hanby Street. Ben Vieth (Marshall White) Private Sale, $undisclosed 8th May 2020

ISP: $1,800,000 – $1,980,000


ALBERT PARK, 50 St Vincent Street. Josh Allison (The Agency) Before auction $undisclosed

ISP: $2,700,000


ELWOOD. Sam Gamon (Chisholm & Gamon) Off Market $undisclosed 5th May 2020

ISP: $2,000,000



Still for sale

BRIGHTON, 13 Foote Street. Alex Schiavo (Kay & Burton)

ISP: $4,500,000


ELWOOD, 51 Addison Street. Torsten Kasper (Chisholm & Gamon)

ISP: $4,200,000 – $4,500,000


BRIGHTON EAST, 21 Shasta Avenue. Gary Yue (Buxton)

Original ISP: $4,200,000 – $4,400,000

Current ISP: $4,200,000


MIDDLE PARK, 223a Page Street. Simon Carruthers (Cayzer)

ISP: $2,600,000


PORT MELBOURNE. 17 The Cove (David Lack Biggin & Scott)

Original ISP: $2,000,000 – $2,200,000

Current ISP: $2,000,000 – $2,100,000


ELWOOD, Address not available. Sam Gamon (Chisholm & Gamon)

ISP: $8,000,000


BRIGHTON, 39 Murphy Street. Andrew Campbell (Marshall White)

ISP: $3,650,000 – $3,950,000


ALBERT PARK. Justin Reed (The Agency) Off Market

ISP: $5,000,000


SANDRINGHAM. Gerogia Torelli (Nick Johnstone) Off Market

ISP: $2,200,000  


ST KILDA. Justin Reed (The Agency) Off Market

ISP: $3,000,000


ELSTERNWICK. Angelos Stefanis (Biggin & Scott) Off Market

ISP: $2,400,000 – $2,640,000


BRIGHTON. Andrew Campbell (Marshall White) Off Market

ISP: $3,600,000 – $3,900,000 


BRIGHTON. Joel Fredman (Fredman Property Group) Off Market

ISP: $5,750,000 – $6,000,000


BRIGHTON. Joel Fredman (Fredman Property Group) Off Market

ISP: $6,750,000


BRIGHTON. Joel Fredman (Fredman Property Group) Off Market

ISP: $7,000,000 – $7,500,000 


BRIGHTON. Joel Fredman (Fredman Property Group) Off Market

ISP: $4,500,000 – $5,000,000


BRIGHTON. Nick Johnstone (Nick Johnstone) Off Market

ISP: $7,000,000  


PORT MELBOURNE. Jon Kett (Chisholm & Gamon) Off Market

ISP: $2,500,000



Upcoming auctions and EOI

BRIGHTON EAST, 17 Plunket Street. Matthew Pillios (Marshall White) EOI Ending 16th June 2020

ISP: $3,925,000 – $4,300,000


MIDDLE PARK, 92a Wright Street. Simon Carruthers (Cayzer) Auction 12:00pm 27th June 2020

Original ISP: $2,400,000 – $2,600,000

Current ISP: $2,300,000 – $2,500,000


ALBERT PARK, 50 Kerferd Road. Ross Savas (Kay & Burton) EOI 23rd June 2020

ISP: $6,800,000 – $7,400,000




BRIGHTON, 14 Campbell Street. Withdrawn?

ISP: $3,100,000

Are you looking to buy or sell - how can we help you?



Somers Ave


Passed-in (0)

May 100 Auction Test data

Stonnington – 27 properties

8 sold

18 still for sale

1 upcoming EOI



MALVERN, 5 Sorrett Avenue. John Chartres (Thomson) Private Sale $undisclosed 23rd May 2020

ISP: $5,800,000 – $6,000,000


ARMADALE, 8 Clendon Road. Andrew Smith (Kay & Burton) Private Sale $undisclosed 28th April 2020

ISP: $2,700,000 – $2,900,000


ARMADALE, 8 14-16 Ashleigh Road. Michael Armstrong (Kay & Burton) Private Sale $undisclosed 29th April 2020

ISP: $3,500,000 – $3,800,000


PRAHRAN, 29 Closeburn Avenue. David Sciola (Jellis Craig) Private Sale $undisclosed 14th May 2020

ISP: $2,250,000 – $2,450,000


PRAHRAN, 20 Alfred Street. Andrew James (Belle Property) Under the hammer $undisclosed 27th May 2020

ISP: $2,100,000 -$2,300,000


GLEN IRIS (STONNINGTON), 6 Ellis Road. Andrew Luke (Jellis Craig) Private Sale $undisclosed 27th May 2020

ISP: $3,500,000 – $3,850,000


MALVERN EAST. Jack Moss (Marshall White) Off Market $undisclosed 7th May 2020

 ISP: $2,000,000 – $2,200,000 .


