11 August 2018

The media might be reporting doom and gloom everywhere, but if you have an ‘A’ grade property, the market is suggesting anything but gloom. We actually think it’s a good time to buy (the right property, of course), as competition is definitely at lower levels than this time last year. That said, if you buy the wrong property you could be in real trouble if it doesn’t meet your needs and/or if you need to sell it again in the short term.

Auction numbers have been very low the past few weeks, as agents and campaigns resume after the Winter break. We are just starting to see an increase in the number of new properties hitting the net, most with September auction dates.

With many properties overpriced or not quite right (ie busy road, privacy issues, tricky flow etc), the good ones are receiving most of the buyer attention and some are being heavily fought out at auction.

What do we mean by the ‘good ones’?

  • Position (as demonstrated below) as this can’t change – distance to transport, schools and shops

and a combination of the following:

  • Orientation – access to natural light (this really impacts the overall feel of a property)
  • Flexible floorplans – suit a variety of buyer groups (families, downsizers, couples, easy options to grow with families – single-storey homes are in particular demand)
  • Well renovated – as lives become increasingly busy, buyers are prepared to pay for the privilege of moving in with nothing to do
  • Unencumbered land or renovates, in the right location

That doesn’t mean that buyers will pay anything for an ‘A’ grader. The seller also needs to want to sell the property and be realistic about their price expectations. If they are searching for 10% more than last year’s highs, they may be disappointed to find themselves still in the category of home owner.

Vendors of ‘B’ or ‘C’ grade properties can also still be sellers, particularly if they are realistic about their price expectations and acknowledge their property’s shortcomings. Choosing an experienced selling agent will help achieve the desired outcome. We think this is very important. Last Saturday, six out of eight $1 million-plus Brighton East properties passed in  – and five of these were on a vendor bid.

The ‘off market’ market is particularly buoyant right now and most of our time has been spent in this space looking and buying for our clients. As a seller, it can be a good way to go, provided you have the right agent and have realistic expectations, particularly as bidders at auction are more scarce right now and advertising costs can add up quickly.


Highlights over the past fortnight:

All these homes had one thing in common – position:

  • 8 Rossfield Avenue Kew (James Tostevin/Sally O’Connell, Marshall White) – nestled among some of Melbourne’s prestigious private schools, this renovated bungalow with multiple bedroom options saw 5 bidders and a result over half-a-million dollars above the reserve – $3,680,000
  • 32 Miller Street Highett (Angus Graham/Greg Downes, Hodges) – this ready-to-move-in, single-storey home, well located to Highett Road shops and station, had 4 bidders, and, although it passed in, sold shortly after for a new record price in Highett – $2,041,000
  • 76 Sutherland Road Armadale (Susan McGlashan/Dean Gilbert, Marshall White) – on only approx. 225sqm with a two-storey terrace, not without the usual concerns re light being attached on both sides; however, conveniently located to shops and the station – undisclosed but circa mid $2millions
  • 18 Barkly Street Brighton (Alex Schiavo/Janine Lum, Kay & Burton) – approx. 374sqm land, opposite the school and with a south rear, but nestled between Outer and Middle Crescents and walking distance to both Bay Street and Church Street shops with an impeccably maintained original early ’60s home. The auction saw 6 bidders and a result of $1,870,000 or $5,000sqm


Some of the better properties scheduled for Auctions on 25 August; an architect’s view

12 Derby Street CamberwellJonathon O’Donoghue / Alexandra Valmorbida, Jellis Craig

5 Rooding Street BrightonNick Johnstone / Sarah Korbel, Nick Johnstone RE

12 Ashleigh Road ArmadaleFraser Cahill / Richard Mackinnon, Marshall White

13 Larnook Street PrahranAndrew James/James Annett, Hocking Stuart


‘Off-market’ Properties: 

  • Renovated Edwardian home on large land, Sandringham – circa mid $3m
  • Period home in need of renovation, central Brighton – high $3m
  • Renovated Victorian near amenities, Hawthorn – high $1m
  • Partially renovated Edwardian, Surrey Hills – circa mid $2m
  • Federation family home, Bentleigh – early to mid $2m
  • Tudor family home – circa mid $3m
  • 90s family home in Gascoigne Estate, Malvern East – circa mid $3m
  • Single fronted Victorian ready for renovation, Kew – circa $1.3m
  • Renovated villa close to amenities, Armadale – circa $2m
  • Single level family home, Hampton – circa mid $2m
  • Dated home on good north rear land, Hampton – circa early $2m
  • Renovated Hawthorne brick double fronter, Windsor – circa mid $1m
  • Victorian with modern extension, Armadale – circa $8m


Auction Spotlight: 

67 Northcote Rd Armadale

Justin Long from Marshall White faced a large audience at this auction, who weren’t put off by the rain coming down mid-way through proceedings.

This pretty Victorian double fronter was going to appeal to both downsizers and some families with what it offered in this position. Parking at the front and rear is a real bonus, as is the excellent north-west light in the open plan living zone. The flats over the rear fence are reasonably screened for privacy in the garden.

More than 70 people came to participate or observe the Marshall White auction led by Justin Long. Immediately opening with a vendor bid of $2.7m, two parties soon entered the competition, swiftly taking the offering to $2.9m. After discussions with the vendors, the auction was recommenced without further bids, passing in to bidder two. Post-auction negotiations saw the property sold for $3.05m.

1 Fawkner St South Yarra

Jeremy Fox and the RT Edgar Team work the crowd along Fawkner St for the auction of the single fronter at number 1.

Conveniently located to Fawkner Park, as well as the shops and restaurants of Toorak Rd and Chapel St, this pretty single fronter with north rear was another solid offering that went under the hammer on Saturday.  Renovated and well presented, with further scope to improve over time, the home gains good light via the ROW along the west boundary. OSP is available into the rear courtyard.

When Jeremy Fox from RT Edgar commenced the auction seeking offers around $1.7-1.8m, the crowd of about 40 remained silent. Eventually an opening bid of $1.6m was made and accepted. A further party entered and bids bounced back and forth to $1.78m, at which point Jeremy went inside for further instructions. Not yet on the market, the bidding recommenced, with a third bidder joining the action with bidder two. Stalling at $1.9m and again not on the market after talking to the vendors, the property was passed in on the street. Bidder three went inside for further negotiations, eventually buying the home for $1,988,888.