Now may be the cheapest time to buy

Now may be the cheapest time to buy.

While there is still a strong sense of control, thoughtful buying and sensibility over emotion due to interest rate levels and the cost of living, there is a change in confidence around property and property prices.

The growing sentiment is that prices can only go one way over the next few years and this will be predominantly driven by the strong number of migrants coming to Australia over the next two years and beyond.  The AFR on Oct 24 reported ‘Australia’s annual migrant intake likely hit a record 500,000 people in September’ and there is talk of migration increasing a further 500,000 to 750,000 over the next two years.

Even with proposed planning regulations (designed to speed up the process), the costs of building remain high, companies are still becoming insolvent and the population growth is too fast for time to build to catch up.

Buyers are recognising that now may be the cheapest time to buy.

As those who have been waiting for the ‘crash’ realise it’s unlikely to come, or that we are at the bottom and start to re-enter the market, there could be even more buyers vying for the keys of each home for sale.

On the opposite side, fewer vendors are prepared to sell first, as they realise the difficulty to buy back into the market. So, many vendors are making a conscious decision to wait and buy first, exacerbating low stock levels.

There is also a growing trend around how Australians view and manage the properties they own. Although property has been considered part of people’s investment strategy for a long time, the majority of these homes provided accommodation via the rental market. For many newer investors to Melbourne, there is a growing trend to buy and hold property with the intention of letting it sit, uninhabited indefinitely.

We could see a number of properties being purchased now, never available for sale again (or not for a very long time).

This does not mean that vendors can get over excited and expect to sell their properties for ‘more’ than the market dictates.

There are many properties at the moment where vendor expectations are significantly higher than market expectations.

We are seeing vendors rely often on only one great result and sometimes even their own emotional attachment to the property to justify their asking price. While purchasing a property for many is (and should be) an emotional decision, the emotional attachment is something that grows over time.

There are many variables when it comes to selling a home and no two homes are the same. Realistically, a vendor could sell their home three times in a year and get a different result every time.

So while the market may be on the move, both buyers and sellers should keep their feet on the ground to ensure they are making good decisions to maximise the outcomes they are trying achieve.


Some of the better properties currently on the market; an architect’s view 

600 Malvern Road, Prahran – Tom McCarthy/Simon Dale, Biggin & Scott 

74 Littlewood Street Hampton – Jenny Dwyer/Sandra Michael, Belle Property

26 Essex Road Surrey Hills – Stuart Evans/Désirée Wakim, Marshall White


‘Off-market’/Pre-market Properties:

  • Brick 1930s home, 3-2-2, ~553sqm, north rear, Kew East – circa- $1.85m
  • Victorian, 3-3-0, turn key property,~285sqm, west rear , Armadale – circa $2.7m
  • Edwardian, free standing, 4-2-1, ~568sqm, east rear, Malvern – circa $3m
  • Family home, 4-4-9, lift, fully renovated, South Yarra – circa $6m
  • Contemporary family home, 5-5-4, north rear, Kew – circa $7m
  • Semi detached brick, 2-1-1, east rear, Hawthorn East – circa $1.8m
  • Modern brick home, 5-5-4, tennis court and pool, 1,483sqm, Kew – circa $9m
  • House sized TH, 5-3-4 with pool, walk to Dendy Beach, Brighton – circa $5.3m
  • French provincial 4-3-4 with pool, Brighton Beach – circa $7m
  • Pretty Edwardian single fronter, 3-1-1, near village, Hampton – circa $2.6m
  • Updated TH, 3-2-2, walk to schools/shops, Hampton – circa $1.6m
  • Single level Cal Bung, 4-2-2, pool, near beach/village, Sandringham – circa $3.2m
  • Art deco, prime location, 4-2-2, ~660sqm, Sandringham – circa $3m
  • Renovated period weatherboard, 4-2-1, North Brighton – circa $2.6m
  • Updated family home, 5-2-2, west rear ~650sqm, Hampton East – circa $2m
  • Modern 5-3-2 family home, McKinnon Sec. zone, Bentleigh East – circa $2.55m
  • Single level family home, 4-2-2 w pool, walk to beach/shops, Mentone – circa $2.4m
  • Single-fronted updated detached period home Hawthorn – circa $3m


Auction Spotlights:

9 Hilda Crescent Hawthorn


A lovely late spring day welcomed a solid crowd of well over 100 people in Hawthorn’s Grace Park to the auction of 9 Hilda Crescent. This property had a lot going for it; location, north facing rear, solid original building bones and a functional updated plan over a single level, with good car garaging at the rear. Auctioneer Gerald Delany wasted no time and gave his usual no-nonsense preamble – and looked for an opening vendor bid of $6.7m. This was advanced not long after at $7.3m and then two further bidders fought things out for several minutes to eventually see the property sell under the hammer for $8.065m. A strong auction result but no real surprise as this was a quality offering, and no doubt the new buyers will enjoy this home for many years to come.



15 Moorakyne Avenue Malvern


A small crowd was treated to some beautiful summer weather. Attended by many neighbours and only one bidder, the auction took some time to get going. Opened by the auctioneer with a vendor bid of $6.5m, which was the bottom of the quote range, the one and only live bid came in next at $6.55m and at that point the property was passed in. A strong negotiation saw the property eventually sell comfortably over $7.0m.


12 Tennyson Street Highett


A traditional family home on approx. 700sqm, looking for its next lease on life, was on offer at 12 Tennyson Street Highett. A large crowd of interested parties and neighbours came out to see Kevin Chokshi head up the Ray White team for auction day.  The home had been quoted at $1.05-1.15m throughout the campaign. An optimistic bidder opened proceedings with $900k, quickly receiving multiple counter offers to push past reserve at $1.15m.  While bid values gradually reduced, a total of seven parties ended up fighting for the property, eventually selling for $1.276m to the final group entering the auction.


How do you buy a good property in the current Melbourne market?

It was another strong weekend in the Melbourne property family home market, with a clearance rate in the 70% range. Some properties sold strongly, even after they passed in at auction – due to very good (and experienced) selling agent work. While many bought, many people didn’t, and the challenges for buyers continue. 

How do you buy a good property in the current Melbourne market?

For many buyers, the time has come to reset.

Despite what the media has been saying since the early Covid days, the market has not dropped, and, for the special properties, it continues to go up.

The government has a vested interest in the market remaining buoyant. Nearly half the state’s income comes from property taxes and this relies on increasing prices and turnover.

Turnover has dropped.  

Gone are the days where a buyer bought and sold, or sold and bought, taking a property out of the market but also replacing one back into the system. This we often referred to as a ‘local market’.

The number of buyers, however, has continued to increase and the days of a ‘local market’ have diminished. The market is made up from usual buyers in the cycle, such as first home buyers and families needing to upsize and downsizers, with now the added pressure of new buyers in the market such as migrants needing somewhere to live, ex-pats wanting to move back home, overseas investors seeking a safe investment and renters feeling pressure from rising rent rates.

The scales are not balanced, and, unless something changes, buyer demand will continue to outweigh the available homes for sale.

For as long as we have been working as advocates, there are three items for consideration to maximise your purchase outcome.

Budget:           for most buyers this is fairly fixed, which then impacts the next two items:

Location:         both the suburb and distance to amenities; and

Property:         including the building type, land size, orientation, style and condition.

Unless you have a strategy where you have the budget to be able to pay more than the rest (because you can) for the property that ticks all the boxes, how will you achieve your objective?

Most buyers don’t find themselves in this fortunate position. Therefore if the goal is to buy a house, it is important to work out the areas you are willing to compromise on and be prepared to be flexible.  One way to be flexible is to buy a B-grader that could be an A-grader. 