MALVERN EAST. Matthew Coombs (Jellis Craig) Off Market $undisclosed 76h May 2020

ISP: $2,450,000 – $2,600,000



Still for sale

MALVERN EAST, 641 Waverley Road. Ken Tang (Alphalynx)

ISP: $3,000,000 – $3,300,000


MALVERN, 12 Jordan Street. Alby Tomassi (Tomassi & Co)

 ISP: $2,900,000 – $3,100,000


PRAHRAN, 9 Irene Place. Tim Derham- Abercromby’s

ORIGINAL ISP: $3,500,000 – $3,800,000

CURRENT ISP: $3,750,000


MALVERN, 1a Sorrett Avenue. Will Bennison (Jellis Craig)

ORIGINAL ISP: $3,650,000 – $4,000,000

CURRENT ISP: $3,500,000 – $3,750,000


SOUTH YARRA, 87 Albion Street. Daniel Joyce (Jellis Craig)

ORIGINAL ISP: $2,000,000 – $2,200,000

CURRENT ISP: $1,975,000


TOORAK, 1 Lansell Court. Andrew Smith (Kay & Burton)

ISP: $4,600,000 – $5,000,000


MALVERN EAST, 26 Nott Street. Dean Gilbert (Marshall White)

ISP: $3,750,000 – $4,000,000


MALVERN, 7 Soudan Street. John Manton (Marshall White)

ISP: $3,650,000


ARMADALE. Dawn Meyer (Jellis Craig) Off Market

ISP: $5,000,000 – $5,500,000


KOOYONG. Mark Williams (Abercromby’s) Off Market

ISP: $3,250,000


MALVERN EAST. Charles Boyd (Jellis Craig) Off Market

ISP: $2,500,000


MALVERN EAST. Adam Cashmore (The Agency) Off Market

ISP: $2,300,000 – $2,500,000


MALVERN EAST. Lachie Fraser-Smith (Jellis Craig) Off Market

ISP: $2,800,000 – $3,000,000


GLEN IRIS (STONNINGTON). Michael Derham (Abercromby’s)

ISP:  $2,700,000


MALVERN EAST. Rae Tomlinson (Marshall White)

ISP: $2,750,000


ARMADALE. Justin Krongold (Marshall White)

ISP: $3,800,000 – $4,000,000


MALVERN. Nicole French (Marshall White)

ISP: $8,500,000


GLEN IRIS (STONNINGTON). Daniel Wheeler (Marshall White) Off Market

ISP: $3,800,000 – $4,100,000


Upcoming EOI

TOORAK, 8 Montalto Avenue. Abby Ines (Marshall White) EOI closing 18th June 2020

ISP: $6,500,000 – $7,000,000

Are you looking to buy or sell - how can we help you?



Mangarra Road


Under Hammer (5)

May 100 Auction Test data

Boroondara – 38 properties

11 sold

25 still for sale

2 upcoming auction




CAMBERWELL, 16 Fairmont Avenue. Stephen Gough (Marshall White) Private Sale, $undisclosed 3rd May 2020

ISP: $2,700,000 – $2,970,000


KEW, 25 Stevenson Street. Nick Whyte (Nelson Alexander) Private Sale, $undisclosed 24th April 2020

 ISP: $2,400,000 – $2,640,000


CANTERBURY, 91 Mont Albert Road. Walter Dodich (Kay & Burton) Private Sale, $undisclosed 7th May 2020

ISP: $3,600,000 – $3,900,000


KEW, 5 Highbury Grove. Andrew Gibbons (Marshall White) Private Sale, $undisclosed 7th May 2020

ISP: $2,500,000 – $2,750,000


KEW, 6 Studley Avenue. Geoff Hall (Kay & Burton) Private Sale, $undisclosed 22nd May 2020

ISP: $4,800,000 – $5,200,000


KEW, 72 Fitzwilliam Street. Anton Zhouk (Anton Zhouk Real Estate) Private Sale, $undisclosed 15th May 2020

ISP: $2,500,000 – $2,700,000


CAMBERWELL, 39 Pine Avenue. Charles Boyd (Jellis Craig) Private Sale, $undisclosed 20th May 2020

ISP: $4,300,000 – $4,730,000


ASHBURTON, 6 Comas Grove. Tony Dimopoulos (TG Newton & Co) Under Offer

ISP: $2,199,000


KEW, 53 Barnard Grove. Nick Whyte (Nelson Alexander) Private Sale, $3,650,000 8th May 2020

