oc | Tuesday 7th December

G’day 2016! The Peninsula, Melbourne OFI’s and James has started more positively than the newspaper headlines.

OFI Numbers: 5 minute wait to get into 16 Wellington Street Brighton .

OFI Numbers: Five minute wait to get into 16 Wellington Street, (Ian Jackson). An interesting home – James Home Rating completed.

Welcome back to James Buyers Agents and Advocates 2016. We have started James Market News a little earlier than planned because we are experiencing solid market interest right here and now in January.


We have already been involved in substantial buys and sells this year (2016) and currently have seven homes in negotiation; with a number of other clients actively looking. This is significant considering the finish to 2015 – meaning a number of our buying clients exited the market by taking up the opportunities presented in 2015 and more have already come on.


Some buyers would not have expected a strong start in 2016 from what they felt and read in the media towards the end of last year. And this year the news has also been generally negative according to the headlines (I’m glad there are people who know for sure – because I don’t). Now of course they maybe right! Yes, there is very real chance the market may ease further, but there are factors that indicate it could just as easily do the opposite.

We will all get an initial indication of what the market is doing after the weekends of the 20th and the 27th of February as these traditionally have solid a number of auctions. However we feel we will not really know for sure until May of any market up or downturn as;

·      February almost always has a real pep in its step, as the more mentally prepared/desperate buyers and sellers transact more readily, after the six week Christmas break has given them too much time to think – meaning a possible false dawn AND

·      An early Easter in 2016 will disrupt further information flow on the overall direction of the Inner Melbourne market in March and April

23 Faversham Canterbury - solid OFI numbers

23 Faversham Canterbury (Desiree Wakim) – solid OFI numbers


Gina and I were interviewing agents to sell one of our buying client’s homes in Stonnington this week and two of the three agents commented that their Portsea/Sorrento branches had seen significant activity over the Christmas holiday period. Both their opinions were that this was a positive guide to where the $3m+ market may go early 2016. Different isn’t it, from where the stock market boys and girls are saying property may go?

The stock market and other internal Australian economic interests may start to affect the property market – but whether it’s down or up (yes when stocks go down, property can go up with the flight to quality bricks and mortar) we will have to wait and see – probably early May.


Nobody’s predictions are guaranteed – that’s why we don’t make shorter term overall market calls – look at what happened last year – WOW.

The market had an incredible year in 2015. Overall, it would be fair to say that Inner Melbourne climbed by 15% – 20% for good quality family homes. Domain reported 14% across Melbourne – seems about right. That is on top of significant price gains in 2014 and 2013 in some parts of Inner Melbourne.


Last week Domain also reported far bigger increases in than Inner East – we concur and felt it was only a matter of time. We refer to our articles on land prices – March 21st 2015.

Click here to read our March 21st 2015 Market News article stating we felt Brighton and surrounds was undervalued.

Maybe you can predict the future - read our Bayside pricing article of March last year - click here

Maybe you can predict the future – read our Bayside pricing article of March last year – click here


Yes, absolutely it may be. The market showed some signs of easing towards the end of last year (2015); but most years in late spring the market shows similar signs, due to massive stock levels. Having said that, there was no question that the market’s appetite in November 2015 was not as voracious as it was in May 2015.

When we say “easing” – we mean the rise of prices eased – we did not see an across the board significant drop in prices in Inner Melbourne.


The easing of late 2015, in our opinion, was mainly due to an easing of Chinese interest in the Inner East areas and that easing seemed mainly to relate to internal China issues and the more public shaming of FIRB cheats in Australia. That was late 2015. Will 2016 see more or less easing from the incredible Chinese buying frenzy of early 2015?


Nobody knows for sure where the market will go in the short term (1-5 years).

All I think I know, which was reconfirmed after my Christmas holidays in Patagonia and India, is that Melbourne’s long term market has very strong fundamentals from local and overseas buyers and will probably continue to do so for decades, centuries to come.

