April 29, 2017

After the Easter/Anzac Day break, we have a run of uninterrupted auction weekends ahead: will vendors be encouraged to sell and provide some good choices for buyers?

Today signals the first day of the new quoting rules for Victoria. There has been a lot of discussion and hype about this in the media; however, whether it will help or hinder buyers is yet to be determined.

If initial quotes are ‘higher’:

  • Will buyers avoid inspecting properties advertised over their budget?
  • Will the market rise further as buyers fight to be the highest bidder still?
  • Will stock levels tighten up as vendors wait to interpret any effect?
  • Will agent scripts and dialogues change at open for inspections?

In the meantime, the market has now resumed after the Easter/Anzac Day break and we have a consistent run of uninterrupted auction weekends, which will hopefully encourage vendors to sell and provide some good choices for buyers.

That said, looking forward to May 20 as the first bigger auction weekend, there aren’t too many ‘A’-graders to choose from.

Off-market sales have been quite prevalent in recent weeks, including a larger sale, circa $5.5m, in the Gascoigne Estate, Malvern East. There have also been good family home options, renovator delights and land sales transacting quietly over the past few weeks, providing plenty of options to buy.

Nearly a third of the homes we have purchased in the past six months have been ‘quiet’ sales. However, finding these properties can be difficult for buyers.

  • How do you find the agents who specialise in these transactions?
  • How do you know if the property is really for sale, not just testing the market?
  • How do you know if the price is right?

Auction Highlights:

  • 35 Anita Street Beaumaris (Nicole Payne/Jessica Gratz, Ray White Beaumaris) – approx. 780sqm, dated ‘volume build’ home – $2.305m
  • 15 Heath Street Sandringham (Jenny Dwyer/Will O’Brien, Hocking Stuart) – approx. 880sqm – bought after auction for an undisclosed amount above $3.5m
  • 20a Silver Street Malvern (Anthony Reis, Hugh Tomlinson, Marshall White) – neat single-level home on minimal land with good garaging – sold for an undisclosed amount in the early $2millions

‘Land’ Sales:

  • 196 Were Street Brighton East (Phillip Melody/Tom Davidson, Buxton) – approx. 680sqm, south-facing rear – $2.271m or nearly $3,500sqm
  • 39 Mont Victor Road Kew (Tim Heavyside/Spring Chen, Fletchers) – approx. 792sqm, corner block, north-facing rear – $3.045m or $3,844sqm
  • 7 Orford Road Ashburton (Michael Richardson/Graeme Keogh, Fletchers) – approx. 766sqm, liveable house on north-facing rear corner block – sold for just over $2.1m or close to $3,000sqm

And some land sales in Glen Iris the week before:

  • 23 Tower Hill Road (Michael Richardson/Michael Rosano, Fletchers) – approx. 767sqm – over $2m or nearly $3,000sqm
  • 51 Flowerdale Road (George Korderas, Woodards) – approx. 886sqm – nearly $2.5m or almost $3,000sqm

Off-Market Properties:

  • Premium north-facing land with basic house – Hampton – $2.2-2.3m
  • Period family home with volume – Sandringham – circa $2.5m
  • Larger modern apartment – Toorak – $2-2.3m
  • Good-sized land – Ashburton – $2.2m
  • Semi-detached home – Armadale – over $1.4m

Auction Spotlights:

41 Westbourne St Prahran

Persistence paid off for Andrew James from Hocking Stuart in delivering a successful result for the vendors of 41 Westbourne St Prahran.

A good-sized crowd gathered on both sides of the street to watch the auction of this beautifully renovated period home. The property delivers on modern conveniences and luxuries in a sunny and character-laden package, all a stone’s throw away from Hawksburn Village. Andrew James from Hocking Stuart ran the successful auction, in between seamlessly directing traffic past the crowd. After starting proceedings on a $2.0m vendor bid and one bidder eventually putting his hand up, it seemed the property would pass in below vendor expectations. A second bidder joined at the last second and the two delivered spirited bidding to first put the property on the market at $2.27m, before the opening bidder succeeded in winning the property for a strong $2.51m to the cheers of the spectators.

34 Irymple Avenue Kew 

Great presentation, marketing and campaign saw an excellent result for this pretty house in Irymple Avenue, Kew.

A really good crowd of more than 100 gathered for the auction of this attractive, well-renovated Californian bungalow in a very pretty Kew East street. The stage was set – and the vendor had left no stone unturned to get a great result – with excellent presentation, great marketing and a well-conducted campaign. Auctioneer Antony Woodley walked back and forth in the street getting buyers and neighbours alike interested, and gave a concise preamble for this home. Antony looked for an opening bid and that didn’t take long – with a bidder coming in at $2m. Things clipped along constantly in $50 and $100K bids until bidder 1 dropped out in the $2.5m region. Three bidders come in to play, and the property eventually sold under the hammer for $2.48m – a very solid result. It seems there is no shortage of buyers for quality offerings, and no doubt many renovations may be undertaken in this area now, as many home owners will feel they won’t be over-capitalising.

81 Merton St Albert Park

A strong crowd braved the passing drizzle to see auctioneer Warwick Gardiner from Greg Hocking Holdsworth conduct proceedings at 81 Merton St Albert Park. More than any other type of property, Victorian row terraces have a lot of admirers but, when it comes to auction day, this admiration doesn’t translate into many buyers. Why? Terraces are not very liveable: they often need renovation but the floorplans don’t lend themselves easily to modern living – ie narrow stairs, small utility areas and lack of generous informal spaces. This property was passed in without a single bid, but sold after auction (price undisclosed).

Properties we like, scheduled for auction May 20

28 Hambleton Street Albert Park – John Holdsworth/Shane Siemers, Greg Hocking

28 Kintore Street Camberwell – Mark Josem/Alastair Craig, Jellis Craig

5 Central Park Road, Malvern East – Heather Elder/Rae Tomlinson, Marshall White

125 Linacre Road, Hampton – Rosslyn Mastrangelo/James Paynter, RT Edgar

Agent Opinion: As a very experienced agent in the Boroondara area, how are you seeing the demand for ‘land only’ purchases currently and how active have developers been in 2017?

David Gillham, Director, Noel Jones Camberwell: All land has been active, both to developers and private end users.

The overseas market is still strong. However, we have noticed a minor drop-off recently by developers of the higher density allotments suitable for apartments due to the amount of end product available and what is still yet to be built.

Camberwell is bringing $3,000 to $4,000 per sq mtr depending on location and land size.

There is still a little confusion in the public space regarding what the newish zoning really will allow and the recent about-face by the council due to public pressure has still not been clearly defined.