It just keeps rolling along … the juggernaut continues! Again, it was the top end that was setting the pace over the weekend. With the distinct lack of choice available, we expect this sector to continue to outperform other market sectors. The sale of 20 Lansell Road, Toorak, on land of 19,000 sq ft for $9,225,000 (without a court and in need of renovation) had three parties vying for the honour of owning it. Other areas also featured prominently. A unit in East Melbourne, 2/2 Jolimont Crescent, sold for $2,516,000 against a quoted price of $2.1 million. Even out in Balwyn, not usually known for exceeding reserves by $330,000, 18 Chatfield Avenue sold for $2,830,000, which was a high price given the land was only 8,500 sq ft, which would value it at $160 per foot. This sale again shows that premium buyers will chase a renovated property. In South Yarra, 220 Domain Road sold prior to auction for more than $6 million, again demonstrating the healthy demand at the top end coupled with the desire to secure properties prior to auction. Investors have clearly returned to the fold with a vengeance. Of the auctions we attended, several were bought by investors who had to beat home owners. Regrettably the interest in these type of properties is also incredibly strong, but it also flags the fact that if investors are returning to the marketplace, there has to be more room for the market to grow, as traditionally they don’t buy at the top of a market. At other auctions we attended, reserves were being passed with opening bids and with multiple bidders still out at the coal face, there is many a bidder still being left as a bridesmaid. Bucking the top-end trend, the unit market is still soft with several properties being passed in. One high point: Unit 10, 245 Kooyong Road exceeded its reserve by $150,000 with three bidders. Astute investors have realised that unit prices are not moving in step with the rise in home prices. Homes are being sought for capital appreciation rather than return. Coastal properties were also soft. One auction we attended at 6 Spindrift Avenue, Flinders, “the dress circle of Flinders” sold for $1.4 million – in line with expectations. Not the silliness that we have seen in the inner city.