13 October 2018

Bigger numbers inspecting and attending auctions with the arrival of spring, but buyers have firmer limits and are more cautious to bid.


The Spring market has now well and truly kicked off.  Whether it is the improved weather, or the opportunity to view some new offerings, we’ve seen an increase in the number of buyers inspecting homes.

Those buyers without homes are coming to the realisation that Christmas is nearly upon us, with a limited number of auction weekends before the market closes up until after Australia Day.  Take the Cup and Election weekends out of the mix and we are looking at only eight more good auction Saturdays, two of which already have campaigns underway.

Certainly, the better homes that are marketed and quoted accurately are seeing competition, albeit more tentatively off the mark.   Buyers definitely seem to have more firm limits, however. Unlike  2016-17, where auctions started strongly and buyers slowly kept edging over their limits when bidding, we are seeing far more cautious initial bids that become stronger as a second and sometimes third bidder become involved, particularly if the home is announced ‘on the market’.

We are also seeing some homes defying the market trend.  Homes combining scarcity with position are still performing above and beyond any previous market results.  We inspected a very good home in Armadale, in a premium location, which was ‘opened’ for the first time last week and bought at the asking price by the first person through.

We think it is important in any market to buy a good property first.  It is easy to get caught in the trap of a down market by buying something just because it is cheap, even if it isn’t quite right.  The good homes become less available in a down market, particularly if vendors don’t have to sell.  With fewer homes to compete with, the really good ones can still outperform.  One of the hardest things is knowing what makes a home really good and then finding one that is actually really for sale.


  • 12 Weatherly Grove Brighton (Gary Yue/Halli Moore, Buxton) – approx. 760sqm land 16.76m frontage, south rear – undisclosed but circa $3m or over $3,800sqm
  • 6 Bruce Street Toorak (Mark Wridgway/James Paull, RT Edgar) – approx. 865sqm land with approved plans/permits for apartments, south rear, busier street but well located – undisclosed between $6.25-6.5m or  well over $7,000sqm
  • 9 May Road Toorak (James McCormack/Dean Gilbert, Marshall White) – well located single fronted period home on appox. 300sqm, north rear, ready for the next update – undisclosed just under $2m


Some of the better properties scheduled for Auction on 20 October; an architect’s view

20 Edro Avenue Brighton East – Peter Kennett, Chelsea Cargill, Hocking Stuart

75 Barkly Avenue Armadale – Lachie Fraser-Smith, Will Bennison, Jellis Craig

22 Thanet Street Malvern – Tom McCarthy, Biggin & Scott

15 Derby Street Camberwell – Ross Stryker / Nick O’Halloran, Jellis Craig 


‘Off-market’ Properties: 

  • Fully renovated family home on 1,020sqm, Malvern East – circa early $4m
  • Double fronted Edwardian w scope to improve, Camberwell – circa $2.3m
  • Renovated two storey Edwardian, DLUG, Armadale – circa early $3m
  • Development site w NOD for plans, Kew – over $4m
  • Edwardian in need of renovation on 650sqm, Glen Iris – circa $2.65m
  • Two storey family home with good sized garden, pool, Malvern East – circa $3m
  • 4 bed Edwardian with open plan rear, Malvern East – circa $2.6m
  • 4-5 bed family home with period features, Canterbury – circa $2.6m
  • Renovated 3 bedroom Edwardian, close to amenities, Kew – circa high $1m
  • Large Edwardian on 920sqm with indoor pool, DLUG, Alphington – over $3m
  • Modern family home on 1,114sqm, walk to Church St, Brighton – circa $6m


Auction Spotlight:

19 Collingwood St Sandringham

19 Collingwood St Sandringham – one of the few homes that we saw sell under the hammer on the weekend.

19 Collingwood Street (quoted $1.6-1.76m) offered a comfortable period home on a very good piece of land.  Relatively flat with no easements, we thought the land was the valuable component of the property, located in a quiet street and well located to the shops, station and beach.  The home was functional enough and had been updated along the way, making it quite liveable; however, the position on the block and orientation to the south ensured the living rooms received limited natural light for most of the day.  Simone Chin from Nick Johnstone Real Estate called the auction. When no opening bids were forthcoming, she commenced with a vendor bid of $1.75m. Looking like another pass-in was imminent, finally a genuine bidder emerged offering $10,000.  With that, a second bidder also joined the game.  Extracting bids was slow until the property was announced on the market at $1.83m, with the final result settling at $1.845m.


60 Ruskin Street Elwood

Sam Inan from Hocking Stuart had a crowd of over 60 people along both sides of the street to work with at the auction of 60 Ruskin St Elwood.

The home on offer at 60 Ruskin St Elwood (quoted $2.1-2.3m) hides its modern and stylish renovation behind an understated Edwardian façade. It delivers good family accommodation with two living zones and a huge central bathroom. Although the south one of the pair, excellent light is achieved internally through skylights and a glass rear wall up to the cathedral ceiling.  While plenty of locals came to see the action just to see how the market was going in their area, a number of serious looking buyers were in the crowd.  Standard bidding shyness caused the usual silence once bids were called for and Sam Inan from Hocking Stuart was forced to place a vendor bid of $2.1m.  Further inaction made Sam go inside to give everyone some thinking time. Just when it looked like passing in, a surprise bid of $2.165m was placed by a young couple, followed by another couple counteroffering a further $10k. Bidder one replied equally before bidder two made a slightly larger jump to settle on $2.2m where the home was eventually passed in. Discussions continued inside and the property was sold shortly after for an undisclosed price a little higher.