$1M Comparison

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$1M Comparison

Last year (2017) we spent a Saturday in July visiting properties in Mount Eliza marketed around $1,000,000 to see what’s on offer in the various sub sections of this beachside suburb.

There was only a few that had been on the market for 4 weeks or more and were yet to sell.  Spread between the village, Woodlands Estate and the area on the Moorooduc side overlooking the Moorooduc plains provided a good sample size, point of difference, land size, building style and construction variations. 1 was scheduled for auction and the other 2 for private sale.


First stop the auction of 210 Mount Eliza Way. Set on the corner of Mount Eliza Way and Redbourne Avenue; the home marketed by Harcourts Real Estate sits on a good-sized allotment 1110sqm with established gardens, walking distance to the village, Peninsula school, Mount Eliza Primary and Mount Eliza Secondary College. The dwelling needs work, not just cosmetic, the floorplan is all over the shop, the external decking is falling apart and kitchen and bathrooms need a major overhaul. Land value is estimated at around $850,000 the house is still standing and liveable in the short term. Covenants apply 1 dwelling only; new owners are left with a limited choice. Gut and renovate, expensive and the low ceiling at the staircase leading to the ground floor rumpus and bedroom is problematic. You’d need the skills to do most of the work yourself and budget for the necessary trades. Interruption, mess, money and time. Option 2; demolish and build a new home. If you have the means this would be the better option. The sell is the location, a slightly larger block in Wimbourne Avenue, comparable dwelling, better location, no covenant; easier block for a rebuild and possible multiple dwellings sold for $1. 3M; probably not a true comparison but does shed some light.

Passed in at Auction on a vendor bid of $860,000. The property is still on the market.

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Next Stop
17 Millbank Drive Mount Eliza

If you’re new to the area, Millbank Drive is in the Woodlands Estate; a highly sort after pocket of Mount Eliza, large blocks, substantial homes on the Moorooduc side of Nepean Highway.  Treed; visually stimulating during all seasons, birdlife, walking tracks and has a relaxed chill about it. It’s unusual to find property around $1M here and Millbank Drive is a lovely link arterial between Walkers and Bellbird Roads.  This home had been on the market for 4 weeks, speaking with Kristy Taylor from Taylor & Co Reality, the selling agent; there had been some interest however at the time a deal had not been done. The home rates a 6/10; without the self-contained accommodation from the converted front garage it would rate a little lower.  There are nice features but the 3 children’s bedrooms are small and would only suit very young kids. The master bedroom is passable and the WIR and Ensuite work well.  The living spaces are pleasant and have aspects to the deck overlooking the rest of the allotment. The home holds an elevated position  which runs down to the creek at the rear of the property.  It’s the blocks that makes the Woodlands such a unique area to live in; and the block is outstanding. It has options for improvement such as a pool and carving out a garden wonderland; which many home owners in this area do.  It becomes a labour of love and well worth it in the long run.  The vistas from the back deck down to the creek have the potential to be something stunning.  Money and imagination are required.  A second story extension, opening the kitchen and living spaces and moving the bedrooms upstairs in a more successful configuration would do wonders.  Time, skill and creativity in the garden and you’d have yourself a prized home. You need to factor in purchase price, stamp duty, cost of an extension, time in the garden and other related costs. Marketed between $995,000 – $1090000, land value sits at approximately $600K – $620K in mid 2017. The issue for many is over capitalisation.  An upstairs extension of quality can be north of $30,000 a square plus bathrooms $20,000 apiece.  8 squares of addition living plus bathrooms and you’re getting past $300,000.  Add a pool and gardens and its no longer entry level. The home is adequate but in time serious money will need to be spent. Withdrawn from market. 

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House Three:
30 – 32 Eumeralla Grove Mount Eliza

Located on the downside of the Mount, overlooking the Moorooduc plains.  This chalet styled home is a popular design in the area with the storybook peaked roof and picture windows. Most are built with weatherboard exteriors, however this one has been constructed using western red cedar which does enhance the characteristics and uniqueness.  The views are underrated and the block sizes are bigger than your average suburban holding.  The slope demands the location of the home to be spot on; elevated, good rain run-off, as it does rain in Mount Eliza, boy does it rain; and an opportunity to maximise the views; this home ticks those boxes. Access to public transport, schools and the village is not as comfortable as other parts of Mount Eliza, but you do have a short trip to the Moorooduc highway linking with Eastlink and your off and running to the city or the opposite direction toward Portsea. This home is surprisingly spacious and the tri level design gives more room and space than anticipated.  3 bedrooms, widely spaced and private and your own little piece of freedom is well secured.  The home needs little to no work, perhaps a kitchen reshuffle but not totally necessary.  There’s ample creature comforts and the views are outstanding.  A family of 4 would be very comfortable and accommodates kids at any life stage. We always look for scope for enhancement and the large sloping block is a blank canvas.  Border trees, inground pool, alfresco bbq areas, outdoor fire pits, landscaped rear gardens are all possible inclusions for a new owner.  The garage is a beauty and can multi-purpose if needed.  Based on land and building cost we valued the home between $958,000 – $980,000; the marketed price $920,000 – $970,000 is an accurate appraisal.  The building material and design won’t suit everyone, but it will suit those who appreciate this architectural styling and falls in love with the cosy and inviting feel.  It is not for me but I can see the value. SOLD 17 AUGUST 2017 $957,000

What did we learn on this Saturday outing.

Has the market peaked?

Is Mount Eliza on the nose?

Why aren’t these properties selling?

Qualified data indicates the market is still sound. Stock levels are lower and money, although cheap is getting harder to borrow.

It’s an unpredictable caper and one is always wary of forecasting. You can only go with the knowledge and tools at your disposal. How this translates to Mount Eliza is an interesting question. Taking a broad brush to the conversation, those moving to Mount Eliza are overwhelmed by the size of the dwellings and typography of the  land in the Woodlands and Moorooduc highway side. At $1M the sloping blocks and condition of the dwellings poses work and additional money.  The properties we’ve listed are not overly attractive to new comers due to either location or the work and money that needs to be invested. Higher priced properties that have the village locale and less maintenance hold greater attraction.

 When I was a 30 something with young children $1.5Million was out of the question. Interest rates hovered around 7.5% – 8% and we’d come out of an interest rate cycle of 17% making it near on impossible to build home equity. The 30-40 year old generation looking to put down roots are far more debt confident and don’t baulk at having massive home loans. North of $1.2 – $1.3M is not such a scary options for these guys. The idea of being a weekend warrior is not fighting against a 2/3acre of garden or knocking down a wall, but where to go for drinks and dinner. They don’t embrace the bigger blocks and home maintenance the same way my generation did. It doesn’t mean their lazy it’s just a different set of experiences. For those of us 10 years older with the kids nearly off our hands; we too don’t want to be bogged down in the work required for these properties; we’d rather join the younger ones at the bar or restaurant than the ride on mower and hours of toiling. These factors contract the prospective market in Mount Eliza for these styles of properties and its not hugely surprising that they’re not flying off the agents books.

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