May 23, 2015


Brighton: 25 Lynch St (Hodges), under hammer $1.92m, 2 bidders

With nearly 1000 auctions on the weekend the results for good family homes, good land buys and those appealing to the downsizer market, were good all round.

Some highlights –

46 Canberra Grove Brighton East (Peter Kennett, Hocking Stuart). 800sqm, newer build family home,  $4.01m.  Only a few years ago, sales in Brighton East over $2m were scarce, they are now commonplace.

Three reasons:

  • Increased prices in Brighton – pushing buyers out to fringe areas
  • The increased popularity and strength of St Leonards and Haileybury Grammar schools
  • Practical family floorplans.  Many of the older homes have now been rebuilt and starting to present for sale

3 Ridgeway Avenue Kew (Doug McLauchlan, Marshall White). Neat brick Edwardian home, a short walk from Kew Junction sold for a tick over  $2.6m.

  • A house next door (similar land, slightly lesser condition house) selling for $1.7m back in November 2012. This is a good indication of how much the market has moved in about 30 months.

32 Flowerdale Road Glen Iris (Bryan Cain, First National). Modern single level home, quality street. Bought undisclosed, a little over $2.5m.

Land was contested heavily again:

16 Waterloo Street Camberwell (Tom Ryan/Geordie Dixon, Jellis Craig) 415m2 with approved permits for a two-storey home bought just shy of $1.8m,  around $4,500sqm.

31 Glen Street Hawthorn (Chloe Quinn/Richard Earle, Jellis Craig). 487sqm bought just north of $1.8m, around $,3700sqm.

1 Mildura Avenue Sandringham (Nic Tanner, JP Dixon) 460sqm corner block, good location to shops, transport and beach (abutting private tennis courts) bought for $1,405,000 or $3,054sqm.

As we approach winter and the upcoming school holidays, off-markets properties (i.e. those not publicly advertised) are alive and well.

Some examples:

  • Updated single level timber home in Hampton – circa $1.7-1.8m
  • Double-storey renovated Victorian Row Terrace in South Melbourne –  circa $2.5m
  • Solid period family home in Studley Park Kew – circa $2.5m
  • Renovated period home, north rear, good off-street parking, Armadale $3.5-4m
  • Renovator’s delight, Malvern East, 800sqm, north rear, circa $2.5m

As stock levels start to slow down for winter, buyers may wish to consider whether they want to wait until spring before they buy their new home.

There will be buyers willing to sell quietly during this time, particularly if they have already purchased.

Now is the time to work out how you can best access the properties available for transaction quietly.

We have found the best way is ‘coffee’ catch ups with key agents to find the properties and then the appropriate supporting data to help buyers understand ‘values’ when there is no opportunity for ‘social proof’ (such as other buyers inspecting the home, or bidding at auction) around pricing.

Architecturally Speaking

Island benches

This is high on the wish list of most of most clients we talk to (buying and designing homes), and the homes that tend to sell well often have a great kitchen. The ‘Island bench’ is really important, as it is often the central “communication and social hub” of the home and it helps with the functionality of the working kitchen. Main points to consider:

  • Size (should be at least 2.1m x 1m in size
  • Needs easy access to power, perhaps power point to the side as minimum
  • Depending on size best not to have the kitchen sink as part of it (particularly if smaller)
  • Should feature draws on the working side, for easy access to all storage

There was a great island bench in the home we visited this week at 15 Rowell Avenue Camberwell (Nikki McCartky/Glen Coutinho, RT REdgar). (see pic below)

Large, facing north facing windows and acting in part as informal dining area, this works really well and you are really drawn to it’s presence.


Auction Highlights:

1 Russell Street, Toorak (Rob Vickers-Willis, Abercromby’s), under hammer, $3.96m, 5-6 bidders

Pretty as a picture, this well-built brick original home in a quiet Toorak location saw a good crowd gathering for it’s auction. Auctioneer Rob Vickers-Willis and listing agent Jeff Gole conducted proceedings in the private backyard, and around 40 were in attendance. Opening with a genuine offer of $3.1m, the auction clipped along nicely with a string of bids and before too long with at least four bidders pushed the action along to $3.325m, when the property was announced “on the market”. No half-time break was needed, with Rob and Jeff taking bids very quickly and in the end it was a battle of two Chinese families that really upped the ante over the $3.7mark, with one of them winning the day (and the property) at $3.96m. Land was the really key to the success of this property; just over 600m2 and a corner block with no heritage overlay works out to be just under $6,600/m2 – very healthy indeed.


Toorak: 1 Russell St (Abercromby’s), under hammer, $3.96 m, 5-6 bidders

34 Marchant St, Highett (Adam Gillon, Buxton), under hammer $1.435m, 3 bidders

The crowd started gathering long before Adam Gillon took centre stage. First it looked like around 70 people had come to watch the auction but that number quickly grew to 100 and then 150 in the minutes prior to the start of proceedings. The coffee van was a huge hit too and the line only dispersed as Adam started his preliminaries. Calling for an opening bid, a baby wailed:  “Don’t cry,” Adam soothed. “Mum and dad still have a chance to buy it!” Bidder 1 offered $1.1m and we were away. Bidder 2 gave a strong $1.2m and before long, Bidder 3 was in at $1.35m. There was a slight pause and, as if on cue, an elderly cyclist broke the silence, announcing his arrival with the loud ringing of his bell. And as he sped through the middle of the crowd, he gave Adam a high five much to the amusement of the spectators. At $1.41m the home was on the market. More laughs as a metre reader entered the property for sale, “life goes on,” laughed agent Paul Sibley. And with a couple more bids, the home was sold to a young family, the hammer coming down to a massive round of applause at $1.435m.

Highett: 34 Marchant St (Adam Gillon, Buxton), under hammer $1.435m, 3 bidders

Highett: 34 Marchant St (Buxton), under hammer $1.435m, 3 bidders

17 Willansby St, Brighton (David Hart, Buxton), under hammer, $1.67m, 10 bidders

With 17 Willansby Street selling last week with 5 bidders for $1,230,000, there was much anticipation around 6 Willansby which offered approximately 200sqm more land and a larger, original cream brick home.
Starting with a fairly low initial bid of $1,100,000, auctioneer David Hart quickly placed a vendor bid of an extra $100,000, and moments later a second bidder entered the competition with another rise of $100,000 to $1,300,000. From here, the bids continued in quick succession – 10 bidders in total – and a final price of $1,670,000.


Brighton: 17 Willansby St, (Buxton), under hammer, $1.67m, 10 bidders

Agent Opinion: Tips for selling and buying in the winter months

UnknownDavid Gillham (Noel Jones, Camberwell): “Winter is statistically the best time to sell,of course avoiding the June /July school holidays when buyers tend to chase the warmer climates in North Queensland and onto farther destinations.We find the lack of good property around seems to pump the prices of any property placed on the market at this time, simply the supply and demand  imbalance comes to the fore. Don’t be frightened of the weather, buyers will bid in the snow if they love a property enough,it is the economic climate that prevails and we all know how strong that is at the moment.”