An example of a hot result this past week where buyers had deep pockets was 231 Kooyong Road Toorak, which went to auction and sold circa $12 million with five bidders. This was a comfortable (but not state-of-the-art) family home on approximately 970sqm, originally quoted $8-8.8million.

Vendors in good homes, unless there is a pressing need or desire, are not going to be selling their homes. They are sitting it out often because they cannot find what they want to move into, as it is not there.

Without a doubt, the quality of stock over the past 12 months has been average at best, with only a few gems for sale; however, that doesn’t mean that a number of these houses couldn’t become gems down the track. This is where there are opportunities for buyers to still achieve their goals.

Working out what you need or what is most important is paramount to the task.

  • Is it size?
  • Is it location?
  • Is it land?
  • Is it being on one level – ie single-storey?
  • Is it being close to the shops, or a school, or the station?

And then be prepared to make some compromises, because price is unlikely to be one of them.

If it ticks all the boxes, the flexibility is likely to be price – find more money to buy it.

Having said that, there are still opportunities.  

How do you recognise the opportunity though? 

At WoledgeHatt we look at properties through an architect’s eye. We are consistently out looking at houses and have bought many properties over the years where our clients have benefitted greatly (both financially and emotionally) from buying a B-grader and renovating or tweaking it (sometimes over time) to become an A-grader because the fundamentals were right – land size, location and orientation.

In addition, we have had many meetings with owners around the proposition of ‘Do we renovate or are we better to relocate?’ 

Sometimes it is better to stay where you are. Not all the stories of working with architects and builders are bad ones, but keep in mind not all the homes that need work are good ones to work on. Every situation is different.

Perhaps an extension down the track could turn that ‘B’ grader into an ‘A’ grader, but how do you identify if this can be done? Will it be an easy renovation or a money pit?

One such opportunity presented on the weekend – 1 Berwick Street Camberwell. This was a solid period home with lovely original period features and good block width within a quieter street with western rear orientation. While it did have lovely front formal rooms and bedrooms, it was lacking an informal living space at the rear and the kitchen and utility areas were dated. This property passed in at auction and sold afterwards for a bit over for $2 million.

1 Berwick Street Camberwell                                                            16 Broadway Camberwell


Meanwhile a few hours earlier, a stone’s thrown away at 16 Broadway (south rear, period re-production, dark inside, busier street) sold very strongly at auction for around the $3.5 million mark. Sure, the land was a little bigger and the property provided better covered car-parking; however, renovation costs are the same no matter where the house is located and we think ultimately the long-term opportunity lies with Berwick Street (if the renovation is done well). 

Below is a concept that we think could transform 1 Berwick Street (subject to council approval):


Some of the better properties currently on the market; an architect’s view


49 Claremont Avenue Malvern – John Morrisby/Andrew McCann, Jellis Craig

22 Laver Street Kew – Lloyd Lawton/Nick O’Halloran, Jellis Craig



‘Off-market’/Pre-market Properties:


  • Family home, 4-2-2, east rear, pool, ~639 sqm, Malvern – circa $5m
  • Family home, 4-3-2, renovated, over three levels, ~379sqm, Armadale – circa $6m
  • Cal Bungalow, 5-4-3, renovated home, west rear, ~750sqm, Glen Iris – circa $3.5m
  • Townhouse, 3-2, over two levels, north rear, ~135 sqm, Prahran – circa $1.85m
  • Edwardian home, renovate or rebuild (STCA), ~611sqm, Malvern – circa $3.5m
  • Victorian, 2-1, single fronted, north rear, ~172 sqm, Windsor – circa $1.35m
  • Art Deco, 2-1, apartment on top floor, South Yarra – circa $800,000
  • Double storey brick home, 4-2-2, ~1154 sqm, Ashburton, – circa $2.5m
  • Modern 4 level w lift, 4-3.5-2, water frontage, Docklands – circa $4.5m
  • Pretty, renovated, single fronter 2-2-2, Thornbury – circa $1.3m
  • Single fronted brick Victorian, 3-1-1, NE rear, Albert Park – circa $1.55m
  • Renovated ’50s home w pool & alfresco, 4-2-2, Brighton East – circa $2.7m
  • Californian Bungalow, 4-2-2, near amenities, Hampton – circa $3m
  • Edwardian single fronter, 3-1-1, well positioned, Sandringham – circa $1.7m+
  • Double fronted Victorian, 3-2-0, walk to shops, Brighton – circa $2.2m
  • Family sized TH, 4-2-2, near beach & train, Brighton – circa $2.5m
  • Large 6-6-6 multi-generational home, Beaumaris – circa $6m
  • Single level Californian Bungalow, 4-2-2, ~680sqm, Hampton – circa $2.8m


Auction Spotlights:


10 Auburn Grove Armadale

Set among Armadale’s beautiful treelined streets, a large crowd of approx. 150 people witnessed a competitive auction play out for this elegant Victorian family home. A slow start with a vendor bid of $4.5m quickly turned into a race between two when the property was announced on the market at $5.050m, eventually selling for $5.1m.


2 Glencairn Avenue Brighton East

The family home on offer at 2 Glencairn Avenue delivers on space and functionality. The near new, upscale volume builder home attracted a large pool of families keen to be near the schools and amenities of the area. Come auction day, however, only two families converted this interest into bidding. The home had been quoted $3.6-3.96m throughout the campaign. Stephen Smith headed up the Marshall White team, commencing the auction with a vendor bid of $3.6m. He was greeted with a long silence until one family asked to place a $5,000 bid. This was rejected and they eventually offered $50,000.  Again, a very long silence until a second family placed a strong $3.8m bid and things moved relatively swiftly to $4.05m. At this point, bidder two indicated they had no more and a break was called to chat to the vendors, who were not yet ready to call it on the market. No further bids were placed and the home was passed in to bidder 1. The home sold after for a considerable ‘lift’ above the buyer’s bid price.

Stock to rise but are there many super Saturdays left for 2023?


Stock levels. Very topical subject this time of year. Not much stock has come on the market in the last week or so due to school holidays (many agents and families are away on holiday), and this is causing frustration for some buyers. Traditionally we don’t see many auctions on AFL Grand Final day and Melbourne Cup weekend either, so that leaves only 6-8 good Saturday auction days remaining for the year. Many homeowners are feeling better with the idea of selling given recent good market results, but what do they buy?

Speaking with agents, there is confidence that volume will be steady as we head towards the end of the year; however, much of the future stock appears to be coming from the rental market.

While most people think ‘apartments’ when it comes to rental properties, many of the properties coming up, even in the $3-4 million housing market, are former rentals. Where in the past, buyers have seen good opportunities to buy a ‘B’ grader that can become an ‘A’ grader, most buyers are still erring away from properties that need work.

As a buyer, one question could be: do you buy ‘the best of an average bunch’ now just to get into the market, bearing in mind you could be living in it for the next however many years, or should you wait until better stock is available?

It seems many people are opting for the best of an average bunch and only time will tell whether the choice to buy now, rather than wait, was the right one.  We think wait – or at least buy a property that has good fundamentals that can’t be changed – ie position, land size, orientation etc – in other words a B-grader that can turn into A-grader.


Rebound buying and compromise

We witnessed a skilled agent on the weekend engage with the ‘underbidder’ of a property auctioning the same morning as a property he was selling half an hour later.

The ‘underbidder’ had not considered the property before the 5-10 minute inspection before it was due to go to auction. The ‘underbidder’ had not had the contract reviewed, knew nothing about the body corporate, had not had a building inspection, had done no research on price (or any other due diligence) and had not had time to reflect on the loss of their desired property only moments earlier.

So, did the property suit their needs? On paper it had the same details – two bedrooms, one bathroom, one car space and it was in the same suburb.

