95% of clients we buy and sell for read James Marketnews


by Gina Kantzas and Mal James

Sunday, January 24th, 2021

G’day welcome back or shall we say welcome forward

Leo Tolstoy, who you may know for the book War and Peace, also put together an easier read – it’s the 1910 version of his daily blog and it’s called A Calendar of Wisdom.


Every day of the year on a chosen theme, Tolstoy synopsized a collection of great thinkers, with supporting brief passages from those he distilled.


On January 1 Tolstoy starts with this assertion.


Better to know a few things which are good and necessary than many things which are useless and mediocre.


He then supported with a short burst of Seneca, Emerson and Thoreau.


I defer to Leo, for this is a brilliant place to start another year of James marketnews:


Better to know a few things which are good and necessary than many things which are useless and mediocre.

The market

To other opinions first: Many are suggesting that 2021 could well be a ball burster of a property market. Those same pundits predicted the market to go up in 2017/18 (it went down), down in 2019 (it went up), up from January 2020 (it went down), then they changed their market press releases to big falls post Easter 2020 (it actually went up from then till Christmas just gone).


Our economist friends seem well overdue for a win, despite all their graphs, algorithms and serious faces. Let’s hope for their own sense of self-worth, they can be right in 2021.


And now to us (James Buy Sell): Since our last James marketnews on December 5th our clients have completed 8 deals – 6 buys and 2 sells.


  • Elwood, Canterbury, Sorrento, Sorrento, Brighton, Mont Albert, Malvern East and Northcote
  • Average $2.8million – lowest $1.7m, highest over $5m
  • 3 on the Peninsula (2 bought/1miss) – all 3 sold between 48-72 hours after our offer – (2,5 and 2 bidders)
  • 2 off-market – including 1 Multi-list – where three agents worked together
  • 1 zoom auction (5 bidders), 1 street auction (5 bidders), 1 before auction
  • 1 unseen by client prior to purchase and 1 unseen by us prior to purchase
  • Over $20million worth of homes.





The off, pre and on markets

And this is how we have found the market:


  • $2million to $5million: This canary in the goldmine $ segment is running hot.


  • Peninsula and Regional: The market feels as hot, or hotter than it was in 2007. The headlines are real, the hype accurate and to some extent the demand justifiable and healthy, as more and more people work through what is best for their family.


  • Top of the Top End Melbourne: Possibly 2021 will present some surface challenges through a lessening of demand and increase of supply, with continuing border closures (meaning pre purchase viewings), some business support lessening and a percentage of potential demand reconsidering lesser mortgages, country buys etc.


  • However, for quality A-graders at this level: Please tell me why the world will not view Melbourne as a place of security, sanctuary and even sensibleness in the longer term. You can argue all you like about what the economy may do – but if you can run your Melbourne business from Metung, you can run your Malaysian business from Melbourne and whilst the borders are shut now, both sides of politics will be welcoming the rich and even richer come pandemic’s end. Those that come will want to and can afford to live well.


Parts of the market are very healthy right now.

Back to Tolstoy and You

Better to know a few things which are good and necessary than many things which are useless and mediocre.


Values: What has Donald Trump, George Pell and Inner Melbourne homes got in common?


They each have their own values, they all have a market value and they each are valued by each of us in a different way.


What about data, science and the math (algorithms)?


Masks were not needed, was the Melbourne decision in early 2020 because the data didn’t support that, then later the science did and actually that’s just Victoria. In the US masks were not about math, they were about the constitution and wearing them was patriotic or a breach of the first amendment or some such. The data that was vital and scientific but changing over time for one, didn’t even rate a mention in the reasoning of another.


This statement is about masks, but the math, data and science could also be about differing views on home values, especially in a moving market.


A Sorrento home was poor market value at $2.3million six months ago, is now claimed to be great market value at $2.8million? How can that be?


An Inner-City apartment made value sense at $1,300,000 in 2018, but can’t find a buyer who shares that view, even at $1,100,000 in 2021?


What is good and bad value?


Fundamentals: What are the fundamentals of all religions?


It’s not holy communion or don’t eat pork or pray five times a day. They are habits, actions, laws within separate religions, but not common to all – they are individual rituals.


Would the search for the meaning of life be a common fundamental to all religions?


In property there are also many rituals like floorplans, facades and deal processes.


They are different for all and change like the wind, like the market direction, like an opinion.


How do you value individual rituals?


Then there are property fundamentals, as in the meaning of life?


Can I ask you? Would they be the control of land, how your family feels in the home and how price paid interacts with your life over time?


Would property fundamentals be position, property and price?


How do you value fundamentals?


Process: Is doing things the same way expecting a different result, the definition of insanity?


Has buying or selling family homes worked for you in the past? Yes or No?


So is it a good thing to repeat the same habits, the same actions that will lead to similar decisions that have got you to where you are now?


Can your family situation be improved?


What is a process that follows good fundamentals at good values for your family, be you a buyer or a seller?

And to finish

Thank you, Mr Tolstoy, for a great start to 2021.


Better to know a few things which are good and necessary than many things which are useless and mediocre.


Here’s my 100% absolutely true, cannot fail prediction: 2021 won’t be like any other year in Melbourne property, because it will be like every other year in Melbourne property.


Bring it on!

Next week

Straight into it – don’t miss these stories.


  • Selling or Buying. Multi-list works! Next week we discuss how Kaine Lanyon, Sam Gamon and James Buy Sell worked together and shared commission to achieve a greater result for both the buyer and the seller. Multi-list is already working in other parts of the world and is another way of the future, particularly at the Top End. James Buy Sell is best placed to show you how a genuine, well managed, independent multi-list can work in your interests when selling and even when buying.


  • Online Auctions are a pandemic creation and initially we were sceptical – but in certain situations we can now see they too are a way of the future. In the coming month we talk about how we deal remotely – 3 different deal scenarios on 3 different deals with 1 professional Peninsula agent – Danielle Vains of Sotheby’s. Don’t miss the plusses and minuses for buyers and sellers on the peninsulas, regional, interstate and OS. There may be a lot more to it than you think.