How long are you prepared to place your life on hold?

We are almost six weeks into 2023 and the property market is getting its buzz back.

We think the market will remain buoyant until Easter, for the following reasons:

  • Stock levels have increased significantly over the past fortnight and there are some good properties out there for buyers to consider.
  • Buyer numbers have been very good at open for inspections (sometimes double or triple what we were seeing at the end of last year).
  • More importantly, how long is everyone prepared to place their lives on hold waiting for the market to go up or down, waiting for interest rates to go up and down, waiting for property prices to plummet, waiting for mortgagee sales?
  • The rental market is as hot as it has been for a very long time. Buying for many is a better option even if interest rates are on the rise, as investors are coming back in as the numbers are making this a more viable financial option for them.

It’s been three years of indecision and uncertainty. But life is starting to feel ‘normal’ again.

Singles are coupling, downsizers are aging and families are growing.

For a while now, the locals have had the market ‘to themselves’, but with migration levels on the rise again (in part due to the Chinese Government’s recent snap decision to only acknowledge international degrees if classes are taken in person) this will change, we think.

If the goal is to buy a good property that meets your requirements for the mid-to-longer term, we don’t recall any homeowners (who have done so, in varying markets) wishing they had waited a few years before deciding to make the move.

If it’s the right house, it’s the right time.

To work out if it’s the right house, homework, research and sound due diligence is the key:

  • Know your budget
  • Know your non-negotiables
  • Know your suburb
  • Know how to negotiate – and understand that most selling agents are very good at what they do and have many industry resources and analytics at their disposal
  • Know your prices
  • Know how to protect yourself or keep yourself in the game
  • Know when to stop

Research, research, research. We have been doing it for more than a combined 35 years and we have experienced the ups and downs associated with the rollercoaster of the property market.

If the right property is there, now is as good a time as ever to buy.

We believe prices at the moment are fair for both parties. Generally, they’re not going up (unless it’s one out of the box and ticking multiple criteria for a variety of buyers) but they’re not plummeting either.

We are hearing that many buyers are waiting for prices to continue to fall – but in reality will this happen?

The same property could sell four times within a year and get a different result every time.

Having said that, there will still be some properties that don’t sell easily. More often than not, they may come with complications such as high prices, tricky overlays, awkward renovations (completed or needing to be done), positions on the block or compromised orientations, to name a few.

Some of these problems can be overcome with price, others are better avoided altogether.  Know how to recognise them and how to avoid them – that is not as easy as it seems.

With limited auctions around on the weekend, early results for some good properties were as expected:

  • 58a Sandringham Road Sandringham – single storey, immediately livable, self-sufficient (solar panels and battery) rear townhouse, walking distance to the Village and station, quoted $1.5-1.6m, sold with three bidders for $1,700,500.
  • 9 Derby Street Camberwell – dated two storey mock period home on 624sqm – quoted $2.9—$3.19m sold for $3,570,000.

Also some notable larger sales transacting this year:

  • 7 Sorrett Avenue Malvern – solid family home in prime street, good land, north rear – sold privately just over $6.85m
  • 21 Montalto Avenue Toorak – quintessential Toorak offering on over 900sqm land – sold privately for over $8.9m

No doubt the media will hone in on the negatives – it’s bound to sell more papers!  Making decisions based on their often limited research may not be the right thing to do for you.


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

34 Thanet Street Malvern – Ansell-Jones/Manton, Marshall White

26 Walerna Road Glen Iris – Wood/Pessin, Jellis Craig


‘Off-market’ Properties:

  • Modern family home, 4 bed, 3.5 bath, DLUG, pool, corner position, Brighton – circa $5.5m
  • Modern 3 bed plus study, basement garage, lift, pool, Brighton – circa high $5m
  • Land for dream home, west rear, approx. 670sqm, near schools, Hampton – circa $2.7m
  • Californian Bungalow, 4 bed, 2 bath, 2 OSP, Sandringham – circa $2.25m
  • Period weatherboard, walk to shops/station, ~400sqm, Hampton – circa $2m
  • Contemporary 4 bed, 2 bath, DLUG family home, ~950sqm, Black Rock – circa $3.2m
  • 5 bed, 5 bath family home near beach & Church Street, Brighton – circa $6.5m+
  • Modern family home, master up, adjoining park, pool, Hampton – circa $4.25m
  • 2 storey townhouse, 3-2-2, near amenities, NW courtyard, Brighton – circa $2.1m
  • Fully renovated brick Edwardian, 4 bed, 2.5 bath, ample OSP, ~680sqm, Elwood – circa $6m
  • Fully renovated 4 bed, 3.5 bath, OSP, period home, pool, west rear, Malvern East – over $4m
  • 2 storey 4 bed, 2 bath family home. Fully renovated with north facing private courtyard. $5.5-$5.8m
  • 5+ bed, 3 baths, parking for 3 cars, approx. 910sqm, west rear, Malvern East – circa $3.75m
  • 5+beds, 3 bath, two storey family home, approx. 1,270 sqm, Glen Iris – circa $6m
  • Single level Victorian, 3 beds, 1 bath, SLUG, east rear, ~500sqm, South Yarra – circa $4.5m
  • 3 bed, 2 bath and study townhouse over three levels, DLUG, Armadale – circa $2.75m
  • 2 storey 4 bed, 2 bath family home, fully renovated, north courtyard, South Yarra – circa $5.7m
  • Brick Edwardian, 2 bed, 1 bath, 1 car, ~280sqm, Malvern – circa $1.6m
  • Double fronted Edwardian, 4 bed, 2 bath, 2 car, pool, ~530sqm, Armadale – circa $4m
  • Single fronted Edwardian, 3 bed, 2 bath, no car, ~120sqm, South Yarra – circa $2.1m
  • Townhouse, 4 bed, 4 bath, 3 cars, ~500sqm, Armadale – circa $4.1m
  • Unrenovated Edwardian, 4 bed, 2 bath, 2 cars, ~1,320sqm, Hawthorn – circa $4.4m


Auction Spotlight:

A good crowd turned out to watch and bid at the auction of this updated single level rear villa. Prepped for sustainability, the home includes a solar PV system with battery storage, as well as an EV charger and heat pump hot water. Well positioned to the village and trains, the offering was always going to be appealing to downsizers. The home had been quoted $1.5-1.6m throughout the campaign. Mark Earle led the auction for the Buxton team, placing a vendor bid of $1.5m to get things started. One bidder countered but was immediately trying to slow things down. A further two bidders were more proactive, steadily lifting the price before the home was announced on the market at $1.685m.  The home was eventually sold for $1,700,500.  A fair price for the home on offer.