What was certain for the agent was the ‘underbidder’ was coming from bidding at a more expensive property to look at something he knew was unlikely to sell for the same price.

The agent had a good idea that the property he was selling was likely to be less than the other (with his knowledge of the property and the knowledge of the interested buyers he had on the property).

The most important thing was he knew that the ‘underbidder’ was a hot buyer with a good budget and hot buyers have money burning a hole in their pocket and their emotions were likely to take over and hopefully bid up to the level they had already bid to if pushed.

The ‘underbidder’ bought the property.

They may even think they had a win, as they bought it for less than they had bid earlier in the day.

The big winner, however, was the vendor. The agent advised afterwards that the auction would have stalled for around 5% less than the final purchase price, had he not convinced the ‘underbidder’ to participate.

Exceptional agent work and congratulations to the vendor for employing such a savvy agent.

Hopefully the buyer is happy too.

Hope in our minds, however, is not the best way to tackle what is, more often than not, the largest purchase you will ever make.


Strong sales of note:

6 Chrystobel Crescent Hawthorn (south rear, house needing serious work) quoted $4.5m plus, sold $5.025mm

14 Winter Street Malvern, quoted $4.7m plus, sold circa early $5m’s

And from the week before, an auction result that is still being talked about in the industry at

6 Payne Street Surrey Hills – quoted in the early $4ms and sold for $5.070m. A truly incredible result for modern home on good land yet south facing rear, no downstairs bedroom, no pool etc.  



Some of the better properties currently on the market; an architect’s view

7 Ashleigh Road Armadale – Walter Summons/Charmayne Dulley, Belle Property

10 Suffolk Road Surrey Hills – James Tostevin/Robert Le, Marshall White

15 Herbert Street Beaumaris – Andrew Solomon/Campbell Moore, Belle Property


‘Off-market’ Properties:

  • New home site (STCA), 2-1-2, ~838sqm, Camberwell – circa $3m
  • MCM home, 3-2-3, ~930sqm, Kew – circa $3m
  • Modern Apartment, 3-2-2, Port Melbourne – circa $1.85m
  • Original period home opposite parkland, 4-2-2, Glen Iris – circa $2.4m
  • Cal Bungalow, 4-3-5, pool, ~850sqm north rear, Malvern East – circa $5.3m
  • Victorian, 4-2-3, comfortable home, ~405sqm, Windsor – circa $3.3m
  • Victorian, 3-1-0, renovated, ~142 sqm, Windsor – circa $1.85m
  • Edwardian, 2-2-0, ~181sqm, south rear, Malvern – circa $2m
  • Victoria, 2 storey, 3-2-1, west rear, ~190sqm, Prahran – circa $2.6m
  • Edwardian, 2 storey, 4-2-1, north rear, ~567 sqm, Surrey Hills – circa $3.3m
  • Victorian, cottage, renovated, 3-2-1, ~250sqm, Prahran – circa $2.2m
  • Art Deco, 3-2-2 w pool & cabana, ~730sqm north rear, Brighton – circa $3.5m
  • Art Deco, 2-2-2, plus study, ~430sqm north rear Brighton East – circa $1.9m
  • New TH w pool, 4-3-2, north rear, Highett – circa $1.95m
  • Dated home/landsite ~780sqm (STCA), near Concourse, Beaumaris – circa $2.3m
  • Land ~650sqm with approved plans for 2 THs, Elwood – circa $2.8m
  • Fully renovated Victorian single fronter, 2-1-0, Albert Park – circa $1.5m
  • Californian Bungalow, renovated 4-2-2, ~600sqm, St Kilda East – circa $2.8m
  • Single level 70s, 4-2-1, ready for update, pool, St Kilda East – circa $2.5m


Auction Spotlights:

22 Percy Street Hawthorn

A strong crowd of around 100 witnessed this auction and it was a good one. Auctioneer David Lettieri and his team from Marshall White had around 90 through the home at its first open (and around 200m through during the campaign). According to the REA it was the most visited property nationally in August on The reason for the popularity; this was a well-balanced property in an A-grade location, with a pretty façade and good off-street parking – they don’t come up that often. Opening with a strong crowd bid of $3,000,000 ($100,000 over the top of the quote), the property skipped along with three bidders, being announced on the market at $3,140,000 and ultimately selling under the hammer for $3,270,000. The property last sold in 2015 for $2,550,000, and had some pretty basic upgrade works since then – it just shows that buying a property with good fundamentals can be a very good investment – but of course not everyone knows what a good property is.


3A Horace Street Malvern

On a warm Melbourne morning a small crowd of about 30 people witnessed a competitive Auction in the very sough after location of Malvern. 3A Horace St offered a flexible floorplan with 3 bedrooms, open plan kitchen, living and dining room looking out to a west facing courtyard that offered off street parking for one car via ROW. The solid brick Edwardian home also had a unique offering of a spa bath looking into the living room.

The Auction kicked off with a vendor bid at the bottom of the quote range, $1.4m which quickly enticed two bidders to enter the race to secure the home. A third bidder took the price to $1.56m when it was announced “on the market”. It eventually sold for $1.652m which was a strong result.


24 Grange Road Sandringham

A pretty single level weatherboard in a row of similar homes, on approximately 330sqm. The home has seen a few updates since the last sale, including the addition of a second bathroom. Positioned between both the Sandringham and Hampton Street shopping precinct and an easy walk to local schools, the home attracted both young couples and downsizers. Perhaps questions for potential buyers were the lack of covered parking and the south rear (although good west light access).

The home had been quoted at $1.5-1.6m, before being upped to $1.55-1.65m during the campaign.  Jesse Raeburn headed up the WhiteFox team for auction day, starting off proceedings with a $1.55m VB.  Three bidders quickly traded offers before a short break, after which a fourth party entered after, and the home was called on the market at $1.76m. Another party joined in as the early bidders stepped out. Bidder 4 and 5 continued to counter each other, the home eventually selling for a solid $1.88m.


Spring is here but it doesn’t feel like it in the Melbourne property market.

We’ve just had the first weekend of Spring. It was supposed to be a Super Saturday (with over 1100 homes advertised for auction), but it just didn’t feel like it. The clearance rate figure advertised was not totally accurate, with 200-300 properties being withdrawn from auction due to limited and/or no buyer interest (this happens most weeks, yet the number on the weekend we felt was a bit higher than normal).

If vendor expectations were realistic and/or the product good, properties did sell. 

A few strong auctions of note:

  • 9 Cowper Street Brighton – approx. 305sqm, corner block with (heritage listed) Victorian home, needing a full renovation, very close to the shops/station – quote $1.2-1.3m, sold for $2.02m
  • 4 Dominic Street Camberwell – large, comfortable (could move straight in) family home with flexible floorplan – quoted $3.5-3.8m, sold for $4.515m. Great single level renovated home and had a high scarcity factor. Multiple bedroom/bathroom options (which is prized for multi-generational living).

However, for many who sold on the weekend, the sales results were in (or not too far from) their quote prices:

  • 38 Hardy St South Yarra  quoted $1.25m-$1.35m, sold for $1.355m
  • 123 Leopold Street South Yarra  quoted $3-3.3m, sold for $3.040m
  • 1/39 Grandview Grove Prahran  quoted $1.75-$1.85m, sold $1.865m
  • 26 Studley Road Brighton East – quoted $3.2-3.42m, sold for $3.275m
  • 8 Elgin Street Hawthorn – quoted $2.5-2.75m, sold for undisclosed price, just over top of the quote.


Agent feedback and insights

 When questioning the volume of properties being auctioned on Saturday, many of the agents we spoke to in the southeastern suburbs had consistent feedback:

  • Stock remains tight – particularly for the A graders
  • There has been a slight improvement to stock levels
  • Many more investors selling (see below for more detail)
  • Quoting the property and realistic vendor expectations is all important – buyers are price sensitive for the B and C graders


Off-market properties

We note an increasing number of properties, originally available for sale as ‘off market’ homes, being realised at public auctions with results often 10-15% or more below their original ‘off market’ asking price. 

