Historic eastern star flaunts significant assets overseas

Posted on 12 Mar 2013, 3:36 p.m. in Abercromby's, General Interest, News, Selling


Pollster and serial mayoral candidate Gary Morgan is about to list his historic East Melbourne mansion in George Street, which will be aimed at international buyers.

The chairman of Roy Morgan Research has picked a new home in the area, spending $5,155,000 to get a 14-room Victorian villa on Powlett Street about a fortnight ago.

Morgan had to pay $780,000 above the reserve to take ”Claverings” at the hotly contested auction.

The two-storey Victorian he is selling was designed by famed architect Charles Webb in 1864 and is considered to be one of the best houses in East Melbourne.

The property at 193 George Street has seven bedrooms, two reception rooms, a drawing room, two studies, three kitchens, 18th-century marble fireplaces, marble floors and cedar doors. There’s also a coach house with a self-contained apartment.

Jock Langley of Abercromby’s is believed to be targeting international buyers in a sales campaign that will run until late April. Nobody associated with the property wants to talk price, but industry sources say the starting point is likely to be about $10 million.


‘I won’t sell if I don’t get the right price,” Mr Morgan tells Private Property. ”I think when people see it they will realise it’s one of Melbourne’s best homes.”

Source : Domain March 9, 2013

New Chinese laws drive investors to Australia

Posted on 11 Mar 2013, 3:42 p.m. in Abercromby's, News

Proposed restraints on real estate ownership in China could be great news for the Australian property market, according to the head of one major group.

Last week, the Chinese government announced a series of proposed restraints including stricter enforcement of capital gains tax on home sale profits and the imposition of higher deposits for the purchase of second homes.

Read more

WAN Houses of the Year Awards

Posted on 6 Mar 2013, 3:53 p.m. in Abercromby's, News


Every year World Architecture News (WAN) run a series of major international competitions to celebrate and expose the latest and most innovative design from all corners of the globe. The winner of the 2012 WAN House of the Year Award has just been announced, and with all the inspiring design we see today, there is no surprise that it was an incredibly difficult decision.


The WAN House of the Year Award celebrates the most innovative and creative solutions for single-family houses, which are all judged on their originality, innovation, sustainability, context, and most importantly their ability to fulfill the client brief.

The winning entry for the 2012 award, came from Sforza Seilern Architects, for their Gota Residence in East Africa. The home is set among the wild and harsh African landscape, perched atop a dramatic granite cliff. Inevitably, the natural beauty of the area and breathtaking views dictated and inspired all elements of the winning design. Large cantilevered roofs protrude from the dramatic granite cliff, creating a spacious and gutsy design.  Almost all materials used throughout were sourced locally on site making for an incredibly harmonious design that was responsive to the immediate surroundings. This, combined with the originality and attention to detail, were the true winning elements of the design.
Read More


Posted on 6 Mar 2013, 3:49 p.m. in Abercromby's, Market Updates

The 2013 residential market has jumped out of the blocks. Large numbers at our open for inspections and multiple bidding at our auctions. With confirmed low interest rates and the stock market increasing by 17% since November 2012, we have seen a lot of confidence from buyers and vendors meeting their expectations.
Several top end sales we have sold “off market” include:

• 21 Denbigh Road, Armadale.
• 17 Union Street, Armadale.
• 114 Vale Street, East Melbourne.
• 21 Vincent Street, Glen Iris.

We have some quality luxury and lifestyle homes on the market including:

186 Burke Road, Glen Iris.
23 Wangaratta Street, Richmond.
348 Bay Street, Port Melbourne.
20 Normanby Place, Richmond.
4 Devorgilla Avenue, Toorak.
9& 10 Lisbuoy Court, Toorak.
70 Sutherland Road, Armadale.
150 Finch Street, Glen Iris.
45 Lyndhurst Street, Richmond.
12 Davis Avenue, Kew.
• “Sunnyside” George Street, East Melbourne.

To learn more about the market or to discuss your property needs – whether it be buying,selling or renting – please feel free to contact us on 9864 5300.

Rental Market Update

Posted on 6 Mar 2013, 3:43 p.m. in Abercromby's, Market Updates, Renting

The 2013 rental market remains tight, with Abercromby’s seeing an increased demand for large family homes within Stonnington & Boroondara.

Our vacancy rate of 2.1% remains significantly lower than the average vacancy rate of 3.6% recorded for inner Melbourne during the month of January according to REIV data.

