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Victoria Park Life #vicparklife

Is a place full of mature trees and charming weatherboard workers' cottages with the baked orange-red of bricks. Where car yards are being redeveloped into apartments and commercial premises and a healthy mix of nationalities and socio-economic groups live together.

A place where the "Super-Cafe Strip" stretches a long way from the River to St James, alive and humming with its own unique energy. Where the local business owners offer fantastic service and a surreal "this is what shops used to be like" retail experience.

Where you can catch up for a meal, a beer or wine and wander home afterwards, past your friends' and neighbours' homes. With open space, parks, river foreshore and a healthy mix of nationalities and socio-economic groups.

Its charm is infectious, relax and enjoy #vicparklife

Our past is the motor trade and car yards but our future is infill. Car yards being redeveloped into apartments and commercial premises bringing more people, more vibrancy and making the promise of our cafe strip even more appealing and sustainable.

What is happening now:

08 August 2019

Market Musings & Observations

Loan serviceability requirements  for buyers  have relaxed - buyers can now borrow more.

Banks are aggressively courting customers.

Interest rates are trending down = mortgage repayments will be less.

Owner occupiers really are the only buyers in the market.

Investors are unicorns.

There is a lack of quality stock on the market seeing buyers now competing for the ‘good’ houses.

An oversupply of ex-rental investor stock on the market means owners must sell at a discount, or not at all.

Buyers from the mining sector are active in our market.

The Spring market is around the corner. Sellers are preening, painting and prepping ready to get the show on the road in the coming weeks.

Off market transactions are real. The best houses often don’t make it to the internet. Be proactive.

Facebook sells houses.

Yes, you should ‘dress’ your house for sale.  

EOI = End of Interest

Use the Agent the most buyers trust. Not the cheapest agent, or the agent who quotes the highest predicted sale price.

It’s better to trade up, in a down market.

Sale prices matter. Change over prices matter more.

Houses don’t sell themselves.

The best buyers, buy the best houses, at the best prices.

Derek Baston
M: 0417 99 23 24

27 May 2019

The Aftermath


The dust is settling, and so to the victor belong the spoils.

Every three years, like the Hunger Games come to life, we ‘the audience” get to vote for our various Federal political aspirants.

Invariably the incumbent is disadvantaged, wearing the folly of their political hubris like a hairshirt. Three years of constant media scrutiny is a virtual death sentence at the polls. The LNP had a hairshirt of some embarrassing complexity. With leadership changes, onion eating and philandering foist high on the flagpole of foibles.

It was indeed a particularly aberrant and exceptional opposition that could wrestle a loss from this storm of electoral perfection.

In the social media echo chambers the din was loud for a Labor win.  The left clamouring to say their bit to each other, over and over, louder and louder. They yelled so loud that they drowned themselves out. Like noise cancelling headphones, Australia said “we don’t want to listen”. 

History gives us a loss for Labor and the pundits gave us the reasons;

 1. Bill - an awkward man. With cadence deprivation syndrome, that is the uncanny ability to make you feel uncomfortable while he spoke.

2. A campaign with an unabashed socialist and redistributive agenda that targeted the ‘middle’ (and like a kid goading another into a playground fight, called them ‘the top-end of town’).  Or as I saw one commentator write, tapping his penchant for the classics, “the Left flew too close to the sun and the wax melted their wings”.

3. Overconfidence. Nothing is less Australian. Said Bowen, “if you don’t like our policies, then don’t vote for us!” And they didn’t.

4.ScoMo - as smooth as butterscotch ice cream, packing family values and bonhomie in equal measure, he was the Liberal campaign.

So here we are on the other side. 

Certainty rules. A calmness emanates. There is a stillness. Like two Balinese village dogs, finished snarling and biting, one lies in the dust licking its bloody wounds and the other is busily pissing on tree trunks, claiming the spoils.

The risk of a rug being pulled from beneath the feet of various institutions and industries is gone. 

