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Local real estate agent shake out

28 Feb 2012

Local real estate agent shake out Image

Docklands real estate agent Daniel Cole opened a second office last month in a move which further consolidates the local market into a few key players.

At least three smaller agents have closed their doors over the past 12 months with plenty of speculation that there may be more to come.

Mr Cole opened his second Barry Plant office in Harbour Town on February 13 in an office formerly occupied by a short-lived Coldwell Banker agency.

The move puts him diagonally opposite rival Lucas Real Estate which was the first local agent to open two branches (Yarra’s Edge and NewQuay).

After five years in a small office under the Watergate building in Bourke St, Mr Cole moved into larger premises in Victoria Harbour almost two years ago.

Mr Cole said he was motivated to increase his presence on the northern side of Docklands because of the increasing number of apartments being built in NewQuay.

“I always liked the spot.  It’s a very prominent position,” he said. “So when I saw Coldwell Banker close I made enquiries.”

Prime Vision Real Estate and Century 21 have also closed offices in Docklands in the last year.

On the other side of the coin, North Wharf-based agent City Residential is moving to prominently-located premises on Lorimer St, Yarra’s Edge.  The building has been used most recently to display classic used cars.

Glen Lucas said: “We believe that prices in the Docklands have bottomed, in fact the RBA leaving rates on hold demonstrates to me their underlying confidence in the Australian economy. Now really is a great time to be purchasing in this fantastic area of Docklands.”

Mr Lucas said 2011 had been a strong year of growth for his business.

“We are very lucky to have developed such a great team at Lucas Real Estate and we continue to heavily invest in training of our people to maintain our record as the most active real estate agent in Docklands,” he said.

Mr Cole said he had no doubt Docklands would become “the premier place to be living in apartments in Melbourne”.

He said he was able to succeed in Docklands where others had failed because he got in early and knew the market.

“Docklands has always been in demand,” he said.  “We’ve never had any trouble letting a residential property at a market level.”

“It’s an up-and-coming area which is moving along nicely and the property market is growing.”

Mr Cole said Docklands was fortunate to have strong, quality local agents to choose from.

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