Maybe vendors are thinking ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’. The problem with this though is that it can diminish the effectiveness of an advertised campaign, as many key buyers have already been through the property and others get confused about what the vendor is actually trying to achieve.  Are they really sellers and what is the real price?

We feel a high number (although not all) of the off market homes are overpriced at the moment and, on occasion, a vendor may get lucky selling quietly at their inflated asking price. 

It is becoming apparent that the romance and excitement of buying a property ‘off market’ can often over-ride normal due diligence, including an understanding of where the property may sit ‘price wise’ in the market.

Where buyers are often far more considered when it comes to their spending on the general household, when it comes to the biggest purchase they may ever make, there is still a perception that the agent is ‘helping’ them secure the property for them. 

 Make no mistake, they’re working for the vendor and if they think you are their best option to achieve the vendor’s price, they are not going to be advising if the property is heavily inflated or not. They are relying on your desire to purchase something you think no one else knows about.  

With modern technology that can advise a full office database within seconds of a listing, you could be just entering a ‘smoke and mirrors’ process where the agent can more easily manipulate you into paying the price they want you to pay, rather than a price the property may be worth.

Having said all that, the good ones can sell well ‘on market’ or ‘off market’, as a  couple of recent results in Surrey Hills show, including one in Middlesex Road (just shy of $5m) and Guildford Road (in excess of $4m).

Of note, these were both good, well-presented properties and doubtless the agencies would have loved to have seen these being showcased in the public forum.

There are a number of ‘off market’ homes asking big prices that don’t have the same strengths that these properties offered.

As a buyer, who has your best interests at heart?


Changing vendor profile and landscape

A key change to the property market is the number of rental properties up for sale (and these are not just your typical $400-600K apartments). Some of the reasons for the increase in the sale of rental properties include:

  • increased interest rate payments and land tax payments.
  • greater tenancy rights (often to the detriment of vendors who own the properties).
  • increased council rates, insurance, management and renovation costs.
  • problematic council orders (mostly relating to cladding issues).
  • owners needing to liquidate money for business or personal reasons.
  • annual/bi-annual safety checks.
  • return on investment just not there, many people see greater value in shares.

There are perhaps two main reasons why ‘others’ don’t want investment properties to be sold:

  • it is going to place an increased pressure on the number of homes (or lack of homes) available for the rental market, making it even harder and more expensive to find somewhere to live for many people.
  • it is reducing the value of ‘rent rolls’ for agencies who rely on this to cover their regular office outgoings as well as its saleable value for the future – and this can be very valuable.

We think the number of rental properties coming on for sale will continue to increase as we head toward the end of the year, as many vendors won’t want to incur new or increased land tax bills come January 1, 2024. As a buyer you really need to do your homework  as always a good understanding of the due diligence required and understanding of price is key (rather than predicting the next best area and projected yields).

With the footy finals now upon us, the focus for many turns to post-Grand Final, when children are back from school holidays and there are less interruptions to the real estate program. Maybe then we will see the return of the Super Saturday.


Some of the better properties currently on the market; an architect’s view


33 Jordan Street Malvern – Will Bennison/Carla Fetter, Jellis Craig

139 Thomas Street Hampton – Robin Parker/Kate Fowler, Marshall White



‘Off-market’ Properties:


  • Modern newly built family home, 4-3-0, South Melbourne – circa $3.45m
  • Contemporary family home, 4-3-2, ~420sqm, Malvern East – circa $3.0m
  • Modern 3-3-2 over 3 levels, near amenities, South Yarra – circa 3.5m
  • Edwardian brick single fronted, 2-2-0, Malvern – circa $2.0m
  • Single level Victorian, 3-1-0, ~270sqm, Hawthorn – circa $2.5m
  • 1930s 2-storey semi attached, 2-1.5-2, ~500sqm, Camberwell – circa 2.5m
  • Edwardian family home, 4-2-1, ~560sqm, Surrey Hills – circa $3.3m
  • Art deco family home 4-2-2, ~850sqm, Ivanhoe – circa 2.75m
  • Californian Bungalow, 4-2-2, ~710sqm, Kew East – circa $3.8m
  • 2-storey Victorian, 3-2-1, ~190sqm, Prahran – circa $2.6m
  • Double fronted Victorian, 4-2-1, ~260sqm, Armadale – circa $2.2m
  • Brick Edwardian on ~900sqm, 3-2-2, needing update, Malvern East – circa $4.9m
  • Edwardian family home, 4-3-2, north rear, ~930sqm, Malvern East – circa $5.4m
  • Edwardian renovated 3-2-1 double fronted, Malvern – circa $2.4m
  • Hamptons style TH, 3-2-1, ~170sqm, Malvern – circa $2.0m
  • Californian Bungalow near amenities, ~400sqm, Hampton – circa $2.4m
  • Striking modern family home, 4 bed, ~890sqm, Hampton – circa $5m+
  • Contemporary 2-storey family home, 4-2-2, Beaumaris – circa $2.45m
  • Family/multi-generational home looking for update, 5-3-2, Beaumaris – circa $1.95m
  • Fully renovated Victorian, 2-1-0, Albert Park – circa $1.575m
  • Renovated contemporary family home, 4-2-2, Elsternwick – circa $1.9m


Auction Spotlight

Lachie Fraser-Smith heads up the Jellis Craig team at the auction of 3 St James Road Armadale.


On a beautiful spring sunny Melbourne morning witnessed by a small crowd of around 30 people, 3 St James Road Armadale went under the hammer with Jellis Craig. A well-presented single fronted 2-bedroom Victorian Terrace with a north-facing courtyard, well located to shops, transport and amenities.  After a slow opening, the auction eventually opened with a bid of $1.5m. From here, it then quickly moved, with two bidders pushing it to $1.7m when the property was announced on the market. The eventual purchaser came in late and it sold for $1.720m. We have recently been seeing properties that start off as an ‘off-market’ opportunity, and if they then don’t sell within a few weeks, they are converted to a campaign (as was the case here). This can sometimes have an adverse effect on a result as the off-market price is normally higher than an advertised campaign price and buyers can get confused.

Don’t rely on the auction date: your dream home could sell before you’re ready

The first few weeks back from the winter break have been fast paced and sometimes even desperate.

Some properties have sold within hours of the first inspection. 34 Yarrbat Avenue Balwyn, 90 Adeney Avenue Kew, and 43 Hardy Street South Yarra are examples.

For something like this to happen, both the buyer and seller need to be on the same page.

The question may be why are some vendors so eager to sell quickly when the numbers through the door are so high? And with more choice and more options likely to come up over the next six months, why are buyers wishing to secure a property so quickly and without completing any due diligence?

Are some selling agents also pushing for the quick sale? With such low stock, there could be quite a number of agents needing to secure a sale for their own financial needs as much as their vendors.

In addition to an increase in the number of properties hitting the web, we are also starting to see an increase in the number of ‘off-market/private sale’ properties available. Many of these (granted) have an assigned auction day (say in September or October).

This is something a little more unusual at the start of a new selling season, especially when there is the opportunity for a full public campaign and (for certain properties) an over-supply of buyers.

We think, for many vendors, privacy may be a driving factor for this, especially as most campaigns now also feature heavily on social media platforms, so that more people than ever (even those who aren’t actively looking at the real estate market) are seeing properties for sale regularly in their feeds. Digital systems that agents are using are getting more sophisticated, and the quality of information more qualified.

For many vendors, selling more privately provides better protection from well-intentioned friends and family prying too deeply into their personal and financial situations and becoming a source of gossip at family gatherings, the school playground, sports events etc.

