Winter selling. Why not?

It has been an uncommon mid-year/school holiday break.

Where the property market normally shuts down, it has continued throughout this winter break to allow for interrupted campaigns to conclude (as a result of our last lockdown).  In addition, we have also seen new listings popping up on the net daily, rather than waiting for holiday makers to return from their winter getaways.

Some trends have continued, others have picked up and we have seen some new ones emerging:

  • Generational and lifestyle homes are continuing to attract strong interest from multiple parties prepared to pay new record prices for the prize.
  • Single vendor one bedroom apartment blocks are becoming common on the real estate sales websites.
  • A good number of properties generally for sale (including family homes) on the real estate sites at the moment. It feels like far more than normal for this time of year and yet at one auction on the weekend, the auctioneer mentioned ‘there won’t be any choice for buyers until Spring (which isn’t too far away now), so buy now.’
  • We are also starting to see an increase in the number of two-bedroom units and apartments for sale (many of them ‘off market’), as more landlords are required to update properties to meet minimum rental standards, and many tenants are opting for larger properties to rent, as working from home becomes the new norm.
  • Very strong market demand for single level renovated period homes (ie 24 Kerferd Street Malvern East, 50 Wattle Valley Road Canterbury, which sold recently for very strong prices well in excess of $5m).

One trend, which may have been more understandable and forgivable earlier in the year before the market’s sudden rise, is the number of properties being advertised without any, or with irrelevant, comparable properties and what seems to be a low quote.

The number of homes sold over the past six months has been solid and we think (for most properties) there should be more than enough relevant sales to provide a reliable SOI. As an example, a small, three bedroom unit in Ormond quoted $800-880,000 sold very competitively for $1,156,000 last weekend – almost 45% above the bottom of the quote. There were five buyers of $1,000,000 and three over $1,100,000.

Interestingly, we don’t seem to have the same difficulty when preparing and providing our price analysis for clients.

All too often we hear ‘the vendor is a seller in the range’ which leaves us wondering whether they are receiving the right advice from their agents or underselling themselves.

There’s no excuse anymore. Buyers should expect to see more accurate quotes for the second half of the year. That said, they should always be prepared to do their own independent research.

We are also noticing a trend, post each lockdown, where frustration levels from both buyers and sellers are increasing, along with some ‘Covid fatigue’ which we think is affecting some decision-making processes.

So it’s all great for sellers? Well not really … where things can go wrong for vendors is if they overrate the home that they have within the current marketplace. The difference between an A grade property and a C grade one is considerable, and buyers are becoming more aware of this as they become more educated within the marketplace.

The costs for a mistake both emotionally and financially can be substantial, and life is too short (we think) to live in a dark, miserable home.

Finally, it will be interesting to see whether the extended lockdown in NSW, including the shut down of the real estate market, influences the decisions for overseas buyers wishing to return to Australia by diverting their focus to Melbourne and therefore adding to the buyer demand. And when the world does return back to some form of ‘normal’ life in the coming years, will the popularity of a safer island country go from strength to strength?


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

34 Stirling Street KewNicholas Franzmann/Nikki van Gulick, Marshall White

19 Pellew Street SandringhamLana Samuels/Marty Fox, Whitefox


‘Off-market’ Properties:

  • Victorian family home, approx. 800sqm, Hawthorn – circa $5.5m
  • Family sized Californian Bungalow on good land, Camberwell – circa mid $4m
  • Extended semi-attached Art Deco, Prahran – circa $2m
  • Renovated Victorian home on over 900sqm, Hawthorn – circa $9m
  • 70s style home on approx. 540sqm, Camberwell – circa $3.25m
  • Updated single level Edwardian, Armadale – circa $4m
  • 1930s family home on good land, north rear, Armadale – circa mid $7m
  • Edwardian single storey home, approx. 350sqm, Hawthorn East – circa $2.2m
  • Single level Edwardian, approx. 560sqm, Malvern – circa mid $4m
  • Well renovated, 4 bed, Californian Bungalow, Malvern – circa mid $5m
  • Block of 12 one-bed apartments, approx. 705sqm, Armadale – circa $6m
  • Renovated double fronted Victorian, Windsor – circa $2.4m
  • Golden Mile Edwardian duplex, approx. 490sqm, Brighton – circa high $2m
  • Renovated Edwardian, approx. 900sqm, Brighton – circa $8m
  • Family home with good land, Hampton – circa mid $4m
  • Large modern family home, walk to amenities, Sandringham – circa $5m
  • 1920s with modern renovation/extension, over 900sqm, Aberfeldie – circa mid $4m
  • Fully renovated Victorian, over 600sqm, Essendon – circa mid $3m


Auction Spotlight:

Nick Johnstone working the crowd at the successful auction of 18 Champion Street Brighton


The single level home at 18 Champion Street Brighton has been renovated and is well oriented to maximise light.  The size of the secondary bedrooms may have held back families with growing children, so the home was possibly more suited to the downsizer market looking for a comfortable move in option, where the grandkids can still visit. The home was quoted $2.6-2.85m.  An opening bid of $2.8m started the auction with two bidders swiftly bringing offers up to $2.9m, where bidder one started to show some hesitancy. Without stopping proceedings, instructions were sought by an agent and the home was called on the market at $2.985m. While both buyers clearly wanted the keys, bidder two showed strength and confidence, outlasting the opposition and securing the property for only a small amount more.