9 September 2017

Within the Castlefield Estate, an almost triangular 900sqm block at 22 Avelin St Hampton delivers an unconventional home built around a central courtyard with spa. The property passed in on a vendor bid of $3.1m and is now for sale for $3.35m with Buxton Real Estate.

There were some strong results on the weekend for the good properties (ie well renovated or new, with pretty facades and/or located in good streets).

For instance, 50 Bamfield Street Sandringham (Jenny Dwyer, Hocking Stuart) – a very conveniently located home close to the station, shops, primary schools and beach on approx. 722sqm and a renovation since it was last purchased (improved but not perfect) – sold for $2,7m.

This was the third sale in 10 years for this home – it sold in 2007 for $2.2m (as a nearly new home with three large living areas including formal dining, but only three bedrooms), again in 2013 for $1.84m (with the shine of new now gone, a south-facing rear and a polarising façade) and again last weekend in a more buoyant market with some renovations to create a more flexible floorplan and a fourth bedroom.

One of the bigger questions for buyers is where are all the ‘good’ properties?

Looking at the last couple of auction weekends before the school holiday break, it has been hard for us to find the good properties in any kind of volume.

With the lack of ‘good’ supply and still very solid numbers of buyers in the market, we expect to continue to see properties sold; however, we may also see more homes bought beforehand, or sold afterward (in post-auction negotiations), as the depth for homes that are not quite right may not be there. If you are considering buying beforehand, you may wish to check you’re not the only buyer for the property, or the only one at the vendor’s dream price. It certainty can be a good opportunity, but the dollars are also important.

Looking further forward, talk among the selling agents is that October 27 (the one before Derby Day weekend) is shaping up as the next big weekend after the holidays. We have already seen a number of homes advertised for this weekend, some with notations ‘if not sold beforehand’ attached, encouraging buyers to buy now and beat the crowd … but what if there’s no crowd to beat at the buy before price?  Are you better to wait until auction?

Buying a property in Melbourne is not easy, particularly right now when quality stock is so tight. Patience is even more important, and we are encouraging all of our clients to focus on good fundamentals and the things you can’t change or easily ‘buy’.

You can’t renovate every home (some are just tricky or not cost effective). For example, tricky issues to fix include:

  • The home is poorly positioned on the block, with limited rear yard space, often with large ‘unusable’ front yard space.
  • Poor or no car access. Don’t trust an ad showing a ROW: try driving the car down the lane – will you/can you actually use it?
  • Serious structural faults to original building bones.
  • Limited access to natural light and/or poor rear orientation.
  • Unremarkable facades.
  • If there’s privacy issues from the neighbouring properties, landscaping isn’t always an option.

What makes a good property? Assessment is all important and buyers should be objective.



  • 17 McGregor Street Canterbury (Geordie Dixon/Steve Abbott, Jellis Craig) – approx. 592sqm with a very well renovated, pretty weatherboard home (architect Fiona Austin) – $3,130,000
  • 14 Elgin Street Hawthorn (Chris Barrett/Stuart Evans, Marshall White) – approx. 495sqm, a pretty double-fronted brick Victorian with tasteful renovation at the rear, no current off-street car parking – $4,005,000
  • 57 Guildford Road Surrey Hills (Duane Wolowiec/Kathy Malcolm, Marshall White) – solid, well-built brick home in superb order, but a little small in places. The major attraction here though was the land – approximately 1000sqm with north-facing rear and good car access – $3,625,000
  • 2 Trentham Street Sandringham (Richard Slade/Peter Hickey, Buxton) – approx. 546sqm, period home in the ‘growth zone’ of Sandringham – $2,220,000

‘Land’ Sales of note:

  • 20 Glyndon Road Camberwell (Michael Fonti/ David Gillham Noel Jones) – approx. 715sqm, with east-facing rear (almost opposite T-intersection) – $2,410,000 or nearly $3,370sqm
  • 2 Homebush Crescent Hawthorn East (Steven Rode/Ross Savas, Kay & Burton) –approx. 615sqm with south-facing rear, undisclosed but around $2.7m or circa $4,400sqm
  • 13 Vickery Street Malvern East (James Tomlinson/Hugh Tomlinson, Marshall White) approx. 595sqm, with north-facing rear, undisclosed but around $1.7m or circa $2,900sqm

Auction Spotlights:

 27 Closeburn Avenue Prahran

More than 100 people came to 27 Closeburn Ave Prahran and saw a huge result at the auction led by Gowan Stubbings from Kay & Burton.

The pretty period façade at 27 Closeburn Ave Prahran hides the well executed, contemporary renovation and extension within. The home delivers a practical single level floor plan with easy inside-out living for the coming warmer months.  Gowan Stubbings led the Kay & Burton team for the auction, receiving an opening bid of $2.7m, before quickly getting to $3.02m, at which point everyone stopped and stated they’d ‘wait until he went inside, thanks’. Left with no other option, Gowan went and spoke to the vendors, only to report that they were close but not yet on the market. Bidder 1 responded with a big bid to bring it to $3.1m, where the other bidders again asked if it was now on the market. With a laugh, Gowan said ‘Good question’, ran inside and was quickly out again with the good news that it was. This brought out a flurry of intense bidding and it was a testament to the quality of the home that four bidders fought for the property. Bidder 1 was eventually the last one standing, made to dig deep to secure the property for a strong $3.52m, and a healthy $420,000 above the vendor’s expectations.

 31 Margarita Street Hampton

The crowd enjoyed late afternoon sun while watching Mark Earle and the Buxton team achieve a strong result at 31 Margarita St Hampton.

This Carter Grange home with some low ceilings upstairs and in the kitchen was carried to a strong result with its ‘A Grade’ location. The home sits on approx. 754sqm of land, enjoys the afternoon sun from its west rear orientation, as well as rear access to Bolton Ave for quick beach access. More than 80 people squeezed through the home before settling along the street to watch the action. Following the usual preamble and rules, the size of the crowd did not mean more opening bidders. Mark Earle from Buxton Real Estate was forced to kick-start the auction with a vendor bid of $3.3m, followed by another one of $3.4m. This finally brought out the two parties keen to lay their hands on the keys and it was an entertaining battle between the two until the end. Loud spoken bids of 10k and 40k alternated to bring the property on the market at $3.6m, before slowing slightly and eventually settling at a solid $3.77m. When you consider that the same size ‘land’ next door sold for $1.875m just two years ago, the vendors should be very pleased.

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

42 Llaneast Street Armadale – Andrew Hayne/Michael Martin (Marshall White)

9 Barrington Avenue Kew – Richard Winneke/Nicholas Brown (Jellis Craig)

4 The Avenue Hampton – Andrew Campbell/Michael Paproth (Marshall White)

38 Carters Avenue Toorak – Mark Wridgway/James Paull (RT Edgar)


‘Off-market’ Properties:

  • Modern townhouse, Black Rock – $2.3m
  • Generous land with a basic period house, Glen Iris – $3m
  • Unrenovated pretty Edwardian with north-facing rear, Malvern – circa $3.5m
  • Arts and Crafts neat home, Camberwell – $3.3m
  • Large family home, Malvern – $6.5m