What does this mean for buyers?

Firstly, it could be good news – there are more options to consider than first impressions suggest.

It can also make the search even more confusing and presents some questions that buyers don’t have to deal with when compared to a public campaign.

Beside the fact that everyone loves to say they bought an ‘off market’ home, almost like it’s a badge of honour, there are questions for buyers to consider:

  • How do you determine value?
  • How do you trust the process?
  • How do you know if you are the only buyer, or one of many?
  • How do you complete the due diligence without giving too much of your own information to the agent/vendor?
  • How do you know the property is really for sale?
  • How do you know if it’s a good property?
  • Just because it is a good ‘price’, is it the right home for you?




7 Ferguson Street Brighton East, Sarah Korbel (Nick Johnstone Real Estate) – single level period home, well-located, quoted $1,700,000-$1,800,000 sold for $2,382,000 – 4 bidders

22 Yeovil Road Glen Iris, Simon Lord (Jellis Craig) – land sale – 1,226sqm, quoted $2,650,000 – $2,800,000 sold for $3,340,000 – 4 bidders

50 Beach Road Hampton, Mark Earle (Buxton) – vacant land 315sqm, quoted $1,500,000 – $1,600,000 sold for $2,005,000 – 2 bidders



Some of the better properties currently on the market; an architect’s view


91 Brunel Street Malvern East – Andrew McCann/Kellie O’Neill, Jellis Craig

5 Harts Parade Hawthorn East – Scott Patterson/Danielle Balloch, Kay & Burton

15 Grout Street Hampton – Jenny Dwyer/Sandra Michael, Belle Property 


‘Off-market’ Properties:


  • Contemporary townhouse circa 2000, 3-2-2, ~189sqm, Prahran – circa $2m
  • Art deco family home, 4-2.5-1, ~719sqm, Camberwell – circa $3.5m
  • Modern single level home, 3-2-2, ~594 sqm, north rear, Glen Iris – circa $2.5m
  • Modern home, 3-2.5-2, ~620sqm, west rear, Glen Iris – circa $2.5m
  • Edwardian Family home, 3-2-1, ~700 sqm, East rear,  Surrey Hills – circa $3.1m
  • Family home, 4-3-2, ~1,200sqm, east rear, two levels, Glen Iris – circa $5m
  • Large Modern Home, 5+-3-3, SE rear, three levels, pool, ~750 sqm, Surrey Hills – circa $3.9m
  • Fully renovated brick Victorian, 4-3-2, ~650sqm, Caulfield North – circa $3.8m
  • Contemporary 4-2-2, entertainer’s garden house, Elsternwick – circa early $3m
  • Family sized TH, 4-3-3, basement, near amenities/beach, Black Rock – circa $3.8m
  • Hamptons style 2 storey, 5-3-2 family home, ~660sqm, Brighton East – circa $3.3m
  • Contemporary 2-storey 4-3-2, ~650sqm, west rear, Hampton – circa $3m
  • Period 4-2-2 family home, east rear ~670sqm, Cheltenham – circa $1.85m
  • Single level to renovate or develop, ~830sqm, Parkdale – circa $1.65m
  • Clinker brick 4 bed family home w. pool, north rear, Sandringham – circa $3.1m
  • Villa 2-1-1, easy walk to beach and amenities, Sandringham – circa $900k


Auction Spotlights:


7 Ferguson Street Brighton East

A pretty period home that has been extended and updated over the years to delivery an excellent entry to the Brighton East market. Its position to amenities and the park across the road, likely outweighed the tight driveway to the garage and rear property for many interested parties. Quoted at $1.7-1.8m, the home attracted many young families. Auction day drew a large crowd spread on both sides of street to face Joe Doyle from the Nick Johnstone team.  A strong opening bid of $1.95m had the desired effect of wiping many of these young families out of the race. A few swift bids quickly brought the home on the market. A mix of large and small bids continued the steady climb as two further parties entered the action and the early parties pulled out. The final two, although visibly being pushed to their limits, did not want to miss the opportunity and continued to stretch to bid. The home was eventually sold for $2.382m. A strong outcome we felt.


66 Manning Road Malvern East 

On a beautiful Melbourne morning 66 Manning Road Malvern East went under the hammer with Marshall White.

A healthy crowd of about 50 people witnessed a somewhat slow Auction.  A single level renovated brick home offering 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and a courtyard close to Waverley Road shops, restaurants, and tram access as well as Darling train station.  Quoted $1.4-$1.5m, the Auction was started with a Vendor Bid of $1.4m. There was one bidder who took advantage and put in a bid at $1.42m. Eventually the property was passed into them and sold shortly after, for a price in the vicinity of $1.45m.



An imbalance beyond the seesaw seems set to continue

With the depths of winter and school holidays almost behind us, we are hopeful that stock levels will be on the rise and some of the nervousness demonstrated by vendors, unsure whether it’s the right time to sell or not, will have passed. However, it is likely Melbourne’s property market will see a continuing pattern as it contends with an ongoing deficiency of stock, at least for the short term. To us, there certainly seems a lot of people looking to buy.

This imbalance between supply and demand is creating a unique landscape for both sellers and buyers, reflecting a market where the latter currently still outweighs the former for the right homes.

However, despite the rising demand, there seems to be a reluctance among homeowners to sell their properties, leading to a contraction in the availability of certain types of homes, in particular the renovated family homes and single storey downsizer properties. With rising costs, many investors are certainly thinking about selling and engaging agents to test the water in an off-market setting, but the numbers need to stack up.

A lack of stock, as well as low rental availability, is deterring vendors from selling before they buy because they are nervous that there will be nowhere for them to move into.

This has led to an interesting dynamic where increased numbers of buyers are competing for the same properties, leading to escalating prices and faster sales. While this is great news for sellers, it is increasingly challenging for buyers who often find themselves in bidding wars.

It is not uncommon for buyers to feel rushed or pressured in this type of environment. With the current market conditions, competition can be fierce and prices can still exceed historical records. In some instances, you must act quickly in order to secure a suitable property. But before making any impulsive decisions, it is important to prioritise your needs and understand what non-negotiables are required for you and your family and try not to get caught up in any pressure from the agent to purchase the wrong home. If you had to sell again in a short period of time, it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On a positive note, there has been an increase in the number of agents more recently saying they are talking to more vendors about selling. The yet unknown question is ‘when they will convert to sellers?’

The news last week of interest rates being kept on hold was, in the main, a welcome relief; however, there is still an expectation of them rising by the end of the year and this is within the thoughts of most buyers. This, combined with an increase in land taxes, suggests that this should lead to more vendors putting their homes up for sale later this year and before the next year of land tax is due. For many, this tax can be a very significant amount.

On a local level, Boroondara Council seems somewhat insulated from the above factors, as we are seeing an influx in international buyers. This is creating a unique situation and local buyers need to be aware of the competition, as some properties are being dominated by international interest (in particular, Chinese and Indian), which is helping drive up the prices. In addition, wealthy ex-pats are returning home and students are coming back. For locals, currency conversion rates may also be impacting their ability to compete with these buyers.

As seen in 2008, where the strong recovery in the Boroondara market (led by Chinese buyers) had a flow-on effect into other councils, this may start to occur again.



