Market Comment – Monday 22nd November 2010

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According to the REIV we are at the start of the busiest 4 week period in Melbourne Residential auction history. Whilst there were over 1000 auctions gazetted for the weekend, as is becoming normal, many were not reported. 893 auctions were reported and we saw an average result of 59%. As an overall clearance rate for the week, this estimate will be close but probably revised down possibly 1 or 2 percentage points. Total sales were also fairly low at only 1047 reported for the week.

There are another three weeks of auctions meant to be in excess of 1000. Add this to the usual private sales for the week and we should see total sales of around 1400 per week. I would hazard a guess it may end up being closer to 1200 per week. It is definitely a buyers’ market at the moment.

However, good property still sells very well. The auction of a 3 level warehouse apartment located in Ascot Vale and was quoted at $550,000 – $595,000. Warehouse apartments have become hugely popular, and seem to sell well in all types of markets. This property in particular had a great floor plan and had some ‘wow’ factor about it. The auction was opened on a genuine bid of $500,000 and announce on the market at $605,000. There were five bidders in total, which for this market is strong competition. The comparables were showing that the property was worth low $600,000’s, the property sold at $656,000.

I notice the media are still talking about low quotes. One of the reporters even saying “if you want a fair idea of what the house you want to buy at auction is worth, add up to 15% on the advertised price and you might be somewhere near the final result”. That is absolutely ridiculous. You could end up paying 20% more than a property is worth. They still have not got it yet! The media and even government departments like Consumer Affairs still want to have a say in how a property is priced. For some reason they just don’t get it. The vendors’ agent is contractually obligated to assist only the vendor. No legislation will ever stand up to scrutiny that weakens the position of the party who is paying for assistance over the party that is not.

Furthermore the media are not really looking at one of the more important changes to legislation. Section 55 of the Estate Agents Act is being changed. The rules previously required a Real Estate agent, his relatives, or employees, to undergo a full independent assessment by the director of CAV with supporting documentation involving a written valuation by an independent Valuer if they wanted to purchase any piece of real estate their agency’s selling. The process is long winded and penalties for breach are serious.

Now the safeguards that were in place have been hand balled to the vendors solicitor or conveyancer. Most people in this profession would have absolutely no idea of what is a fair price or not. I wonder if these professions even have professional indemnity insurance to appraise the value of a home. It is bizarre that the Minister for Consumer Affairs is more worried about cutting down on paperwork than safeguarding vulnerable consumers.

Next weekend we have the State Election. Whilst the outcome may change a few things, the uncertainty may play heavily on the market. If we have anything close to a hung parliament like our Federal politicians are currently enduring then we are in for some interesting times between now and Christmas.

If you are considering a property purchase in the next 6 months please give our office a call for a no obligation chat.

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.