Quarterly Sales Review – September 2021

Mark Pearman – Mentone Chelsea Office Manager / Licensed Estate Agent

As the effects of the pandemic wear on and people spend more and more time at home, we are seeing a greater demand for larger homes with more outdoor space in many local areas. With an influx of buyers moving down the bay in search of greater affordability, the median price for a house in Mentone has reached $1.552m in the last quarter and its neighbouring suburb Cheltenham at $1.325m, while the desire to live beachside has stretched further down the bay with both Chelsea and Carrum cracking the million dollar mark.

Across Melbourne there are a staggering 184 markets where the median home price sits above $1 million (a 34% increase on last year), with units achieving this benchmark in 8 of these areas. And Regional Victoria isn’t missing out as 11 districts have now joined their metro million-dollar cousins – compared to just 4 last year.



Taya Davidson – Rental Department Manager

As professional property agents, we strongly recommend having a specialised insurance policy for your property.

Specialised means a policy specifically for landlords and issues that arise during tenancies. Some landlords have this policy attached to their building insurance and only come to realise that it covers next to nothing when it is time to make a claim, discovering then it is too late because issues have already occurred.

If you have a policy at present, there are some things to look out for to ensure you have the right kind of landlord protection – especially given the new legislation surrounding rental providers and your obligations now.

Questions to ask:

1. Does your policy have a $0 excess on rent only claims? You may find that some of the “larger” insurers use the entire bond as an excess before you even make a claim. This means that if there is any cleaning, gardening or rubbish removal to be completed then you will be out of pocket for this.
2. Does your insurance cover neglect, accidental and malicious damage?Approximately 90% of damage is accidental and most insurers do not cover accidental.
3. Does your policy cover pet damage?
4. Does your policy cover scorching?
5. How many weeks of rent are you covered for loss of rent? How many weeks do you cover if your property is not on a fixed term lease, but you cannot rent the property due to damage or are waiting for court hearings?
6. How many weeks are covered for absconding?
7. What is your excess on damage claims?(anything over $500.00 is excessive).

It is important to note that we are not insurance brokers and give this advice based on experience only. Speak with your insurance broker in regards to your specific needs.

Staff Spotlight

Daniela D’Alessandro – Property Manager / BDM

A familiar face within the Mentone team, Daniela has been part of the Hodges family for 13 years, bringing with her a calm confidence and strong customer focus. Starting her career in the banking industry which did little to satisfy her passion and enthusiasm for property & interior design, Daniela completed a number of decorating courses and began helping friends with home styling to explore this creative outlet. After a stint in retail homewares, and once her two sons had started school, Daniela’s aptitude & interests came together in Real Estate. Now, having experience in Reception and Administration, her role as Business Development and Property Manager allows her to provide a premium service and quality outcome for each of her clients whilst building successful working relationships along the way. Renowned for her commitment, professionalism and hard work ethic, Daniela is also famously caring and compassionate.

While her passion for travelling overseas – in particular to Italy – have been thwarted by the pandemic, Daniela brings a taste of Europe to her kitchen at home with an array of tempting Italian dishes. When she can, she loves to entertain family and friends, and on quieter evenings can be found sharing precious time with her husband and sons or reading biographies and true stories.



Being a female Sales Agent

Katrina O’Brien – Licensed Estate Agent

There are certain challenges that come with juggling family commitments, work life & day-to-day tasks, so when you add in the sale of a home, the stress levels can be high.
Empathy and compassion, along with a confident manner and the expertise to bring about the very best result, can help alleviate this stress – and these are the special skills that Katrina O’Brien brings to the table.
A grounded professional accustomed to balancing her responsibilities as a mum and a demanding career, Katrina is an expert multi-tasker who works independently on each of her properties from the moment it is signed up, right through the marketing and inspections to when the SOLD sticker goes up.

Able to really connect and empathise with her clients, Katrina’s softer approach is perfect for homeowners who are first time sellers or for whom the sale is an emotional or daunting process. Bringing a calm maturity, in-depth local knowledge and wealth of market experience, Katrina is able to build a real trust and rapport with her clients, ensuring she is always contactable and available to personally assist.

Katrina takes great pride in the business and reputation she has built over the years, honoured to have clients for whom she has sold multiple properties and who have been willing to refer her to friends and family – these are the trusted relationships she truly values the most. Having brought up her children in the area, Katrina not only has a professional insight into the local market, but also a personal experience of what makes the suburbs along Port Phillip Bay so highly-desired by Melbourne families.

Dancing with The Black Dog

Hodges is thrilled to be named as the first official business sponsor of the not-for-profit mental health charity, Dancing With The Black Dog.
Dancing With The Black Dog is endorsed and supported by celebrities across the world, including singer Jimmy Barnes, Father Bob Maguire, Australian television legend Ray Meagher and actors Liam Hemsworth, Jack Black and Mayim Bialik. It was registered as a charity in 2015 by Melbourne man Mark Pacitti after sharing his own victorious battle with anxiety and depression. Following a series of blogs that were candid, brutally honest and often humorous, Mark formed the charity which, in turn, led to the global mental health initiative, “It’s ok to say if you don’t feel ok”.

With branded merchandise now available for purchase, from face masks and phone covers to clothing and bags – and all proceeds going directly to the charity itself – Mark is currently preparing to expand his initiative even further. “I just need to get the message out there as widely as possible,” he says. “And with Hodges coming on board as our first ever official business sponsor, they are going a long way to helping make it happen. I am approaching other businesses in the UK and Australia and having one on board already is a great story to tell.”

If you would like to know more about Dancing With the Black Dog, visit www.itsoktosay.org or www.dancingwiththeblackdog.com


Leverage your equity to improve capital or invest

Paul Zahra – Cerberus Finance

Investors refinance for a variety of reasons. Some do so because their Interest Only term has come to an end and they’re looking to take advantage of a better offer, while others refinance to move out of an ALT DOC loan, to renovate, or to free up equity to purchase an investment property.

Whether you want to renovate, buy an investment property, or diversify your wealth portfolio by investing in another asset class, refinancing could enable you to free up the equity you’ve built up in your property, or properties, and put it to better use elsewhere.

For new investors, equity is the difference between the current value of your property and the amount you have left on your loan. Typically, you’ll need at least 20% equity in your property to refinance your loan. The more equity you have, the better your loan to value ratio (LVR = Debt/Value of your Property as a %). For example, if your property is valued at $700,000 and you owe $250,000 (LVR = 36%) on your home loan, you have $450,000, or 64%, equity in your home. Lenders will usually lend up to 80% of your property’s value, subject to your ability to service the loan. In the case of our example, you may be able to release up to $310,000 to invest elsewhere.

It’s important to remember that the value of your property is subject to current market conditions. In the current market, you should be able to release more equity given house prices have risen, compared with a market where house prices are falling. This, combined with low owner-occupied rates, and investment loan interest rates coming down, gives plenty of food for thought.