The winter blues continue with most vendors still happy to hibernate until spring.
Buyers? Still cautious. Still wanting to see more than what is presently on offer.
They are all seemingly top-end properties and all struggling to raise an offer. Why? It’s not just price. It’s now a more studied market and those in it are looking harder and seeing any problems more clearly than was the rule in last year’s frenzy.
When buyers are being patient, vendors have no choice but to sweeten their offers or to wait what in some cases may be a very long time.
Open-for-inspections are still the chosen weekend entertainment for many. Maybe five or six people going through less remarkable houses, but when they are really done over, such as 14 Myamyn Street, Armadale, it can start to look like there’s a free litre of premium on offer just for stepping inside. There would have been over 30 groups through; with the mix heavily on the side of spectators over players.
And in auctions at the very top end?
Nothing. Only a few auctions in sight and those not until mid-August. The school holiday hangover continues (are the fees up again?).
Off-market is another story. We’re seeing sellers who want to sell quietly, but not anxiously. Rumours circulating about forced sales because of the stock market fiasco are, as far as we’re seeing, still rumours. How can we tell? The truly desperate slash prices, and there hasn’t been a lot of that around.
We did get to some auctions (not at the top end). The well-valued drew bids from three or four people, the less-good struggled to raise more than one hand.
Your heart has to bleed for the estate agents.
Oh, OK. Maybe not.
If it was Paris last year, they may still make it to Rye for this year’s hol’s. And they may wish they had put a little away during the boom times to prepare for the bust that would surely follow.
But it’s a competitive field and if your BMW isn’t blingier than the next man’s (yup, it’s still mostly men) then what sort of man are you?
Those who have been around for a while, who have seen previous downturns, know enough to weather the storm. They make sales by managing vendors’ expectations rather than expecting the unreal from buyers. They are even returning calls.
Sun doesn’t rise over Bay.
Down by the bay, the sharemarket gloom is starting to rub off on the property market.
Can you recall a non-holiday weekend when Brighton, Brighton East, Hampton, Sandringham, Black Rock, Beaumaris and Mentone produced only five positive results from (a paltry) 14 offerings? The Brightons were just saved from total embarrassment with a single sale from seven auctions.
That lonely Brighton sale was 12a Menzies Avenue and realised $1.75 million. Less than anticipated, but with a vendor suffering from subprimitis in the USA, reality kicked in.
The same cannot be said of others selling on the weekend. They’re waiting for miracles (or that increasingly elusive creature, the wood duck). Some of their reserves are still at blood thinning levels.
But it’s not entirely gloom and doom. There’s an occasional flicker of life.
Two apartments at 17 Well Street, Brighton sold off the plan for $2.172 million and $2.16 million respectively.
4 Talofa Avenue, Brighton East sold after being passed in on the 14th June. They refused $2.1 million, were holding out for $2.35 million and in the end sold for (drum roll, please) $2. 1 million!
Evidence that quality property can still sell well in a tough market was the sale of 22 Keats Street, Sandringham for $2.2 million. Excellent accommodation, generous land, strong location and correctly priced ? it’s not rocket science.
And Bentleigh was true to form with a respectable six clearances from eight offerings. If they keep that up they’ll get a medal for Christmas.
As we move into August and edge closer to Spring, buyers are anticipating better choices of correctly priced properties and vendors simply want more buyers.
Vendors, a clue: It’s not just location, location, location; it’s also price, price, price.
Those who get real will get sales.
M & K Bayside