Whilst demand is strong, we are finding that tenants are becoming increasingly particular about the condition of rental properties. By maintaining your property in good condition and attending to any outstanding repairs, you are more likely to attract a quality tenant, who pays on time and treats the property like their own.

Should you or anyone you know have a home that fits the above parameters or would like more information on our property management services please contact Myles Crowhurst on 98645353 or 0433916155.


Posted on 28 Feb 2013, 4:01 p.m. in Abercromby's, Auctions


23 Wangaratta Street, Richmond is scheduled for Private Auction on Wednesday 6th March.
We thought we should give you prior notice in case you know of anybody keen to move into the surrounding area.
Should you have any queries about this property, or any other real estate matter please do not hesitate to contact:

Jock Langley  0419 530 008
Sam Goddard  0438 334 374

The new role of wallpaper

Posted on 27 Feb 2013, 4:43 p.m. in Abercromby's, General Interest

Cutting edge technology now allows walls and floors to block mobile phone and WiFi signals


This year some of the most creative household innovations won’t be in the handheld gadgetry usually associated with the smart home, but rather in adaptations to the home’s surfaces – cutting edge tech hidden in the walls, floors and countertops that usually go un­inspected.

This year’s most remarkable advancement has to do with the wallpaper roll. In partnership with La Centre Technique du Papier, the Grenoble Institute of Technology is creating wallpaper that blocks mobile phone and WiFi signals. Not only can the new paper stop your neighbours from stealing your bandwidth but, more seriously, it protects your bank details and other sensitive particulars from would-be thieves. It may also put an end to the type of passive-aggressive WiFi names noted in a recent BBC article, one of the best coming from the English West Country and imitating the area’s accent: “Get orf my LAN”.

Read More : Financial Times

Returns on property v high-end collectables

Posted on 25 Feb 2013, 4:46 p.m. in Abercromby's, News

The determination by the super-rich to spend their way out of the gloom is reflected by activity in the luxury market

A recent visit to the South Pacific provided further evidence of a truth universally acknowledged: that while mass tourism to far-flung destinations is in the doldrums – down by as much as 60 per cent in Tahiti, for example – high-end hotels at the top end of the market are riding the waves with confidence, catering for a clientèle that occupies their sun-kissed suites and villas with nary a glance at the plummeting financial barometer.   The determination by high net worth individuals (HNWIs – defined by Knight Frank as individuals with more than US$30m net assets) to spend their way pleasurably out of the encircling gloom is reflected by activity in the luxury and collectables markets. According to China’s Hurun Report, 64 per cent of China’s millionaires are engaged in amassing collections.

Read More.. The Financial Times Limited 22nd Feb 2013

Global prime: the real costs

Posted on 18 Feb 2013, 4:54 p.m. in Abercromby's, News


How much do outsiders really pay in world cities?

A 4,000 sq ft townhouse in Brooklyn   The notion that a high net worth individual can swagger into any city in the world and buy a property with few obstacles to overcome has taken a knock recently.
Singapore has hit foreigners with higher duty, while those buying top-end London homes will soon face a hefty annual charge. Similar measures are in place or under debate elsewhere as governments try to deflate market bubbles or ensure everyone – yes, even the wealthy – pays more tax to pay off budget deficits.
We have analysed eight world cities where HNWIs congregate. Using data from property consultancy Savills, based on the purchase of notional £2m pieds-à-terre, it is clear that buying processes vary widely but one common denominator exists: ownership is less straightforward and more costly now than in the recent past.   Then we deserted rigorous research and instead blended subjective views on climate, lifestyle and reputation to award star ratings to our contenders.

Foreigners may buy only one home for personal use, so long as they have an employment contract or past tax record. One further property may be bought for investment.
A buyer pays a deposit of up to £52,000 for a home above £1.02m; after 15 days, 30 per cent of the agreed price is paid and a sale and purchase agreement signed. The buyer may then seek a mortgage from a Chinese bank but agents say most international deals are in cash. The purchase must be agreed by the Shanghai Real Estate Transaction Center. Buyers pay up to £60,000 stamp duty but have no ongoing ownership taxes.   “The Chinese growth story has helped push up prime residential prices 10.8 per cent in 2012 and 42 per cent over five years. This is despite government policies to cool the market,” says Nicholas Holt of Knight Frank.

