The Sotheby’s International managing director, Michael Pallier, has some encouraging news for homeowners considering listing this spring: “I’ve never seen the eastern suburbs property market stronger than it is now,” he said.
Despite COVID-19, he says there are plenty of people cashed up because of their gains on the stockmarket.
“People have made a lot of money on the stockmarket since March from tech stocks,” Pallier said.
A case in point was his sale, with colleague Barry Goldman, of the home of late Gertie Meyerson, wife of the late property developer Hymie Meyerson, at 19 Wallangra Road, Dover Heights, which sold for $5.65m on Saturday.
The agents had been guiding $5m for the five-bedroom home with iconic views. The best offer at auction with different agents in May had been $4.8m.
But on Saturday, the Sothebys duo had seven registered with five competing. With auctioneer Stuart Davies presiding, the opening offer was $4.5m. It was called onto the market at $5.5m.
The buyers were a Chinese family making their first purchase in Australia. They’d arrived in the country at the start of the year. The underbidders were a local family.
Pallier had the highest auction result of the week last week when the 31 Olola Ave, Vaucluse home of the late music industry entrepreneur Pete Lusty sold for $7.2m, $200k over reserve.
And he’s anticipating a strong result for the 42 Vaucluse Road, Vaucluse, home of the late billionaire Akihiko Terada, who was chairman of the Japanese healthcare services company Nichiigakkan, up for auction on September 26. “It must be sold,” Pallier said.
Pallier had other examples of properties that he sold last year selling for more this year, such as used car salesman Tony Denny’s penthouse at 13/8 Wentworth St, Point Piper selling for $6.7m this June — he’d bought it for $6.1m last June.
And a small block of land at 40 Bulkara Road, Bellevue Hill selling for $2.95m off-market — it had sold for $2.7m last May.
He said he was seeing strength at all levels of the market — “at the top and middle, all of it really, it’s all generally good.”
LJ Hooker Double Bay principal Bill Malouf said he expected property prices to stay at current levels.
“Stock levels are still very low,” he said.
“I think the market will hold up … I don’t think we’re going to get flooded by stock.
“There are a few private deals, but we’re not being bowled over in the rush to list.”
He said listings are down between 5 and 7 per cent on two years ago.
“There are a few private offerings, but the price expectations on some of those are too high and they’re not going to be crystallised … that’s why they’re not publicly out there.”
Other agents, such as the Raine and Horne Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay principal Jane Schumann — who sold the most expensive home in the east at auction last week at 146 Paddington Street, Paddington for $5.9m — agree that the premium property market is strong.
“I think the upper end is doing well, with perhaps a bit more nurturing needed at the lower end, but there’s a nice energy out there,” she said.