Opportunities await in Melbourne as buyer’s market stretches into 2019 auction year

Opportunities await in Melbourne as buyer’s market stretches into 2019 auction year

The next three months should be go-time for Melbourne househunters, with a buyer’s market persisting into 2019 and landmark changes looming with the upcoming federal election.

Hocking Stuart, Blairgowrie, director Craig Evans said savvy buyers proved this at the auction of 17-19 Ocean Rd, Blairgowrie, on the weekend, making the most of favourable conditions to buy the rare offering for $975,000, within its quoted $895,000-$980,000 range.

The 1223sq m property featuring an “incredibly original” 1950s fibro shack, and within walking distance of Blairgowrie’s beach and village, sold shortly after passing in with no bids.


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The buyers planned to keep its long-term tenant in for about five years before building a beach house on the site.

“They’ve been looking for 12 months and saw now as a good time to buy, given the market has softened,” Mr Evans said.

“They were also concerned they wouldn’t be able to negatively gear it after the federal election (with Labor tipped to win and restrict negative gearing).”

Mr Evans said the property was “close to everything Blairgowrie has to offer” and boasted views that “can’t be built out”.

CoreLogic records show it last changed hands for $555,000 in late-2009, marking a solid windfall for its seller.

Mr Evans said his agency only ran the one auction on the Australia Day long weekend, which was typically a bumper period for coastal sales.

“The dynamic of the marketplace has changed a lot,” he said.

“There will be some good opportunities for buyers over the next three months.”

Wakelin Property Advisory director Jarrod McCabe said Australia Day auction action typically centred on the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas, and offered “a clue about how the metropolitan market will fare in coming weeks”.

The fact greater Melbourne’s preliminary clearance rate for last week — 52 per cent from 27 reported results, according to CoreLogic — was down significantly from the 78 per cent recorded on the corresponding week last year signalled low confidence in the market.

Just 65 Australia Day auctions were scheduled compared to 105 last year.

Barry Plant’s Rosebud office bucked the trend to report an 80 per cent clearance rate from five auctions, with a 1000sq m vacant beachfront block in Safety Beach attracting four bidders to sell on reserve for $1.65 million.

Director Craig Leo said a Melbourne developer won the keys to 162 Marine Drive and planned to fulfil the plans and permits for four architect-designed townhouses offered with it.

Mr Leo said the location, providing“front row seats” to the bay, and the fact council guidelines had since changed to prevent four residences being built on blocks like this one had been major drawcards.

Barry Plant also sold a pair of three-bedroom Rosebud houses — one on 609sq m at 32 Spray St for $575,000, and another “tiny” renovated one on 380sq m at 82 Second Ave for $580,000.

Mr Leo dubbed the latter a “ripper result”, with five parties bidding.

The four sales were all close to or on reserve, showing vendors were “adjusting to changed market conditions” and being realistic about sale prices, he said.


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