Prestige Property: 18 Macgregor Avenue, Portsea VIC
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Prestige Property: 18 Macgregor Avenue, Portsea VIC

This coveted coastal home boasts the ultimate pool house.

By Terry Christodoulou
Fri, Jan 14, 2022 4:03pmGrey Clock 2 min

Located in one of Portsea’s most coveted streets, this elegant coastal home — designed by legendary Australian architect, Guildford Bell — is privately set back from the street with farm gates and a white pebble drive giving nothing away.

Beyond the Moonah trees, atop the cliff, appears the 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom, 2-car garage home, built upon approximately 2965sqm of land only minutes’ walk to Shelley Beach.

The inspiring entrance — with an internal courtyard — provides a sense of arrival for what is a meticulously presented single level home, with a classic coastal getaway feel.

The property features the main house, complete with 4-bedrooms and 4-bathrooms, and boasts light-timber floors and panelling on the walls, with a vaulted ceiling in the living room further adding to the home’s coastal allure.

Here, the home’s airy design — courtesy of the light palette of white and blonde — hosts a luxurious entertaining space dominated by the kitchen, which features a combination of blonde timbers and stone veneers. Also here, the living space sees a fireplace for chillier nights while sliding glass doors allow for seamless access to the outdoor entertaining area.

Elsewhere, the home’s accommodation is broken up into wings, with one flank of the house holding three bedrooms, two of which hold their own ensuites. The opposite side of the house sees the master suite complete built-in robes, expansive coastal themed ensuite and private study.

Outside is a scene from a Mediterranean village, with the alfresco entertaining area adorned by bougainvillea and a stretch of rolling green turf.

Beyond the immediate outdoor area, the property is privy to its very own, resort-style pool house. Completely equipped and self-contained, the pavilion sees its own sunken lounge —ideal for relaxing with a Mai Tai — alongside the pool itself. The accommodation features its own open living space with fireplace, galley style kitchenette and bedroom with ensuite.

Further features offered by the property include the double lock up garage, with off-street parking for four additional cars, CCTV, fully irrigated garden with bore water, garden lighting, wired in audio system and more.

The listing is with Patrick Skin (+61 418 378 759) and Rob Curtain (+61 418 310 870) of Peninsula Sotheby’s International Realty. Price guide; $8.75 million – $9.5 million. Melbournesothebysrealty.com

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Investor buying of homes tumbled 30% in the third quarter, a sign that the rise in borrowing rates and high home prices that pushed traditional buyers to the sidelines are causing these firms to pull back, too.

Companies bought around 66,000 homes in the 40 markets tracked by real-estate brokerage Redfin during the third quarter, compared with 94,000 homes during the same quarter a year ago. The percentage decline in investor purchases was the largest in a quarter since the subprime crisis, save for the second quarter of 2020 when the pandemic shut down most home buying.

The investor pullback represents a turnaround from months ago when their purchases were still rising fast. These firms bought homes in record numbers last year and earlier this year, helping to supercharge the housing market.

Now, investors are reducing their buying activity in line with the decline in overall home sales, which have slumped with mortgage rates rising fast. But with investors’ large cash positions, and with big firms such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. planning to increase its exposure to the home-buying business, investors are poised to resume more aggressive buying when rates or home prices begin to ease.

These firms have seized on a pandemic-driven rise in demand for houses in suburban areas. These owners rented out the homes and increased rents on homes by double-digit percentages. By the first quarter of 2022, investors accounted for one in every five home purchases nationally.

But ballooning borrowing costs have kept investors from buying as much recently, said John Pawlowski, an analyst at Green Street. Buyers and sellers are also agreeing less often on pricing, stifling sales.

“It leads to a lot of people just putting down the pen,” Mr. Pawlowski said.

Rent growth has also begun to slow. Rents for single-family homes rose 10.1% year over year in September, down from 13.9% in April, according to housing data firm CoreLogic.

That rate of growth is still very high by historical standards, however, and much stronger than in the apartment market. Multifamily rent increases are now much lower by most measures. Near record-high rental prices are failing to attract as many new tenants, and demand in the third quarter fell to its lowest level in 13 years.

Demand for rental houses has held up better, in part because many of these homes are leased to relatively high-earning people who have found the for-sale market too expensive to buy, some analysts say.

That rent growth for single-family owners hasn’t translated into stock-market gains this year. Investors have lumped these owners in with home builders and sold many of them. Shares for the three largest publicly traded owners, Invitation Homes, American Homes 4 Rent and Tricon Residential, are each down more than 25% year to date, underperforming the S&P 500 over that period.

Rental landlords also face headwinds from rising property tax assessments that have come alongside enormous increases in home-price appreciation.

At the same time, large rental landlords are coming under greater scrutiny from federal and local governments. Congressional Democrats have hosted a series of hearings focused on eviction practices and rent increases. Three Congress members from California this month introduced a bill called the “Stop Wall Street Landlords Act,” which proposes levying new taxes on single-family landlords. It would prevent government-sponsored enterprises like Freddie Mac from acquiring and securitising their debt.

Many of the places where investors have eased purchasing are the same cities where they had counted for an outsize share of total sales. That includes Las Vegas and Phoenix, where investor sales dropped more than 44% in the third quarter compared with a year ago.

Fewer purchases by online house-flippers, or iBuyers, may have contributed to those declines, according to Redfin. Redfin decided to close its own home-flipping business, RedfinNow, earlier this month.

Nationally, investors still accounted for 17.5% of all home sales in the third quarter, a higher share than they held at any time before the pandemic, by Redfin’s count.

That share seems likely to rise again. Builders with unsold homes due to widespread cancellations by traditional buyers have been looking to sell in bulk to rental landlords.

Meanwhile, some institutional investors are now readying large funds to snap up homes. J.P. Morgan’s asset-management business said this month it had formed a joint venture with rental landlord Haven Realty Capital to purchase and develop $1 billion in houses. A unit of real-estate firm JLL’s LaSalle Investment Management, in partnership with the landlord Amherst Group, said it plans to buy $500 million of homes over the next two years.

Tricon has nearly $3 billion it plans to tap to buy and build homes. “We will lean in and deploy that capital when the time is right,” Tricon’s Chief Executive Gary Berman said on a November earnings call.

While a recession could bring down borrowing rates, it would likely be accompanied by higher unemployment, making it difficult for traditional buyers to take advantage, said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist. For investors, however, that could offer an opportunity to acquire homes at favourable prices.

“An investor may have more resources to jump in at exactly the moment when rates decline,” Ms. Fairweather said.

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