19 May 2018

Adam reviewing 10 Violet Grove Hawthorn East with Andrew Gibbons from Marshall White

Pass-ins are becoming the new normal at auctions. The majority of the properties we attended on the weekend passed in on vendor bids, with no visible interest from buyers.  Some of these were good properties – well oriented and well positioned, with good floorplans.

We also saw more than 10% of the weekend’s homes sold before auction. You may wish to question why a buyer would be willing to buy before auction in this market. If the property suits your needs, this may be a great opportunity to create certainty; however, considering the number of other buyers interested and their potential price levels is still important, to ensure an informed decision is made before making any offer. You may be the only buyer.

You don’t have to be buying or selling to be thinking about real estate. The property market is something talked about at dinners and functions (almost any occasion) and with the same passion as if talking about the football or cricket.

Talk has moved from bidding tactics at auction to ‘off market’ properties.

We note that most homes that are ‘off market’ are really only private sales. They are properties where the vendors have listed with an agency to sell their home without a marketing campaign. This can be particularly appealing for vendors hoping for a high price. If they don’t get their price, the process hasn’t cost them too much, whereas a formal advertising campaign could leave a vendor out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars.

Properties selling via private sales are not a secret, as they are still marketed to everyone on the agency database at the general price point via email or text alert advising of a special off market opportunity and usually still have public inspections.

That being said, there are still a number of genuine ‘off market’ properties floating around.  Some have been around for six or 12 months, sometimes longer.  Some have even increased their asking price. It is important to remember that just because everyone doesn’t know about the home, it doesn’t mean it is a good property and will suit your needs. If it does, however, having an experienced selling agent and experienced buying agent will increase your chances of buying the home.


  • 9 Condor Street Hawthorn East (Michael Hingston/Geordie Dixon, Jellis Craig) – modern family home, conveniently located, bought before auction for an undisclosed amount over $5 million
  • 61 Were Street Brighton (Lisa Comben/David Hart, Buxton) – family home (with polarising façade) with north facing rear, good street – bought before auction $2,850,000
  • 27 Ryeburne Avenue Hawthorn East (James Tostevin/Sally O’Connell, Marshall White) – substantial, single storey Edwardian on approx. 1,196sqm – $5,200,000
  • 56 Kerferd Street Malvern East (John Chartres/Tory Resic, Thomson RE) – recently renovated, large family home – $6,110,000

 ‘Land’ Sales:

  • 69 Irving Road Toorak (Warwick Anderson/Holly Gillham, RT Edgar) – approx. 480sqm, corner block sold for an undisclosed amount closer to $5 million or over $10,000sqm
  • 31 South Road Brighton (Ivan Blow/Stefan Whiting, Buxton) – approx. 1090sqm, corner block with single dwelling covenant – undisclosed but over $3.7 million or around $3,400sqm
  • 5 Norbert Street Balwyn (William Chen/Anton Zhouk, Buxton) – approx. 681sqm in the Balwyn High zone, $2.338 million or $3,433sqm
  • 31 Abbott Street Sandringham (Alan McGillivray/Nick Johnstone, Nick Johnstone RE) – approx. 1,000sqm, corner block in the growth zone, $4,62 million or $4,620sqm

Some of the better properties scheduled for auctions on 2 June: an architect’s view 

10 Elgin Avenue ArmadaleAndrew Smith/Eva Christodoulou, Kay & Burton

31 Central Avenue Black RockCam Saba / Alex Spanidis, Branon Real Estate

 14 Airlie Avenue PrahranMarcus Chiminello/Nicole French, Marshall White

8 Brinsley Road Camberwell Tim Bennison/Will Bennison, Jellis Craig

‘Off-market’ Properties:

  • Single storey, modern family home, Brighton East – $2.4m
  • Townhouse, north rear, Hampton – early $2 millions
  • Large land, Brighton – over $4m
  • Villa unit (needing some cosmetic updating), Brighton – $1.5m
  • Corner block, Hawthorn – $4m
  • Family home on large land, Kew – $6m
  • Double fronted home with pool, Armadale – $2m 

Auction Spotlight:

56 Kerferd St Malvern East

A good sized crowd attended the autumnal auction with Thomson Real Estate at 56 Kerferd Road.

A substantial, fully renovated, family home within the Gascoigne Estate was up for sale at 56 Kerferd Rd. The large spaces and pristine finishes throughout were clearly appealing to many, outweighing the impact of the south rear.  The ‘move-in-now–and-enjoy’ factor was strong with this offering and the market of late has been receptive to such offerings. John Chartres from Thomson led the auction, opening with a vendor bid of $5.5m. Two bidders responded with rapid offers bringing the level to just under $6m before anyone could even catch their breath. After a quick vendor discussion, the home was announced on the market at $6.025m. This brought on another round of bids, eventually slowing and settling at $6.11m.

63 Wheatland Road Malvern

Andrew McCann leads the Jellis Craig team at the successful auction of 63 Wheatland Rd Malvern.

63 Wheatland Rd Malvern offers comfortable family living behind a pretty Edwardian façade. The position, north rear and up to 5 bedrooms will satisfy many families, while some may have been looking for a more functional downstairs master/bathroom combination.  Once Andrew McCann got the auction underway with an opening vendor bid of $2.5m, the attending crowd was characteristically shy. With a little encouragement from Carla Fetter, a bidder responded and was soon met with competition from bidder two, steadily bringing the offer up to $2.75m. Asked if the property was on the market, the reply was positive with the next bid at $2.775m by a third entrant, which brought on a flurry of bids between bidders 1 & 3. At this point a fourth bidder quite literally jumped in and stood intimidatingly beside the auctioneer, shouting out loud and swift bids in response to all opposition. The tactic worked for him, eventually purchasing the property for $2.955m.