For the months prior to the election I have answered the questions, “what will happen when Labor win?” And it was a question asked with trepidation, could people even look into the maw of future uncertainty? And it seems no-one could. What would the world of no negative gearing and compromised capital gains tax law look like? Who could say? In the wasteland of collapsed housing prices and sales activity, why would Labor even countenance such depraved acts of revisionism? It struck fear into the heart of the home buying public.

Well that fear is lifted. Like a dark cloak, heavy on the market’s shoulders. Gone. And with a posie of positivity tucked under its arm the market, like a liberated Red Riding Hood, feels ready to skip along. The good news of APRA’s position change on lending assessment and soon to be Reserve Bank rate cuts ringing in its ears. 

The election result was a clarion call to get back to business. 

In WA we’re just ramping up again in our specialty, Big Hole Digging. This frenetic mining activity is filtering down to the residential market. Rents are up. Vacancies are down. My last four Buyers have been directly associated with mining. 

To steal a phrase from political circles, ‘It’s time”.

Derek Baston

15 March 2019

Please vote for us!

Very recently it was announced that Baston & Co. Property was one of three finalists in the Victoria Park Inaugural Business of the Year Awards.

Not a bad effort for this little team of awesome people, we are absolutely thrilled!

The winner will be announced at the awards night very soon and was based on a number of criteria - Community involvement and support, numbers/growth and a few other key points.
We have no doubt that we’ll be up against some stiff competition given the calibre of amazing businesses in Town, but we’ve given it all we’ve got!

Additionally, we were also nominated for the People’s Choice Award.
We don’t often ask for much but we would really love your help and your vote.
It’ll only take a minute!

Please click on the link below to register your vote and thank you!

Lee & Derek Baston

Baston & Co. Property

15 March 2019

Tales from the trenches


Ok real estate isn’t warfare, but it is certainly tough for property owners who are trying to work out what the market is doing.

Locally, there is a definite resurgence in first home buyer activity, with the established home sub-$550,000 bracket moving quite healthily (this does not yet extend to apartments).

Homes on their own block are sought after and selling well, particularly character homes that are well maintained, and modern 4x2 family homes.

Apartments of any description are good buying and can often be obtained below replacement cost.

Vacancy rates are low and rents are on the rise.

Poorly presented properties struggle to sell, with the Buyer pool being, on the whole, owner occupiers who want ready-to-live-in homes.

Investors are few and far between but the canny operators are back in the market sniffing around, understanding “it is time to buy”.

Activity-wise it is ramping up, by our standard we had a slow February (still in the top 30 Agents in WA), but already in the first 2 weeks of March we have done the same number of transactions!

Buyer numbers at opens are exceptionally good and bode well for future sales.

For me this simple metric of high home open numbers and low sales figures means Buyers are waiting for a cue to buy. What will actualise this demand? Honestly I am not sure even the Buyers themselves know!
The answer is always sentiment. Positivity. And Western Australia is about the only place in the country that has a sniff of that.

Stay tuned for more updates in what will prove to be an interesting marketplace this year as we weather the uncertainty of a Federal election.

Derek Baston

12 March 2019

Win with F45 Victoria Park!

If you’ve not heard about the F45 fitness phenomenon sweeping the globe, you’ve been living under a rock!

45 minutes of air gasping, hardcore fun with experienced personal trainers and a studio of awesome humans.  

You’ll never do the same workout twice, and every now and then the DJ brings his decks in and gets the party started.

The Team at F45 Victoria Park have very generously offered us a free 3 month membership to give away to one lucky person in the hood!

No more excuses, now is your time!

Click on the link below to enter and Good Luck!

*Entries close at 4pm Thursday March 21st and the winner drawn and announced at 5pm.

19 February 2019

Introducing Ashling Brown


We are delighted to welcome Sales Partner and Buyer Manager, Ashling Brown to the Baston & Co. Property Team.
Ashling joined us in January after a fabulous 2018 in Real Estate Sales.

Ashling will work very closely with local Buyers in order to match them exclusively to our listed properties.
The Buyer Manager role is often a luxury in many real estate offices, however, we believe that this role is integral to the service that we provide and highlights our proactive rather than reactive approach to the sale of your property.