Some of the better properties currently on the market; an architect’s view


12 Callanish Road Camberwell – Geordie Dixon/Peter Vigano, Jellis Craig

6 St Kilian Street Hampton – Amanda Thomson/Nick Jones, Hodges

25 Kennealy Street Surrey Hills – Shamit Verma/Hamish Tostevin, Marshall White


‘Off-market’ Properties:


  • Edwardian, single level, 4-2-1, ~600sqm, Canterbury – circa $2.8m
  • Modern home on ~780sqm, 3-2-2, single level, Kew – circa $3.75m
  • Large contemporary home on good land, 5-3-2, pool, Hawthorn East – circa $6m
  • Edwardian brick single fronter, 2-1-0, Prahran – circa $1.7m
  • Renovated 2 storey timber Edwardian, 3-2-1, Armadale – circa $3.5m
  • New townhouse, 4-2-2, north one of pair, Glen Iris – circa $2.6m
  • Period style timber family home, 4-2-2, Mont Albert – circa $3.1m
  • Tidy home or opportunity, 4-3-4, ~660sqm, Brighton – circa $3.75m
  • Californian Bungalow on ~740sqm, 4-2-2, Hampton – circa $3.1m
  • Modern family home, 5-3-2, ~1200sqm, near beach, Brighton – circa $10.5m
  • Californian Bungalow, 4-2-1, south rear ~600sqm, Hampton – circa $2.9m
  • Fully renovated villa, 2-1-1, walk to beach & amenities, Hampton – circa $1.05m
  • Single level, plans to develop, ~600sqm, Brighton – circa $3m
  • Fully renovated Edwardian w studio, 5 beds, Middle Park – circa $7.5m
  • Extended single fronted Victorian, 4-2.5-1, Albert Park – circa $4m
  • Victorian Terrace, 3-2-1, MCG precinct, East Melbourne – circa $3.6m


Auction Spotlight:



7a Moor Street Sandringham ticks a multitude of boxes for prospective downsizers – single level, comfortably presented, lovely north light, a nice sized garden, a bonus little studio and really well positioned to the beach and amenities.  The sticking point for many, however, is the train line along the rear boundary. Whilst on the less busy/non-freight Sandringham line and behind a very high rear fence, the impost on outside living may have swayed numerous parties to hold back bidding. The property had been quoting an attractive $1.85-1.95m throughout the campaign.

Ryan Castles headed up the Belle team, opening up proceedings with a $1.8m vendor bid.  He was made to work hard for an eventual single bid of $1.82m to gain negotiating rights.  While the bidder went inside, they did not take up the reserve of $1.975m. At time of writing, the home has offers in and looks like it will sell imminently. A good package we feel.


Sense of urgency enters Melbourne property market

Not only has the market remained strong since resuming after Easter, there is now a renewed sense of urgency from buyers who feel that if they don’t buy now, they might miss out altogether.

On weekends just gone, we have seen clearance rates reported around the 75-80% mark. The number of properties on offer is lower, no doubt, yet these figures do indicate that the market is currently in favour of the seller.

Increasingly, for the good properties, offers are being made before auction, processes are competitive and some of the results are difficult to comprehend. There are a few softer results, yet these are for the lesser quality properties or those which have not been initially overquoted or not marketed well by an experienced local agent.

How long the strength in the market will last is hard to tell. A sudden increase in stock levels, combined with more interest rate rises, and the market could turn back just as quickly, or, as we have seen before, a continued tightening of stock levels. Sellers that can hang on will, as the costs associated with buying and selling in the market are higher than we have ever seen. It appears to us the average tenure of home ownership is increasing rather than decreasing.

It’s not a new phenomenon in any market, but it seems buyers are still more sensitive around price than they were 18 months ago. And many are sitting on the sidelines, with the belief the real ‘bargains’ will come in spring or even next year.

Sometimes a vendor just gets lucky, such as 67 Hope Street South Yarra, where the vendor had two neighbours vying for the keys, pushing the price around $2 million above the expected price for the property. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the next similar property down the road will achieve the same result.

But there are markets within markets. If we look coastal, a suburb such as Ocean Grove is not faring anywhere nearly as strongly as it did, with around four times the amount of the property for sale (a great majority of this is off-market) than this time last year. The reason? Living in a ‘lesser’ COVID world makes the location not as attractive as it once was, with many people returning back to the office and the ‘Melbourne’ way of life. Increased interest rates/land tax payments on investment / second properties is also having an impact, making such properties a burden rather than the safe haven they once were.

There also appears to be a swing back to ‘land sales’, with buyers having a renewed confidence in building new or developing. The shortage in housing stock and government initiatives to lift this have helped in this way. We don’t see the same level of confidence in homes requiring renovation. This could be due to increased costs in materials/fixtures etc and the shortage of tradespeople to do the work.

For buyers, we believe due diligence remains important. This includes considering not just how the property will suit you now but also its future potential as well as any limitations it may have, for you and if you were to sell it in the future.

If the property meets your needs, then it’s still the right time to try and buy it.  There is no right market: we believe it is about buying the right house.


Some of the better properties currently on the market; an architect’s view

6 Stanley Street South Yarra – Carla Fetter/David Sciola, Jellis Craig

12 Warburton Road Camberwell – Geordie Dixon/Peter Vigano, Jellis Craig

22 Crisp Street Hampton – Angus Graham/Nick Sinclair, Hodges


‘Off-market’ Properties:

  • Period family home, 4-3-3, pool, ~906sqm, Toorak – circa $5.5m
  • DF single level fully renovated Victorian, 4-2.5-3, ~500sqm, Prahran – circa $5m+
  • Cal Bung, 4-2-2, pool, ~863sqm, Camberwell – circa $2.7m
  • Edwardian Family home, 4-2-1, north rear, ~930sqm, Balwyn – circa $3.6m
  • Single Fronted Victoria, 2-1, west rear, ~197sqm, Prahran – circa $1.6m
  • Brick Edwardian, 2-1, ~170sqm, Prahran – circa $1.3m
  • Family home w basement, 5-3.5-3, ~780sqm, Brighton – circa $6.1m
  • Contemporary single level, 5-2.5-2, pool, ~960sqm, Brighton East – circa $5.2m
  • TH w basement, 3-2.5-2 plus study, Brighton East – circa early $2m
  • Updated TH 4-2-4, bay views, near amenities, Sandringham – circa early $3m
  • As new modern large family home, 5-4-4, pool, Sandringham – circa $4.6m
  • Updated 80s home, 3 bed plus study, ~650sqm, Beaumaris – circa $2.35m
  • Land to develop, ~890sqm, corner, NE rear, Beaumaris – circa mid $2ms
  • Period weatherboard, 3-2-2OSP, renovated, Bentleigh – circa $1.8m


Auction Spotlights:

A crowd of close to 50 people witnessed the Jellis Craig auction of 42 Westbourne Street Prahran. 2 strong bidders fought it out for a well presented single fronted light filled freestanding Victoria, offering 2 beds, 2 baths, 2 living areas and off-street parking. A tightly held pocket in Melbourne’s southeast, within walking distance to the Hawksburn Village. Bidding started slowly, but soon became a race in two eventually selling for $1.845m.  (Quoted $1.6m-$1.76m, called on the market at $1.760m)


The fundamentally single level 3-4 bed, 2 bath, DLUG home at the rear of two at 194a Bluff Road Sandringham, offers flexibility for both families and downsizers.  Well oriented for north light, the home has been updated, yet offers further opportunities over time if desired. Quoted at $1.7-1.75m the auction attracted a good crowd and plenty of hopeful bidders. 4 mainly young family bidders quickly pushed the price to $1.9m where the home was called on the market. First one and then another downsizer entered the action and with clearly deeper pockets eliminated the original bidders. Another 30 plus bids eventually saw bidder 6 outlast all others and secure the property for a strong $2.21m.


Tight stock levels: are you ‘buy ready’?

One may be mistaken for thinking that, since Anzac Day, it is the first weekend out of lockdown again, with queues of potential buyers lining up for up to 15 minutes before scheduled open times to inspect the available properties over the past two weekends.

Stock levels have tightened even further.

