May 9, 2015


The strong results continued again this week, with bidder numbers in force at most auctions, and, in the main, well exceeding vendor expectations.

The two markets we see as particularly strong are:

1. those looking for land to knock-down and re-build; and
2. downsizers looking for single-level, updated homes close to local shops.

Kew was particularly strong:

  • 26 Goldthorns Avenue Kew (Belinda Anderson, Jellis Craig) bought for $2,715,000 (on market $2,500,000). A really well kept original period home with fine features sadly looks to be going, as the two highest bidders were looking at the property for land only – $3106sqm.
  • 13-15 Lytton Grove (Belinda Anderson, Jellis Craig) bought for $1,337,362 &    $1, 910,000. Quiet court location, two separate houses reportedly bought by the same buyer totalling 897sqm – $3,620sqm.

Kew: 26 Goldthorns Ave (Jellis Craig), under hammer, $2.715m

Some other big land results – both with the same land size (613sqm) in two of Melbourne’s best postcodes.

  • 11 Flintoft Ave Toorak (Marcus Chiminello, Marshall White). Modest original home on a prime corner block with north-facing rear aspect, not far from the Yarra.  Bought for $4,350,000 – $7,000sqm.
  • 8 Wright Street Hawthorn (Richard Winneke, Jellis Craig).  Well located basic house. Frontage was the big plus here, and it featured a double crossover. Bought for $2,280,000 – $3,720sqm.

Two downsizer properties (well presented, single level, close to shops) that sold at auction:

  • 15 Sutherland Road Armadale (Peter Bennison/Mark Harris, Marshall White). Width was the big key here, and the plan flowed well. On the market for $2,760,000 and bought at that number.
  • 173 Peel Street Kew (Jenny Gillies, Jellis Craig). Updated Victorian home, again single level. Opened at $1,700,000 and immediately on the market, bought for $1,815,000. Fringe Kew location, but a winning package overall. Bought back in 2009 for under $600K  – representing good growth for the owner. Maybe developers should just replicate a property like this – it is very much in demand right now.
Kew: 173 Peel St (Jellis Craig), under hammer, $1.815m, 4 bidders

Kew: 173 Peel St (Jellis Craig), under hammer, $1.815m, 4 bidders

Some Bayside sales of note:

  • 4 Canberra Grove Brighton East (Halli Moore, Buxton).  Neat home yet a tricky floor plan, but it was all about the location to the schools. Bought for $1,705,000 – 607m2. Solid result – 5 bidders
  • 31 Grout Street Hampton (Christian Hegarty, Buxton) Completed product, no need to worry about renovation work – $2.165 million. An unrenovated version next door sold early this year for $1.5 million.
  • 15 Bridge Street Hampton (Jason Collie/Barb Gregory, Marshall White).  Larger completed family home, north rear, well positioned – 3 bidders $3.1 million.

Not all properties are making it to auction day – some sold beforehand (mid-week) for very solid prices.

  • 12 Florence Avenue Kew (James Tostevin, Marshall White) – over $4 million.
  • 14 Winter Street Malvern (Sarah Case, Kay & Burton) – over $3 million.
  • 15 Davey Ave Brighton East (David Hart, Buxton) – $1.8 million.

Many people we talk to can’t believe that in this market the vendor would sell before auction. Selling before doesn’t mean that the results are not strong or that the buyer does not have to fight it out with other bidders. Such scenarios can present as boardroom auctions, best offers in, one offer only, or last man standing, to name a few. In this market (as in any), your best chance to be the buyer is in the preparation, research and planning.

Architecturally Speaking – Brick v Timber


Brick vs timber wall construction is a common discussion point with buyers………At the end of the day, it is very much a personal choice.

We don’t think it affects capital growth as such, but definitely some buyers will not look at timber homes (particularly people from Europe), as they consider it inferior and very different from what they used to traditionally.