Ashling has an extensive background in Sales and Customer Service, with 11 years in Retail Management for some of Australia’s leading fashion brands.
This has stood her in good stead in the world of real estate sales.

“This industry is first and foremost about the people I get to meet daily and the dreams I help them to achieve. I get to walk away knowing I have done my absolute best to shape somebody’s life and future”.

Welcome to the team Ashling! We are so excited to give 2019 a good shake up and our picture is now complete.

If you are a Buyer looking for a property within the Town of Victoria Park, please contact Ashling on 0433 979 353 or email with your buying requirements.

If you would like an updated market appraisal or sales proposal, please contact Derek Baston on 0417 99 23 24.

16 February 2019

Perth’s Rental Crisis


Is this really a headline we will read on the front page of a Perth newspaper this year?

The rapid decline in available rental housing stock over the last 12 months (in the order of a 27% decline) and a vacancy rate that has plummeted to 2.8%, from a record high only 12 months ago of 7.3%, are telling indicators.

Critically, in a market place where investors have not been contributing to the pool of new rental stock for some years, an uptick in rental demand is going to result in increased rents. The landlords will be saying ‘ about time’, having suffered horrendous yields on their investments for many years.

Interestingly, a contributing factor to the rental tightening over the last 12 months is the pool of potential owner occupier buyers who have been affected by the fallout from the Banking Royal Commission.  Unable to get the the same finance that they could until not that long ago, this cohort of real estate consumers have become unwilling tenants. 

So what should we do with this information?

Rising rents are certainly the beginning of the real estate cycle’s upswing. But  with curtailed buyer activity linked to the availability of finance, there has been no associated general rise in prices. Yet against a backdrop of increasing wages and increasing numbers of full time employees there are mixed messages.

Certain segments of the Perth market have enjoyed double digit growth in the last 12 months, but overall the past 12 months have shown an over 1% drop in the overall median price.

It seems the real estate market’s engine is revving but the hand brake is still firmly on here in WA.

Derek Baston

11 February 2019

Crazy good stats!

Well we’ve been back selling houses since the 13th of January and our local market is ticking along nicely.

With median time on market for house sales dramatically dropping over the last 12 months;

Victoria Park - April 2018 57 days - October 2018 32 days 

East Victoria Park -  March 2018 80 days - October 2018 34 days

St James - June 2018 51 days - October 2018 29 days

Lathlain - March 2018 44 days - October 2018 27 days

Carlisle - February 2018 71 days - October 2018 38 days

This up tick in transactions still hasn’t equalled measurably higher prices for sellers, but watch this space as renewed confidence starts to positively affect the marketplace.

First home buyers are back buying established homes in the Town of Victoria Park, with a surprising number of under $550,000 sales in recent months. Free standing properties like villas and character homes on strata blocks are most in demand. It seems they are eschewing the government’s $10,000 sugar hit for new builds and are instead seeking out well located established homes as close to the city as they can afford. 

The Sydney and Melbourne buyers are actively shopping for big blocks with character homes, using buyer’s agents they are buying here, sight unseen.

Well located blocks of land in the Town continue to be snapped up. Plenty of people will bite the bullet and build if it means the right house for their needs and the ability to stay in the area. 

I am still seeing an exodus of people who want family homes out of Victoria Park into Lathlain and Kensington. If you are sitting on a family home in Victoria Park or East Victoria Park, the buyers are waiting!
Investors are still conspicuous in their absence, and even if they wanted to get into the market, the banks are not supportive, investment rates are higher and the Federal Opposition are talking about removing tax concessions for investors (and with a Federal Election soon this is creating real uncertainty).

The upside of this it is taking the pressure off the bottom end of the market and creating an opportunity for first home buyers to get into the area at a reasonable price. Sales volumes are up, time on market is down, the vacancy rate is down, rents are rising and Western Australia was the only state to report a rise in retail spending in December 2018.
The only thing holding us back right now is the supply of money.