Vendors are now even less prepared to sell before they have purchased for fear of being homeless as the number of available rental properties continues to decline.

While there has been much talk about landlords opting out of property investment as a result of the changes to minimum rental standards and increased service checks, a less discussed reason could be the number of properties in tourist locations that have been converted to ‘Air BNB’ as the weekly/daily rents. Particularly during peak times, these can be higher than a permanent rental, as well as providing the owners with opportunity to use the properties themselves.

Where Australians have had the property market predominantly to themselves since Covid, the demand from internationals is growing. In particular, Chinese buyers, as a result of China re-opening their borders for travel out of the country, are increasingly active and making the most of the low Australian dollar.

Significant increases in the number of people migrating to Melbourne is also adding stress to both the rental and buying markets; however, the news out last week that the government may reduce the anticipated migrant numbers entering Australia is a step forward, although this is unlikely to have much impact on demand in the short term.

Word on the street, speaking with agents across some key councils (Boroondara, Stonnington and Bayside) have advised that they are speaking to a lot of vendors considering selling, but they are not prepared to commit to a campaign until at least August or September this year.

With demand increasing weekly and the low stock levels, competition is likely to increase in the short term for the good properties.

Competition for the good properties is as strong as ever. As a buyer, are you prepared for this and have you undertaken the proper due diligence and homework required for what you are buying? Missing the right property now could mean a wait for several months until you get the chance again to buy, and what will the market be like then?

Highlights – some sales from the week where buyer competition pushed results well above quoted levels;

30 Aintree Road Glen Iris, quoted $1.6-$1.7m – sold $1.976m

84 Harp Road Kew, quoted $2.35-2.85m – sold $3.040m

3 Scotch Circuit Hawthorn, quoted $1.2m-$1.32m – sold circa $1.45m

45 Victoria Road Hawthorn East, quoted $2.6m-$2.85m – sold $3.340m

1/19 Bertram Street Elsternwick, quoted $1.55-1.7m – sold circa $1.85m

12 Brown Street Brighton East, quoted $3.4-3.7m – sold $4.5m

120 Dendy Street Brighton East, quoted $2.9-3.19m – sold $3.675m

37 Kendall Street Hampton, quoted $1.7-1.8m – sold $2.03m



Some of the better properties currently on the market; an architect’s view


7 Sheridan Court Brighton – Guy St Leger/Tom Davidson, Buxton

38 Chrystobel Crescent Hawthorn – Mike Beardsley/Ellie Morrish, Jellis Craig

9 Central Park Road Malvern East – Andrew Hayne/Justin Krongold, Marshall White


‘Off-market’ Properties:


  • Modern architectural home, 4-3-2, ~700sqm, pool, Brighton East – circa $6m
  • Single level 3-2-2, ~410sqm, Brighton East – circa 2.2m
  • Period weatherboard, water views, ~460sqm, Brighton – circa $2.5m
  • Upside down TH, Bay views, 4-3-2, Brighton – circa $4.5m
  • Contemporary 4-3-2 family home with pool, ~560sqm, Brighton – circa $4m+
  • Single level Edwardian on ~830sqm looking for update, Sandringham – circa $3m
  • Modern 3 level w lift, 4-4-3, Bay views, Black Rock – circa $6.5m
  • Period 2 storey 4-2.5-2, ~700sqm, Caulfield North – circa $3.3m
  • Renovated single fronted Victorian, 3-2.5 home, Kew – circa $3m
  • Two storey renovated Victorian, 4-2-2 car, ~371 sqm, Malvern – circa $3.5m
  • Two storey Art Deco family home, 4-2.5-3, ~900 sqm, Malvern – circa $6.5m
  • Edwardian family home, renovated, north rear, ~400 sqm, Malvern – circa $3.5m
  • Single fronted Victorian, 3-1, ~143 sqm, Windsor– circa $1.8m
  • Family home, 4 beds, ~917 sqm, Kew – circa $4.5m
  • Brick Victorian family home, 4-2-2, west rear, ~566sqm, Malvern – circa $3.6m
  • Renovated Victorian, 4-2-2, pool and studio on ~795sqm, Armadale – circa $6.5m
  • Free Standing Edwardian, 4-2-1, Prahran – circa $2.8m
  • Renovated, single fronted semi-detached, 3beds, 2 car, ~380 sqm, Malvern – circa $2.5m
  • Renovated Victorian cottage, 2 bed, 1 bath, ~130sqm, Prahran – circa $1.4m
  • Low maintenance townhouse, 3-2-1, Armadale – circa $2.2m


Auction Spotlight:

David Sciola and Carla Fetter head up the Jellis Craig team at 30 Aintree Road Glen Iris


30 Aintree Road Glen Iris delivers a well presented single fronted Victorian with 3 beds, 1 bath and a study. Open plan family and dining room, as well as offering a flexible studio and workshop at the rear of the property. This could be converted into parking if desired via the ROW (STCA). The auction attracted a large crowd of both downsizers and young couples on a cold winter’s day.  Quoted $1.6-$1.7m, auctioneer David Sciola of Jellis Craig managed the bidding from 5 bidders. It was opened at $1.6m, quickly getting to $1.71m where it was put on the market. The home eventually sold for $1.976m. A strong result for the area.




Multiple factors impacting Melbourne property market

The more recent trend toward buyers preferring the ready-to-move-into homes over the ‘renovator’s delight’ or new build sites is potentially here to stay and we are noticing more and more buyers are prepared to pay a premium for it.

Another major player in the new build arena collapsed last week, leaving around 1500 clients unsure of their futures.  This is likely to encourage more buyers to purchase an existing home, rather than land to build, increasing demand on a market already in low supply.

While land has always been considered the key factor in underpinning property values in Melbourne, the current trend to buy ‘turn key’ established homes suggests that this could be becoming as important, if not more important, than the land on which it sits.

Since the Covid lockdowns, Victorians have put more focus on what is important to them – for themselves, for their families, for their well-being and for their comfort.

The home has taken on a new meaning. It is not just a house for after hours and somewhere to sleep at night. It has become our sanctuary, our work place, our school space, our castle and our kingdom.

While position is still important, perhaps even more important now is the house itself. We have seen this trend strengthen as the building industry suffers collapse after collapse, diluting the confidence of buyers who are quickly realising the increased value of a home they can live in straight away.

Current issues we see influencing the market as we move toward winter include:

  • Strong competition for ‘turn key’ homes if stock remains low.
  • An increase in land / new build sites as some vendors no longer have the appetite or the budget to build.
  • Fewer buyers interested in purchasing properties that need major works or replacing.
  • Land tax increases pushing some vendors to sell.
  • Landlords unable to afford to improve properties to meet minimum requirements for rental properties being pushed to sell.
  • Demand increasing for rental properties – local demand and from migrants. Some people are now being forced to buy, rather than rent.
  • More international buyers returning to the market.
  • Agents moving toward more EOI (expression of interest) campaigns to manage the sales process, providing less transparency for buyers.
  • Low Australian dollar making housing more affordable for overseas buyers.
  • Construction workers continuing to choose less financially risky alternatives (many have made the switch to large government builds); therefore, fewer skilled trades available for private builds.
  • Building costs to remain high while trades are in short supply.
  • Low stock cycle to continue – many vendors won’t sell until they have bought, but can’t find anything to buy because stock is so low.

With a number of agents saying vendors want to wait until Spring before considering their next move, buyers should understand what they’re looking for and where it sits in the market. This will mean they don’t miss their opportunity to buy, as it could be a while waiting for the next opportunity to come around.

