14 October 2017

Spring auction season in full swing. Securing the good properties is still hard for uneducated buyers.

Welcome back to our newsletter and the last quarter of 2017. The real estate market has returned with signs of continuing strength: there were good numbers through Saturday’s opens and some queues for the better homes. The weekend of 28th October is usually a high-volume auction weekend and the results are likely to provide direction for the remainder of the year. There is a mixed variety of homes on offer – some tick most of the PPP boxes; however, there are also a number with some compromises (ie tricky floorplan, orientation, slope, location concerns). Depending on where the buyer focus lands, we may see a mix of stronger results along with some pass-ins – particularly if vendors have high expectations.

The increased volume could result in a number of homes also being sold before auction.  The opportunity for certainty can be comforting for buyers, but research and caution should remain. Waiting until auction day could save you a lot of money.

We have noticed mixed results when comparing the sold price with the quoted price range provided at the beginning of a campaign. More often than not, agent selection for similar properties has so far been accurate, but the results have been more varied. At the start of this year, it was considered normal for most properties to sell above the quote range.

But recent results are far more mixed: some homes sell well above the range (although usually with reserves at similar levels), some sell accurately within the range, and an increasing number are selling below the quote range, including some of our highlighted properties this week.

The takeaway message for buyers is that just because quotes are far more accurate, it doesn’t follow that the outcome will be predictable. While the quote can be a guide, understanding smaller nuances within the market, such as precinct demand, buyer demand, property competition, and impact re zoning regulations, may help avoid the disappointment of missing a home that has sold within your range.


  • 13 Yarra Street Hawthorn (Brett Vanderwert/Glen Coutinho, RT Edgar) – approx. 553sqm with a pretty Edwardian home, corner block and sloping site – $2,800,000
  • 3 Banks Avenue Hampton (Scott Hamilton/Brydie Hamilton, Buxton) – approx. 543sqm with a single-level Californian Bungalow home – passed in $2.005m, selling after – $2,095,000
  • 33 Eddys Grove Bentleigh (Vicki Pollard/John Pollard, Woodards) – approx. 674sqm with a brick Californian Bungalow, outside the McKinnon ‘zone’ but well positioned to Centre Road shops – $2,040,000
  • 19 Dryden Street Canterbury (Mark Fletcher/Rob Fletcher, Fletchers) – approx. 487sqm with a low maintenance brick single-level home and garaging.  On the market at $1.65million, sold strongly – $2,004,500

‘Land’ Sales:

  • 16 and 16a View Street Hawthorn (Cameron Ingram/Nick Whyte, Nelson Alexander) – approx. 595sqm, south-facing rear with slope (with two apartments in average condition) –$2,700,000 or $4,537sqm
  • 10 Tower Road Balwyn North (Michael Hingston/Chris Hingston, Jellis Craig) – approx. 713sqm in the Balwyn High School zone with a south-facing rear. Demand in this area remains solid –  $2,110,000 or $2,959sqm
  • 15 Kent Street Prahran / Windsor (Michael Tynan/Tom McCarthy, Biggin & Scott) – approx. 487sqm with a liveable brick home, although with no parking off street and a large multi-level apartment block on the northern side –  $1,201,000 or $5,975sqm

‘Off-market’ Properties:


  • Pretty double-fronted brick Victorian, Hawthorn – high $2millions
  • Modern townhouse, Malvern – $3m
  • Timber Victorian, Prahran – $3.5m
  • Wide block, land, South Yarra – $5m
  • Basic home, good land, Brighton – $3m
  • Basic home good land, Kew East – $2m
  • Smaller home with garaging, Hampton – $2m

Some of the better properties coming up for auction: an architect’s view

2 Elwood Street Brighton – Robin Parker/Kate Fowler (Marshall White)

21 Albion Street South Yarra – Walter Dodich/Zoe Ho (Kay & Burton)

1 Ardene Court Hawthorn – James Tostevin/Sally O’Connell, (Marshall White)

4 Keats Street Sandringham – Jenny Dwyer/Stephen Tickell (Hocking Stuart)

Auction Spotlight:

 39 Llaneast Street Armadale 

James Tomlinson led the Marshall White team for the successful auction of 39 Llaneast St Armadale.

This home is an Edwardian waiting for a thorough renovation. Additional touches to an already strong offering include that it is well positioned in the cul-de-sac part of the street with good 11m frontage, as well as side ROW to off street parking.

This auction was a family affair, and the Tomlinson clan, plus more from the Marshall White team, had a good-sized crowd to work with at the auction. Following an opening vendor bid of $1.6m by James, a couple of bidders steadily moved things along to bring the property on the market at $1.88m. With a third bidder engaged in vying for the property, bidding continued and finally settled at $1.895m for a very happy-looking young couple.

Demand remains strong for properties in good locations and with excellent potential.

28 Connell Street Hawthorn

The Fletcher family was made to work hard at the late afternoon auction of 28 Connell St Hawthorn, which passed in at $1.75m.

A pretty façade portrays the potential for this freestanding Victorian home in one of the best positioned streets in Hawthorn. Extended previously, the home is now ready for its next renovation (within its heritage overlay parameters). This overlay, combined with the existing extension, may have held prospective purchasers back at auction time.

Mark Fletcher from Fletchers Real Estate led the auction, with support from father Rob, brother Gary, and the rest of the team, in front of a crowd of about 60. With the usual silence greeting the auctioneer once the call was made for bidding, Mark was forced to place a vendor bid of $1.7m to start proceedings. A bid of $1.75m was eventually received, which saw a short break for discussions with the vendors. No further offers could be extracted from the crowd, so the property was passed in at this level. The property remains on the market.