Residential prices are sky high and so are transaction costs. Legal fees on a £2m apartment would be £3,255 and the purchaser’s share of estate agency fees £20,000. Another big cost is 15 per cent stamp duty on foreign purchases – £300,000 on a £2m property.
Different taxes apply if properties are bought and sold rapidly: this can push stamp duty to 20 per cent. An annual tax is levied, calculated as 8 per cent of notional rental value, whether or not the property is occupied; for a £2m home this is £2,500.   The Index of Economic Freedom league table based on 10 free enterprise criteria puts Hong Kong at the top but the housing market has been hard to tame.   “Low interest rates, limited supply and abundant liquidity create perfect conditions for a bubble. It’s hoped buyers’ stamp duty will curtail rapid rises. Sought-after areas include the Peak and Southside on Hong Kong Island, parts of Kowloon and the New Territories,” says Savills’ Simon Smith.

Outsiders buy without restriction only on Sentosa Island but require consent, considered case-by-case, anywhere on mainland Singapore. Since December foreigners permitted to buy must pay an extra 10 per cent duty in addition to the sliding-scale purchase levy.
This means buying a £2m property incurs £359,000 in duty plus £1,900 in legal fees. If it’s sold within a year there is an extra 16 per cent seller’s stamp duty. The annual occupancy charge – whether you occupy the place or not – is £5,140.
Singapore has avoided recession, despite weak manufacturing performance. “Prices are expected to remain firm despite cooling measures [thanks to] high liquidity and savings, a low-interest environment, strong balance sheet of developers and a very stable social and investment climate,” says Darren Wang of Cushman & Wakefield real estate consultancy.

Overseas buyers wanting an existing home must win hard-fought consent from the Foreign Investment Review Board. But they can buy brand new homes with relatively few restrictions, or buy vacant land or an established property to demolish and replace with a new one subject to planning consent.
Stamp duty on a £2m home would be £110,000 and another £7,000 covers administrative, legal and survey fees. There are no ongoing occupancy taxes.   “Toorak, Hawthorn and Camberwell [affluent suburbs] are popular with foreigners. We’re seeing commercial sites demolished to make way for residential towers sold offshore, principally to Malaysian, Singaporean and Chinese,” says Clinton Baxter of Savills.


Source and read more : Financial Times

Nature’s valentines

Posted on 13 Feb 2013, 5:02 p.m. in Abercromby's, News

Young artists and poets are now linking messages, love and nature in ways which romantic gardeners need to exploit

What should garden-lovers send to other lovers on Valentine’s Day next week? The day’s history and amorous origins are entwined in the natural world. It is poor form to send a bunch of unseasonal roses flown in from Kenya or an unecological bowl of hothouse orchids. Young artists and poets are now linking messages, love and nature in ways which romantic gardeners need to exploit. It is no longer good enough to send that attractive analyst on the other side of the office an anonymous box of heart-shaped chocolates.

For the day’s natural origins, read our great poets. Chaucer is the first Englishman to celebrate Valentine’s Day in verse. His superb dream-poem, “The Parliament of Fowls”, presents our feathered friends, the birds, debating their choice of mates on Valentine’s Day, the day when they pair off and have sex. Nowadays, we humans are out with the birds, imitating their Valentine initiative.

Source and read more : Financial Times


Posted on 23 Jan 2013, 5:26 p.m. in Abercromby's, Market Updates


The residential property market finished 2012 in a positive mood.
Several top end sales of $10 million plus were made (Abercromby’s included) and this contributed to a filtering effect through the market place.

We feel the momentum gained in the last quarter of 2012 should continue for the first quarter of 2013.We have already listed some quality homes to offer for auction in the first quarter, so keep an eye on our website.

As 2013 is a Federal election year, historically markets go into a major slow down six weeks before the election date. So if you are considering selling, the first quarter should be a good one.

To learn more about the market or to discuss your property needs – whether it be buying or selling please feel free to contact us on 98645300.

Our New Look

Posted on 23 Jan 2013, 5:23 p.m. in Abercromby's, News


We’ve been busy over the holidays refreshing the Abercromby’s brand. We’ve kept the things that people have always loved – the colours, the simplicity and our personal, distinctive view on exclusive property marketing – and will be introducing the brand to the market in the coming weeks. You’ll still be able to recognise us – we’ve simply evolved to reflect the sophistication and success of our growing business.

The rebrand stays true to what we’ve always promised our clients – that Abercromby’s is a distinctive Luxury & Lifestyle brand for discerning people, who don’t want their property to be ‘just another listing’ or marketed like everybody else. The brand will help your property get recognised and remembered for all the right reasons, and communicate in a manner that’s professional, personal and beyond expectation to vendors and buyers alike.

So over the coming weeks, keep your eye out as we launch our new look.