Highlights – ready to move into homes and homes that could be updated, but don’t need to be straight away:

  • 14 Motherwell Street Armadale – well located, two bedroom townhouse (all bedrooms upstairs) – 5 bidders – $1,562,500
  • 9 Daly Road Sandringham – original ‘Inform’ home, good floorplan, walk to most amenities – 5 bidders – undisclosed over $2,700,000
  • 5 Ardrie Road Malvern East – neat period home, well positioned on block, north rear – 4 bidders – $2,330,000
  • 22 Gilsland Road Murrumbeena – good location, north rear, single storey home with garaging – 4 bidders – $2,110,000
  • 24 Bent Parade Black Rock – newer build home with pool, great location – 3 bidders – $3,920,000
  • 4 Lyndhurst Crescent Hawthorn – good family home – 3+ bidders – $4.110m
  • 11a Mayfield Avenue Camberwell – single level villa unit, close to amenities – 3 bidders – $1,245,000


Some of the better properties currently on the market; an architect’s view

41 Victoria Road North Malvern – Andrew James/Michel Swainson – Belle Property

28 Miller Grove Kew – Andrew Gibbons/Shamit Verma – Marshall White

13 Lileura Avenue Beaumaris – Noel Susay/Adam Gillon – Buxton


‘Off-market’ Properties:

  • Californian Bungalow, 2 storey, pool, north rear, Hampton – circa $3.4m
  • Modern family home, 4-3-5, pool, west rear, Brighton – circa $11.5m
  • Beachfront ground floor apartment, 3-3-2, ~240sqm, Brighton – circa $7m
  • Extended period home, 4-3-3, ~720sqm, east rear, Sandringham – circa mid $2m
  • Fully renovated semi-attached, 2 storey, 4-3-2, ~400sqm, Brighton East – circa high $2m
  • Single level townhouse, 3 bed, DLUG, west courtyards, Brighton East – circa early $2m
  • Fully renovated single level Cal Bung, 3-2-2, north rear, Brighton East – circa high $2m
  • 2 storey upside down TH adjoining golf course, 3-2.5-3, Beaumaris – circa early $2m
  • Double storey brick family home, 5-3-2, approx. 970 sqm, Malvern East – circa $4m
  • Edwardian family home, 5-2-2, approx. 1,388sqm Hawthorn – circa $6.5m
  • Townhouse, 3,3,2, tandem garage, Hawthorn East – circa $1.45m
  • Cal Bung 5,3,2, in need of renovation (STCA), approx. 875sqm, Camberwell – circa high $3m
  • Renovated Edwardian cottage, 4-2-1, approx. 283sqm, south rear, Hawthorn East – circa $2.2m
  • Landmark home, 5-4-4, ~3,080sqm, court & pool, Canterbury – circa $10m
  • Single level period home, renovated, 4-2-2, walk to trains, Malvern – circa $4m
  • 2 storey dated renovation Californian Bungalow, Malvern East – circa early $4m
  • Renovated modern home 5-3-2, pool, Armadale – circa $9m


Auction Spotlight

The single level 3 bed, 2 bath, garage and 2 living zone property at 63 Fewster Road was always going to attract a range of buyers. The crowd attending was a mix of downsizes, as well as young couples looking to get into the Hampton area. While the home is looking for an update, this could be done over time. The quote of $1.1-1.15m was an attractive proposition for buyers. Adam Gillon headed up the Buxton team on auction day, quickly receiving a $1.0m opening bid. 4 bidders joined in the action, quickly pushing the property past its reserve and eventually selling for $1.257m. A sound result for what was on offer.

Uncertainty for now: how long will this last?

Teamwork is important! WoledgeHatt enjoying a round of golf together.


Good properties performed well on Saturday, with multiple bidders, and some had solid results.

A number of quality properties have also hit the net over the past couple of weeks and buyer numbers over the weekend were plentiful. One agent quoted 45 groups through in 22 minutes for a property in South Yarra.

There were a number of homes that sold above their quotes on the weekend (see a sample in our highlights below); however, there were also a large proportion that sold within their quoted range. The REIV clearance rate sat at 76% at the end of the evening.

If a property has problems or is incorrectly quoted, it can sit without interest indefinitely. If the quote was the problem, a number of these homes are now selling as vendors have reduced their expectations to meet the market.

While we continue to see good homes sell well (sometimes very strongly) in the current market, if a vendor’s expectations are well above what makes sense, they are likely to encounter resistance from buyers and may be better to wait before selling rather than damage their campaign from the outset and spend the rest of the time playing catch up trying to re-engage buyers.

With a tenth consecutive interest rate hike likely (at the time of writing), such uncertainty is certainly putting a cloud on the market. If as a buyer your pre-approval is about to run out, you may find your borrowing capacity is reduced. Those that are ‘buy fit’ right now are at an advantage, yet stock levels remain tight. When is the right time to buy? We have always said that the right time is when the right home to live in for the longer term becomes available, as predicting the future is very hard.

A number of agents are starting to comment that vendors are now talking about Spring. This may suggest that the volume could remain tight right through until August/September. If the number of people attending inspections is anything to go by, this could mean some serious competition for properties marketed and priced correctly.



  • 13 Central Avenue Black Rock – approx. 470sqm with a fairly original, single storey 80s home on it, quoted $1.5-1.6m, sold for $1.7m, five bidders
  • 1 Courang Road Glen Iris – comfortable period family home, could be further improved, quoted $2.3-2.5m, sold for $2.7m, three bidders
  • 19 Earlsfield Road Hampton – turn key large modern home close to schools but a bit further to shops/station, quoted $3.6-3.7m, sold for $3.84m, three bidders
  • 122 Cochrane Street Brighton – scheduled for auction 23rdMarch has sold beforehand. Quoted $2-2.2m, sold well above for an undisclosed figure toward the mid $2m mark
  • 25 Finch Street Malvern East – large single storey period home, comfortable as is but could be further improved over time, quoted $6-6.6m, sold for $6,666,666
  • 26 Mount Pleasant Grove Armadale – renovated, single storey Victorian terrace, quoted $1.5-1.65m, sold for $1.805m
  • 10 Evelina Road Toorak – two storey Victorian Terrace, renovated with a bedroom/bathroom option downstairs and excellent garaging, quoted $3.5-3.7m, sold for $3.93m
  • 15a Osborne Court Hawthorn – neat, extended 1930s home near the river, quoted $2-2.2m, sold before auction for $2.511m



Some of the better properties currently on the market; an architect’s view

15 Mills Street Hampton – Jenny Dwyer/Sandra Michael, Belle Property

34 Glendearg Grove Malvern – John Manton/Fiona Ansell-Jones, Marshall White

55 Guildford Road Surrey Hills – David Smith/Nikki van Gulick, Marshall White


‘Off-market’ Properties:

  • Double fronted, timber, Victorian, 4-2-2, Elwood – circa early $3m
  • Renovate or rebuild, 4-2-3, ~920sqm, Brighton East – circa $3.9m
  • Freestanding TH in heart of Village, 3-1.5-1, Sandringham – circa $1.5m
  • Modern family home, 4-3-2, ~940sqm, Brighton – circa $5.5m
  • Double fronted, brick, Victorian, 4-2-1, Brighton – circa $3.7m
  • Brick period home, 5-3-2, opp park, Hampton – circa $2.6m
  • Edwardian, 4-2-2, ~680sqm, north rear, Cheltenham – circa $1.9m
  • Downsizer, 3-2.5-2, renovated, Malvern – circa $3m
  • Double fronted Victorian, 4-2.5-1, renovated, Brunswick – circa $2.15m
  • Fully renovated/extended brick single front, 3-3-2, West Melbourne – circa $3.7m
  • Fully renovated, contemporary, 5-3-2, 3 living, pool, Glen Iris – circa $3.4m
  • Modern family home, 4-3-2, ~700sqm, spa, Kew – circa $3m
  • Renovated brick Edwardian single fronter, 3-1, Prahran – circa $2.1m