Melbourne's weekend $1 million plus market steadies as upgrader buyers await a plentiful spring

Melbourne vendors notched up a clearance rate of 76% compared to 72% last weekend and 56% on the same weekend last year.

Houses outperformed apartments with a 78% success rate for houses - at an $795,000 median - compared with the 71% clearance rate for units that had a $542,500 median price.

The Jellis Craig eastern suburbs group recorded its best auction results in several years selling 38 from 42 properties, noting pent-up demand and buyer confidence.

Their sales included the weekend's top seller, the 1887 John Beswicke-designed mansion, Langi (pictured below).

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The Italianate Victorian mansion had been extensively renovated and restored by the vendors, former SANFL premiership player Rob Tardif and his wife, Julie Russell, who have retired from senior management positions at Origin Energy.

Property Observer recalls it sold for $805,000 in 1997. The grand home was as a girls' music school in the late 1800s, and later used as a base for the Australian Army during the Second World War.

The TOP 5 HOUSE SALES
1. 3 Fermanagh Road, Camberwell $4,700,000 post-auction
2. 3 Monash Avenue, Balwyn $3,160,000
3. 9 Lindsay Street, Brighton $2,725,000
4. 66 Wilson Street, Yarraville $2,616,000
5. 13 Bethune Street, Hawthorn East $2,560,000

The TOP 5 APARTMENT SALES
1. 701/3-7 Alma Road, St Kilda $1,410,000
2. 62 Hunter Street, Richmond $1,296,000
3. 306/65 Beach Street, Port Melbourne $1,210,000
4. 401/88 Beach Street, Port Melbourne $1,100,000
5. 4/3 St Georges Road, Toorak $1,080,000

The 5 CHEAPEST HOUSES
1. 52 Riggall Street, Broadmeadows $266,000
2. 7 Howitt Crescent, Sunshine West $310,000
3. 1 Begg Avenue, Truganina $327,500
4. 14 Getaway Drive, Doreen $342,500
5. 120 Community Hub, Hillside $360,000

The 5 CHEAPEST APARTMENTS
1. 8/20 Strathearn Avenue, Murrumbeena $244,500
2. 14/171 Kent Street, Ascot Vale $250,000
3. 5/50 Carlisle Street, St Kilda $254,000
4. 7/21 Cohuna Street, Brunswick West $260,000
5. 1/37 Nepean Highway, Elsternwick $268,000

Source: REIV 

Dr Andrew Wilson, senior economist at Fairfax-owned Australian Property Monitors, said the Melbourne market was in a ''catch-up scenario rather than moving ahead''.

He said Melbourne's top-end market was about 10% its previous price peaks.

''If the top of the market is further behind its previous peaks than the middle market, it makes sense to upgrade,'' he told Fairfax Media.

The $1 million plus house market had possibly stopped its very strong march northwards, according to Melbourne buyers agent, Mal James.

His buyers agency James Buyer Advocates sensed bidder numbers at $1 million plus auctions in inner Melbourne and the bayside suburbs took a bit of a dip on the weekend.

They noted the average number of bidders per auction sat at 1.7, down from more than two typically seen since June.

"

We don't think it's so much because buyers are nervous, but because they have twigged that vendors are holding back their listings until after the election," buyers agent Mal James saud.

"They're saying 'I'll take my chances to wait and see what stock shows up in late September and early October'.

"

Right now it is proving a little hard to work through exactly where individual properties are going to end up.

He suggested the fever pitch activity of June and before had waned.

"However there is nothing consistent," he said.

James pinpointed the sale of 49 Holyrood Street, Hampton, a family home on a 920 square metre block of land, as a strong price with six bidders taking the price to $1,795,000.

"B

ut there have also been some surprise disappointments, such as the pass in result for 155  Clarke Street Northcote, a picture postcard Victorian home with a great city view on Ruckers Hill  that was passed in following the sole vendor bid of $1,850,000."

'The market has very much turned into a steady-as-she-goes one.

"We think that for now prices have stopped the very strong march northwards we were seeing just two months ago.

"Not that there has been a big shift in the market, but the market has moved from dynamic to steady.

"

Given that three out of the next four weeks will have less than 100 $1 million plus auctions in Bayside and Inner East, it really won’t be until the end of September before we will be able to say with certainty whether this year’s Spring market is noticeably different from what was a very strong Melbourne Autumn market," he said.

There were 548 auctions reported to the REIV this weekend, with 414 selling and 134 being passed in, 71 of those on a vendor bid.

Next weekend the REIV expects around 620 auctions.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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