Posted on 18 Oct 2012, 5:44 p.m. in Abercromby's, News


The 2012 REIV Awards for Excellence recognise and reward those Members of the Institute who promote excellence in service and ethics and who achieve outstanding results.

The annual gala event at Crown Palladium always attracts a capacity crowd and is the generally acknowledged as the premier event of the real estate calendar.

The awards are judged by an independent panel from entries submitted by the REIV’s 7,000 Members.

Abercromby’s have been nominated as finalists in the Residential Marketing Award (budget over $10k).  Winners will be announced on Thursday 18 October 2012

Source and read more : REIV

The Top End has definately picked up a little right now (in activity – not price)

Posted on 26 Mar 2012, 5:47 p.m. in Market Updates, Selling

$3-Million-Plus Market
The Top End has definitely picked up a little right now (in activity – not price)


The New Way to do Business at the Top End – An Abercrombys Private Auction – 11 Bates St Malvern East selling over $6 million – Jeff Gole and Tim Derham

Thursday 22nd March: The Abercromby Private Auction – possibly the new Expressions of Interest. Private Auctions are where a home is advertised usually for a mid week auction and only those who register interest are allowed to attend.

11 Bates St Malvern East was a great example of how it works. A number of pre arranged private inspections during the course of an advertised auction campaign. A few days before today (Thursday) all potential buyers register interest and are required to indicate a starting bid – in today’s case $5.9 million was the written starting bid (I’m not sure what that proves, but anyway).

They are by invitation only (and some people I watched being turned away at the door, so its true) and today at 11 Bates three parties turned up. Two did – well I think two did – the spiel was given by Tim Derham and he read out there were two pre recorded bids. One bidder asked to see them and she was duly shown the written bids – what surprised me was she accepted them without asking Tim to point out who that actual written bid was from, but we move on. Anyway this feisty lady tried all manner to lower the bids (and good on her) until a $50,000 bid was accepted after Tim had cheekily asked for a $200,000 rise (well he tried hey!) and it was eventually passed into the lady – a deal was done behind closed doors over the magic $6 million mark post auction. Surprisingly despite the written bid, no-one else bid, eg the writer of the bid – mmmm!

Digressing slightly this was in our opinion about the right money for this very rare and truly great home as we figured $3m for the land and $3m for the home and the rest was going to be emotion. Read our James Home Rating if you wish.

But back to the Private Auction – not only is it a civil way to conduct proceedings at the Top End but it also probably circumvents the new cooling off period laws because it is indeed an advertised public auction (well I think it does – if its by invitation only does that make it a public auction – one for the legal boys).

This is the third of its type we’ve been to over $3m in recent times and all have worked (for the seller). As a buyer the normal rules apply at auction – do your homework on value, have representation at auction to protect your privacy and manage the bidding or lack of; and of course have a suitable post auction strategy to prevent the irresistible force of “Slapper” in full voice running you up the flag pole above fair and reasonable.

The more we see the Abercromby guys in action, the more impressed we are with how they do business at the Top End. Yes Tim Derham can hit you between the eyes when you least expect it and Jock can chew your ear off on why a home is worth such and such without necessarily dropping a fact into the conversation (he gets some very big deals over the line); but when you look at their line up which includes Rob Vickers Willis and Andrew Harlock this Top End boutique agency is truly the hired gunslingers (with some morality) who are knocking the Top End around a bit right now. No we don’t get anything from them, but we at James like the way they are doing business right now with the Private Auctions (its innovative and its working) – has a relative degree of transparency about it (although please you need the pre auction preparation and post auction pass-in skills if you are to give as good as you get – they are working for the vendor not you the buyer) and they are actually pleasant guys (not working for you but pleasant). Jeff Gole is a solid, ethical and experienced addition to the Abercromby family. Liking your work right now boys.


35 Stonnington Off Market – Over $6m
Off Market: 35 Stonnington Place Toorak also Jeff Gole and Tim Derham (they’ve had a good week these old blokes). Went through this off market home about a month ago. Pretty well the Toorak new build formula – big, thoughts of pretension, all the features but lacked a little soul when you lined it up against the calibre of  11 Bates St above. Was around the $6m mark the right money? I feel so and that represents a 25% rise on its last buy price during the GFC. Yes we may be in a market that may fall some more but we also may be in a market that has corrected and will begin to rise again. If you know for sure where we are in the cycle can you let us know please – us agents out here are waiting for that sign from God!

SOURED FROM Mal James – Principal Buyer Advocate, 23rd March 2012  http://marketnews.com.au/2012/03/early-march-is-showing-some-initial-signs-of-life/

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