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An inner-city bargain? Four houses for sale in the same street

An inner-city bargain? Four houses for sale in the same street

Collingwood is always an in-demand suburb but when four properties in one street are on the market at the same time, prospective buyers will inevitably ask why.

That’s the situation in Bendigo Street. The state government has listed four homes purchased by the previous government for the proposed East West Link, which has now been cancelled.

The properties were compulsorily acquired from owners who didn’t necessarily want to sell and neighbours had to tolerate squatters and people staging protests. Since then, the Labor government has removed the planning overlay that allowed them to be acquired.

All four properties were up for auction between April and July 2018 and all passed in. Currently, each has a rental tenant.

They have reasonable price guides – Number 8 Bendigo Street, for example, is a renovated two-bedroom home with an asking price of $935,000.

It seems like a steal compared to another single-fronted, renovated two-bedroom home in the suburb, which is up for auction with a price guide of $1 million to $1.1 million.

8 Bendigo Street, Collingwood: $935,000

8 Bendigo Street, Collingwood: $935,000

Government-held properties are assessed by the valuer-general and all valuations are valid for a period of three months. “Valuations for these properties will be reviewed ahead of auctions and final sales prices will reflect the market,” a government spokesperson said.

According to buyers’ advocate Kate Vines, prospective buyers can usually treat the purchase of a government property just like any other purchase.

However, in this case, those considering making an offer or bidding at auction can be confident the agent is not under-quoting, because the government must adhere to valuation requirements.

“If they’re acquiring land, they’re not allowed to pay more than the valuation and if they’re selling government land, they can’t sell it for less than the valuation,” she said.

Does a competitive price mean a potential bargain? “An asking price doesn’t mean a selling price,” Ms Vines pointed out, and said all it would take would be a few interested parties to push the final sale price up.

Although the planning overlay has been lifted, Ms Vines said prospective buyers might still have concerns that they would lose these homes if the government changed hands. “Because it’s been acquired once, people think it might be acquired again,” she said.

Collins Simms agent Hamish Lindsay says buyers are aware of the history of these residences. He has been upfront with interested parties who’ve queried the number of listings in the street and argues that even if the opposition did return to power and resume the project, “the East West Link would start further down the freeway”.

“They were valued prior to the shift in the market,” Mr Lindsay said. “The government is going through the process of having them re-valued.”

Given the state of play in the Melbourne market, this street could be one to watch.

This article first appeared on Domain on April 30, 2019.

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