ISP: $3,500,000 – $3,750,000


CANTERBURY, 34 The Ridge. Geordie Dixon (Jellis Craig) Private Sale, $undisclosed 6th May 2020

ISP: $3,900,000 – $4,290,000


GLEN IRIS. Daniel Wheeler (Marshall White) Off Market, $undisclosed 4th May 2020

ISP: $2,300,000 – $2,400,000


Still for sale

KEW, 6 Carnsworth Avenue. Toby Parker (Belle Property)

ORIGINAL ISP: $3,000,000 – $3,300,000

CURRENT ISP: $2,800,000 – $3,000,000


GLEN IRIS, 4 Sunhill Road Glen Iris. Zali Reynolds (Shelter)

ORIGINAL ISP: $2,950,000 – $3,250,000

CURRENT ISP: $3,125,000


CANTERBURY, 18 Gwenda Avenue. Adam Garvey (Garvey)

ORIGINAL ISP: $2,700,000 – $2,950,000

CURRENT ISP: $2,400,000 – $2,600,000


HAWTHORN EAST, 65 St Helens Road. Walter Dodich (Kay & Burton)

ISP: $3,200,000 – $3,500,000


HAWTHORN, 8 Elphin Grove. Robert Ding (The Agency)

ORIGINAL ISP: $3,000,000 – $3,300,000

CURRENT ISP: $3,000,000


BALWYN, 17 Wills Street. Peter Vigano (Jellis Craig)

ORIGINAL ISP: $3,200,000 – $3,500,000

CURRENT ISP: $2,900,000 – $3,190,000


KEW, 160 Brougham Street. Nick Whyte (Nelson Alexander)

ORIGINAL ISP: $2,100,000 – $2,300,000

CURRENT ISP: $2,180,000


CAMBERWELL, 4 Thomas Street. Greg Bowring (Noel Jones)

ORIGINAL ISP: $2,700,000 – $2,970,000

CURRENT ISP: $2,550,000 – $2,800,000


CANTERBURY, 24 Wattle Valley Road. Geordie Dixon (Jellis Craig)

ORIGINAL ISP: $2,900,000 – $3,190,000

CURRENT ISP: $2,875,000


KEW, 10 Argyle Road. Maurice Di Marzio (Belle Property)

ISP: $3,000,000 – $3,300,000


HAWTHORN, 100 Power Street. Tom Staughton (Kay & Burton)

ISP: $1,900,000 – $2,030,000


GLEN IRIS, 17 Webb Street. Jesse Matthews (Marshall White)

ISP: $2,250,000  


CAMBERWELL, 7 Russell Street. Toby Parker (Belle Property)

ISP: $4,300,000 – $4,500,000


CANTERBURY. Peter Vigano (Jellis Craig) Off Market

$2,500,000 – $2,700,000


SURREY HILLS. Rebecca Scanlon (Jellis Craig) Off Market

ISP: $2,050,000


CAMBERWELL. Alex Broque (RT Edgar) Off Market

ISP: $2,000,000 $2,100,000


HAWTHORN. Sam Wilkinson (Kay & Burton) Off Market

ISP: $5,500,000


HAWTHORN. Sam Wilkinson (Kay & Burton) Off Market

ISP: $5,500,000


CAMBERWELL. Josie Cheng (Biggin & Scott) Off Market

ISP: $5,000,000


CAMBERWELL. Josie Cheng (Biggin & Scott) Off Market

ISP: $3,500,000


CAMBERWELL. Mike Beardsley (Jellis Craig) Off Market

ISP: $4,200,000


HAWTHORN. Hamish Tostevin (Marshall White) Off Market

ISP: $2,700,000 – $2,800,000


GLEN IRIS. Jesse Matthews (Marshall White) Off Market

ISP: $2,300,000 – $2,500,000


HAWTHORN. Andrew Gibbons (Marshall White) Off Market

ISP: $3,850,000


HAWTHORN EAST. Will Van den Dungen (Jellis Craig) Off Market

ISP: $3,800,000 – $4,000,000



Upcoming auction

BALWYN, 11 Reid Street. Daniel Bradd (Kay & Burton) Auction 2:00pm 27th June 2020

ISP: $4,300,000 – $4,730,000


KEW, 25 Davis Street. Dwayne Sparkes (Bekdon Richards) Forthcoming Auction

ISP: $5,800,000 – $6,380,000

Are you looking to buy or sell - how can we help you?

Please note: It is possible some of the off-markets have been sold, as a few agents didn't return our calls in time. Our assessment was 2 or 3 extra solds would not make a material difference to our assessments and assertions.