When the talk among the agents moves from the iniquities of school fees and the scarcity of innocent parties ready to put their hands in their pockets to sunny thoughts around which side of the Equator beckons this winter, whether it should be a Merc or a Beemer and is Saville Row still the go, it’s clear something has changed.
Welcome to the Year of the Goat.
There’s been an amazing change since the Chinese New Year. Toorak cracked its first $7+ auction for longer than any agent cares to remember when 11 Maple Grove saw three hands a wavin’ (which just didn’t happen last year), Kooyongkoot Road had four internationals pushing its price from $4.1 to $5.085 — echoing a boardroom auction a few days earlier when Kembla Street sailed past its $4.4 reserve to find a new owner at $5.2.
We’re seeing more SOLD signs than we saw in Spring and still more are waiting on FIRB approval. (The effect of the government’s proposed foreign investment changes will, we predict, amount to a great deal of not very much.)
But it’s Mad March for a reason. Disrupted by long weekends, Easter holidays and a motor car race…
Top End Undercurrents
Factors underlying today’s market:
- declines in interest rates don’t count for much (although currently pushing the $3 to $6 market along)
- there’s a distinct lack of true trophies on offer
- the number of skips in streets suggest that many are renovating rather than moving
- off-market has been busy, even while there’s not much choice
Bidding slows. Is it on the market? Auctioneer heads inside for instructions. Re-emerges:
“It’s on the market. But it’s not on the market.”
“I’ll pass it in and it will be sold.”
Bids continue. Able assistant finally announces that it’s really on the market.
Auctioneer asks bidder whether this is his final bid.
“It might be. Or it might not.”
Buyer rings agent to make an offer. Agent doesn’t return his call.
Buyer knocks on owner’s door. They shake hands. The deal is done.
Leaving the agent … where?
The pressure is now on the buyers and advocates. Finding the right home is only step one — everything becomes more complicated when agents have the upper hand.
Lesson for the day: Know thy vendor.