Beijing is important, but have a look at Mumbai (wow, what a place). More importantly, have a look at a rising India – no, not the cricket team – the rising population and wealth.

Australia is more than double the geographical size of India in sq km terms (7.7 million sq km v 3.3 million sq km) and yet our population is 1/50 that of India (24 million v 1.25 billion).

We have an International open door policy to buying land and homes in Melbourne. Mumbai has a severe lack of housing, infrastructure ……..

I read this in the Times of India. Lakh is a hundred thousand.

The city (Mumbai) requires 2.1 million houses with an annual demand for about 2 lakh homes. However, private developers who control Mumbai’s real estate (mainly because the government has abdicated its responsibility as far as housing is concerned) provide barely 25,000 houses every year.

I also read this in the Times of India but it could have been the New York Times, London Times, Herald Sun or The Age:

This does not meet the demand, and hence land prices continue to increase in Mumbai. 

After your next Open for Inspections when you are having a coffee at Brown Cow in Hampton or Porgie and Mr Jones in or the Coin Laundry in , look around. If you can see 20 people in the café and if circumstances were the same and this was India; then you would be seeing over a thousand people sipping lattes in the same space. One thousand and that’s just India.

This is the only thing I know for sure – longer term Melbourne land prices. If Beijing hiccups, then in time Mumbai or Rio or Jakarta will take up the slack. The policy of Australian governments is grow, grow, grow. Not saying it’s right, just stating the policy.

As long as that remains the policy and Melbourne remains attractive to the world, then longer term Melbourne land prices will increase. We really are one of the best cities in the world (I went to Japan, Peru, Argentina, Chile, New York, Tanzania and Vietnam in 2015) and overseas people (demand) really, really want to come and live here.

Sorry, back to Melbourne OFI’s. What is happening?

Went to twenty one homes this last week in Inner East, Stonnington and Bayside for James Home Ratings and thank you and hello to the buyers that came up to me – it’s good to be back.

13 Stanley, Kew; 4 Barina, Glen Iris; 5 Lyndhurst, Hawthorn; 4 Downton, Kew; 11 Sir Garnet, Surrey Hills; 14 Locksley, Kew; 13 Yarra, Hawthorn; 32 Alexandra, Canterbury; 2 Alexandra, Canterbury;  15 Suffolk, Surrey Hills; 23 Faversham, Canterbury; 2a Harcourt, Hawthorn East; 78 Sackville, Kew; 25 Alfred, Kew; 99 Illawarra, Hawthorn; 4 Munro, ; 16 Wellington, Brighton; 30-32 Hanby, Brighton; 5 Manor, Brighton; 11 Plantation, Brighton East; 2 Myrtle, Brighton.

The numbers at the opens seemed solid; as well the agents I spoke to reported good OFI numbers across the board last week (on good homes – the possible A-graders).

The market seems to have started with some traditional positivity – although it doesn’t feel as strong as this time last year – but it’s early days.

2016 is going to be an interesting year.


Finishing on a company note, we have had the question, why the slight change in the name to James Buyers Agents and Advocates?

We are trying to reflect the now total buying, selling and property management solutions we provided in 2015 and will continue to do so in 2016 for our clients.

Yes, our overall focus is and remains;

BUYING SERVICES, but for our buying clients we now provide FULL;

1.     Selling Agent Selection Services

2.     Property Services

3.     Property Management Services

4.     Develop/Renovate Architect Advisory Services.

As well, three new James Co-workers:

We also welcome three new advocates to the fold – two are qualified valuers, both with over a decade of industry experience and we look forward to providing greater support to our Inner Melbourne clients.

Also these guys (and girl) will be rolling out their articles, so you (our 10,000 plus subscribers) have an even wider James analysis and opinion.

James Buyers Agents and Advocates is well and truly open for business in 2016.  If you need any form of property advice, buying, selling or management, then ring us for an appointment on 9804 3133.

























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