In nutshell, the pros and cons of the two systems are:



  •    Easier to change/remove walls and cheaper to renovate
  •    Less likely to crack due to subsidence (structure is more flexible)
  •    Easier to insulate (with double brick, you cannot do this)


  • Maintenance –  as a rule of thumb, needs to be painted every seven years
  • Can be susceptible to termite attack
  • Noise can transfer through the walls more easily



  • No maintenance needed
  • House feels more solid and noise is not transmitted through the walls as easily
  • Not susceptible to termite attack


  • Cannot insulate external walls (if double brick)
  • Susceptible to rising damp
  • Susceptible to cracking and underpinning if there is subsidence

Auction Highlights:

26 Goldthorns, Kew (Jellis Craig), under hammer, $2.715 million

Beautifully presented, this original clinker brick two-storey home couldn’t have looked much better for its auction. What a beautiful home this is…….and the features inside are divine if you are lover of the art deco style. Hope others see its beauty too. Yes, it is bit dated for 2015 living but nothing a good architect couldn’t address. A really good crowd of well over 100 people lined the kerb across the road as auctioneer Steve Abbott gave a concise preamble, with listing agent Belinda Anderson on the ready by his side to record the bids. Quoted originally as “over $2m”, this was always going to attract good buyer interest, especially given the huge result a stone’s throw away at 66 Campbell Road of $3.050m only a few weeks ago. Steve looked for an opening bid and a cheeky one of $1.8m was called out. Steve patiently took the bid, yet this was trumped by bidder 2 with a $2.3m call, which is much more in line with the market sentiment. Bidder 3 then joined in and bidding clipped along. At around the $2.5 million mark, the property was announced on the market and, at $2.675 million, it looked to be sold to bidder 2 until a new bidder came in at $2.7 million. Bidder 3 countered this bid at $2.71 million but bidder 4 (a Chinese family with a sharp eye for good land) offered a counter which the agent believed was $2.75 million. Alas, this is not what the bidder meant – they meant $5,000 not $50,000 – so the bidding is taken back to $2.715 million, which, at the end of the day, is enough to buy the property. No heritage overlay to this home seems not quite right, but that was what ultimately got the strong result here -$3100m2 used to be Sackville Ward prices – this part of Kew is really popular at the moment.


Kew: 26 Goldthorns (Jellis Craig), under hammer, $2.715m

15 Bridge St, Hampton (Peter Kakos Marshall White), under hammer, $3.1 million, 3 bidders

With grey clouds threatening, the auction of 15 Bridge St was held in the front yard with around 70 people huddled under the carport or around the perimeter of the garden. Auctioneer Peter Kakos spent a fair amount of time describing the upside for this property, one of only a few visible larger family homes currently for sale in Hampton. After calling for an opening bid, one was received almost immediately at $2.1 million. Peter very quickly increased the price with a vendor bid of $2.5 million and the real auction began. Three parties pushed the price to $3.1 million, where the property was announced on the market. However, to the relief of the successful bidder, there was no further bidding and the property was bought for $3.1 million.


Hampton: 15 Bridge Road (Peter Kakos, Marshall White), under hammer, $3.1m, 3 bidders

6 Nicholls Road, Ormond (Mark Staples, Hocking Stuart), passed in $1.935 million, 3 bidders

The pretty period facade of this Ormond home gives little indication to the modern transformation within. Set on 920sqm of land, it was always going to be interesting to see what happened at auction on Saturday. Auctioneer Mark Staples stepped out into the street, in front of around 80 people, and didn’t hesitate before jumping into the preliminaries. Calling for an opening bid, he was offered $1.8 million and we were away. A vendor bid at $1.88 million saw Bidder 1 come back at $1.89 million before Bidder 2 entered the fray at $1.9 million. Bidder 3 offered $1.92 million, before the home was eventually passed in at $1.935 million for further negotiations.


Ormond: 6 Nicholls Rd, Mark Staples (Hocking Stuart), passed in $1,935,000, 3 bidders

Agent Opinion: What is your advice for young families buying into the current market?


Julian Augustini (Hodges): ‘Buy in the best location that you can for your budget. You can always improve a home over time, but location is key for lifestyle and future capital growth.’