Derek Baston

06 February 2019

Free Coffee Friday!

It has been a long time between drinks and we thought we’d share the love down at the ‘West End’.

Call in to Social Manna this Friday February 8th between 7am and 10am and grab your free shot of caffeine on us!

Make sure you let Sandro and his amazing crew know who sent you and bonus points for a tag on instagram @social.manna and @bastonandco!

Enjoy, we’ll see you there!

Lee & Derek 

18 December 2018

Ladyboys and Cricket - it’s very confusing!


Suddenly it’s all tinsel and test cricket.  Another year, just like that, gone!

What a quirky and confusing year it’s been in real estate land.

Like a night out on Pattapong Road, the market has been full of metaphorical ladyboys providing confusing and conflicting messages. What does it mean? How should we feel?

One minute the mainstream media says the world is ending - with the Eastern states driven real estate storyline attempting to encompass Perth, with its catastrophizing and doomsday predicting. And yet I’m seeing double digit growth in some western and inner city Perth suburbs. Domain group today posted their expectation that Perth house values are likely to grow by 5% in 2019.

On the ground the talk is batteries - Nickel, Lithium, Cobalt and Graphite. Gold is having a renaissance. Oil, gas and iron ore are all rumbling to life with new projects across the state.

To continue this confusing conversation home loan lending is being constricted with the big four making it harder for applications to be approved.

In a state with better economic conditions than it has enjoyed for years, new mines being built, higher commodity prices, improved employment prospects and population growth, it seems that we are the target of a big bank reaction to the banking royal commission, with money substantially harder to borrow.  Surely, as the change in WA’s economy becomes obvious and the housing lead malaise in Sydney and Melbourne sets in, the banks will relax their national lending restrictions and look at markets like Perth as being a good risk? I’m naive, but I can’t see how a broad blanket approach from the banks is in their best business interests?

Although the bottom of the market may be past there is loads of opportunity for those that are in a position to buy. Apartments continue their unexciting road to recovery.  It is still possible to buy apartments for less than real world replacement cost.

Opportunity also abounds in the outer suburbs of Perth, where exists a real estate purgatory with recovery somewhere over the horizon. A surplus of supply and a broken system incentivised by state government handouts, fuels the new home market. Second hand is second best for new home buyers. Trapping highly leveraged sellers underwater on loan to value ratios, making an exit from the property market almost impossible.

With increasing sales volumes and buyer confidence, Perth is on the other side of a particularly awful economic and housing market hangover. But like that one Uncle on boxing day morning, it’s going to take more than a soluble Disprin and a lie down to be bright eyed and bushy tailed again. Regardless, the market is showing more than green shoots and the good news far outweighs the bad.

We at Baston & Co. Property, would like to wish you and yours the best of Christmas’ and a safe holiday season. I can’t wait to get back next year to an exciting marketplace filled with positivity and people fulfilling their home ownership dreams.

Derek Baston

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The strip

Vic Park is a village, albeit one with a very long main street. Albany Highway. This "Super-Cafe Strip" tells the story of our diversity, our past and the quickly arriving future. The people are friendly and the local businesses offer suprisingly good value.

  • African hairdressers
  • Motorcycle accessory stores
  • Op shops
  • Pubs
  • Photography studios
  • Barbers
  • Book stores
  • Burger bars
  • Boot makers
  • Fair trade shops
  • Food halls
  • Gelato cafes
  • 24 hour pizza shops
  • Curio shops
Cafe Counter
  • Lingerie shops
  • Gift shops
  • Lebanese restaurants
  • Chinese restaurants
  • Fine dining restaurants
  • Mexican restaurants
  • Vietnamese restaurants
  • Nepalese restaurants
  • Malay restaurants
  • Thai restaurants
  • Indian restaurants
  • Turkish restaurants

White picket fences and back yards with mulberry trees. Sure there are apartments and town houses and villas and everything in-between. But that is the Town of Victoria Park. It's got a bit of everything.

This is a place to live.

Let's Find You a Piece of it