Market Comment – Monday 21st February 2011

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Finally we reach the first weekend of the year with enough auctions taking place to give a more accurate feel of current market sentiment. 695 auctions were gazetted to take place this weekend, and some quality stock has been offered for sale resulting in a clearance rate of 66% and 1048 total sales for the week.

We said last week that there is a large discrepancy in the grade of homes currently on the market. A proportion of property which didn’t sell last year is stubbornly hanging around, and if you follow the theory that every house has a buyer providing it’s offered at the right price, we can only assume many vendors are still either unwilling to ‘meet the market’ or hanging on for their ‘wish price’ as there is no lack of buyers wondering through open for inspections.

An internet search of homes for sale may bring up large numbers of listings, however when you filter the results down as we do each week for our clients, there is only a handful of property that really ticks the right investment criteria. The bottom line – clearly evident from today’s bidding experience which produced some bullish results – is that good property is selling for good prices, under healthy competition. However there is enough stock hanging around to keep clearance figures lagging below the 85% rate recorded this time last year

Assessing – quite correctly – that today’s results would stretch budgets, we took advantage of negotiating a number of properties prior to auction this week. However for those listings for which this was not possible, you could be mistaken believing we were back in 2007 pre GFC boom times with bidders clearly showing bullish rather than bearish qualities.

30 Clyde St, Glen Iris – quoting 625-675, was a classic single level modern town house perfect for those downsizing. The event opened on a genuine bid of 630K. The next bid was 750K which placed the property directly on market – precisely where we had assessed its value. With a third bid of 800K a bullish battle ground had been set. In a deliberate play of confidence, the winning bidder jumped upwards in uneven amounts ranging from 5 – 10K until the property had been secured over 100K above reserve for 860K. The winning bidder was a downsizer who seemingly had no limit to the budget they were prepared to spend. Four bidders took part

Meanwhile a few streets away unit 5/6-8 Beaconsfield Rd, Hawthorn East followed a similar bullish game plan. A beautifully renovated Art Deco two bedroom apartment. The auction opened at 630K. It was swiftly followed with a bid of 725 K, and then 800K, before things slowed to a more moderate place. Announced on the market at 810K the bidding managed to push the price over mid 800K. We had previously assessed the property to be worth around 850K, therefore the final selling price of 855K was no surprise. five bidders took part.

A more modest, but by no means small result was achieved at 24 Douglas St, Rosanna. Quoted in the ‘mid 600K’ and attracting four bidders . It opened on a vendor bid of 600K and had a slow start before the competition really gained pace. Announced on the market at 730K the price pushed another 20K before the hammer came down at 751K.

Next week there are near to 1000 homes going under the hammer, and with the RBA still giving out the clouded message that interest rates are not likely to climb in the immediate future, and the media seesawing between ‘boom and bust’, expect a fairly balanced market – slightly in favour of the vendor – to start to emerge .

Please do not hesitate to call if you are contemplating a property purchase anytime soon

Catherine Cashmore & Ian James

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About the author

Ian has been operating his own businesses for more than 25 years. During this time the self taught lessons of building the business, dealing with staff, suppliers, clients and economic woes have been invaluable. Ian is a fully licensed Real estate Agent, a member of the REIV and registered with the Business Licensing Authority.

Buying property is not just sticking up your hand and outbidding your rival. It is an emotional, fiscal and psychological decision that needs to be planned and well executed. Ian is usually involved in over three hundred property negotiations per year; ranging from the $250,000 first unit purchase for a young couple to multiple million dollar residential developments. Ian's business background and endless numbers of negotiations make him one of the industry's leading negotiators.

Ian is married with two adult children, living in Patterson Lakes. He is a keen fisherman when weather and business allows the time.

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