17 June 2017

Tennis courts always make fantastic settings for auctions. 49 Lisson Grove Hawthorn sold strongly under the hammer for $7.65m, almost $1m over reserve. Listing agent Jock Langley and auctioneer Tim Derham, Abercromby’s.

For the first time in quite a while, the clearance rate dropped to the lower 70% range, with the REIV reporting a clearance of 74%, at 6pm Saturday.

Do we think that means the market is turning? We don’t think so, but we do think that some buyers are confused by the mixed methods of quoting (some are still being quoted using the old system, while those listed post-1 May use the new ‘more accurate’ system).  We also saw some good properties pass in (eg 29 Bridge Street Hampton – see auction spotlight below) at what we believed were strong levels and some sold for even more afterwards.

Next weekend is now the last ‘big’ weekend before the market goes into hibernation before resuming with some numbers again in August.  This may result in some increased sales of homes sold privately, or, as many like to now call it, ‘off market’, particularly for vendors who have recently bought and want to minimise their exposure to any potential changes in the market place.

With reports this morning that the Melbourne population, currently sitting a little over 4.5 million, is likely to grow to nearly 8 million in the next 30 years, it is hard to imagine demand changing for the well-located, good-quality family and downsizer homes.


49 Lisson Grove Hawthorn (Simon Curtain/Jock Langley, Abercromby’s) – a single storey, renovated Victorian with pool and court with north-facing rear on approx. 1,717sqm –$7.65m

9 Coppin Street Malvern East (John Morrisby, Jellis Craig) – recently renovated Edwardian on approx. 885sqm with north rear and pool, sold quietly during the week for an undisclosed amount – above $6.5m

1 McCarthy Street Hampton (Trudy Biggin, Biggin & Scott) – updated but older renovation on approx. 665sqm with north rear and pool – sold before auction for $3.35m

‘Land’ Sales:

34 Donna Buang Street Camberwell (Toby Parker/Josie Cheng, Hocking Stuart) – approx. 1087sqm with permits for 4 townhouses, south rear – undisclosed but over $3.5m or around $3,300sqm

29 Bridge Street Hampton (Stephen Wigley/Paul Bond, Hodges) – approx. 716sqm, north-facing rear with permits (front and back) for two townhouses – 4 bidders and passed in for $2.25m, selling afterward for an undisclosed amount – around $3,300sqm

3 Johnson Street Hawthorn (Simon Curtain/Andrew Harlock, Abercromby’s) – approx. 350sqm, smaller rear north-facing block with permits for a single dwelling, sold only two years ago for $1.35m – sold for $2.053m or $5,865sqm

4-6 Henry Street Sandringham (Scott Banks/Zeno Kobica, Scott Banks RE) – approx. 577sqm, well positioned, however, a smaller square-shaped block with south-facing rear – $1.745m and $3,024 sqm

8 Chesterfield Avenue Malvern (Warwick Anderson/Oliver Booth, RT Edgar) – almost 1,400sqm, and another more square-shaped block with south-facing rear (although much bigger) – sold before auction for an undisclosed amount over $7m

‘Off Market’ Properties:

  • Modern home, quiet location – Toorak – over $12 million
  • North-facing, good-sized land – Brighton – mid-$3 millions
  • Period home, could be further updated – Elwood – high $2 millions
  • Townhouse/downsizer, great location – Armadale – high $3 millions
  • Good land, fairly original brick home – Hampton – high $1 millions
  • Older style family home – Balwyn North – high $1 millions
  • Period home with double garage – Camberwell – early $2 millions 

Properties we like, scheduled for auction 1 July 2017:

63 Liddiard Street Hawthorn – Alastair Craig /  Veronica Khoo (Jellis Craig)

20 Byron Street Brighton – Ross Walker / Greg Costello (RT Edgar)

65 Karma Avenue Malvern East – Daniel Wheeler / Justin Krongold (Marshall White)

26 Salisbury Grove Northcote – Sam Rigopoulos / Eric Brown (Jellis Craig)

Auction Spotlight:

29 Bridge St Hampton

Stephen Wigley from Hodges Sandringham faced a large crowd with four bidders at the auction of 29 Bridge St Hampton.

This auction provided prospective buyers with another opportunity to purchase a well-positioned, north rear development, similar to recent good sales in Willis and Littlewood Streets in Hampton. With approximately 716sqm of land in close proximity to the beach, shops and train stations, the property included approved plans for a dual occupancy development, if potential buyers didn’t want to retain the site for a single home.  A good crowd of more than 70 people sought out the winter sunshine to watch Stephen Wigley and Paul Bond from Hodges run proceedings. Opening with a vendor bid of $2.0m the auction began slowly before picking up pace after a quick break. Four bidders brought the price up to $2.25m, where Stephen again conferred with the vendors. No further bids could be drawn from the crowd and the property was passed in at this level. The property sold afterwards for an undisclosed amount around $100,000 more.

Going to an auction as a buyer, it is important to be prepared for multiple strategies, including post-auction negotiations, as vendor expectations may be above market levels.

3 Johnson Street Hawthorn

A chilly, still winter Melbourne morning, but the bidding was hot at this auction – four bidders.

Premium north-facing land only a stone’s throw away from Glenferrie Road, this single-fronted Victorian, which clearly had seen better times, was up for auction less than two years after it last sold for around the $1.35m mark. Auctioneer Tim Derham looked for an opening bid and had to wait a while, so a vendor bid was placed at $1.8m. This started the auction and measured bidding between four bidders saw this property announced on the market at $1.975m and eventually sell under the hammer for $2.053m. What does this tell us? Good land (with above average width for the area) is still in good demand and the auction system is alive and well, as apparently this buyer (a younger Chinese couple) had only seen the property a few days ago. 

Agent Opinion: How do you see the market heading into the winter hibernation period?

Anthony Grimwade, Director, RT Edgar: As winter begins to set in and with the June / July school holidays looming, housing stock is starting to tighten. Competition for well located period and contemporary homes continues unabated and this was witnessed with last week’s RT Edgar sale of 49 Murray Street, Prahran. An original two-bedroom double-fronted brick Victorian directly opposite Victoria Gardens and in the Hawksburn Village precinct, it was hotly contested between two buyers and sold for $3,110,000, $210,000 above the reserve.

Another key RT Edgar sale at the other end of the spectrum was 8 Chesterfield Avenue, Malvern, an unrenovated 1930s two-storey home on about 1,400m² of land that sold one week into the marketing campaign (price undisclosed) but believed to be in the vicinity of $7 million.