LISTENING to John Keating the managing director of Keatings Real Estate in Woodend talk about his transactions in the Macedon Ranges is the same as getting a history lesson on the Macedon Ranges and surrounds.
John specialises in the Macedon Ranges area www.keatings.com.au. His sales area includes the prestigious cool climate garden properties on Mount Macedon, and his sales area encompasses many of the established towns, rural living and farming areas in this picturesque central Victorian region.
To the northern area of his office John has sold real estate in Malmsbury, Edgecombe, Baynton, Pipers Creek, Drummond, Lauriston, Cobaw, Lancefield and Kyneton.
In the central part of his sales region he has worked in Carlsruhe, Springhill, Tylden, Woodend, Newham, Rochford, Glenlyon and Fern Hill.
He has also guided property sales in towns and areas that make up the southern rim of his sales region including Gisborne, Bullengarook, Riddells Creek, Clarkefield, Monegeetta and the mountainous Hanging Rock, Macedon and Mount Macedon areas.
John purchased a family run real estate business in 1975 and has since established himself as a veteran of Macedon Ranges estate agents due to his extensive knowledge and meticulously kept records of the area’s property sales.
John’s father known as “Jack”, and mother, Mary aka “Vera”, ran a general store and grocery business in Woodend which was established in 1935 and in 1949 Jack took on an estate agency licence.
After John’s father died in 1966 his mother ran the estate agency and John obtained his real estate sub-agency licence in 1967.
In 1970 John decided not to continue with studies at Melbourne University in organic chemistry, or as a valuer, and bought the estate agency from his mother in 1975.
In characteristic industrious fashion the young John attended every auction he could to observe and learn. He recalled how lucky he once was to go to a Collingwood auction in 1970 where astute agency legends, Alex and Malcolm Gray, were in charge and after a chat found himself under Alex’s guidance.
Macedon Ranges Real Estate Sales Data
John realised early how valuable real estate sales data was to verify and confirm real estate transactions and so he began collating as much local sales information as was humanly possible.
This data collection continues today and now John has archives with files on about 10,000 Macedon Ranges properties dating from the present day back to 1970 all catalogued in a color coded system of his invention.
The firm’s archives are so meticulously maintained that even Victoria’s Valuer General’s office staff have sought his assistance.
John has a full estate agent’s licence and is currently a member of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s auction, rural, valuers, buyers’ agent, commercial and industrial chapters.
He has become an influential part of the Victorian real estate industry as he has helped shape the state’s property auction system. In 2003 he independently ran a metropolitan area advertising campaign to support a government proposal to rid the auction property industry of dummy bidding. This dubious practice was outlawed in 2004.
More recently he has campaigned for reform of auction practices to stamp out underquoting.
John has earned his reputation as a beacon of credibility in the Macedon Range’s real estate profession not only due to his campaigns but also his high professional standards that includes publicly declaring a property auction’s reserve for most of his auction listings.
He has also earned respect for his community support.
In 2012 he was awarded life membership to the Woodend Country Fire Authority where he has 49 years service, including a role as 1st lieutenant for 5 years which included the horrific 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires. He also has decades of involvement in many local business, church, municipal and sports organisations.
John Keating Knows Macedon Ranges Real Estate
Among the main reasons for John’s longevity in the regional real estate profession is his real estate savvy, unrivalled regional knowledge and network connections.
Even in this age of ballistic metropolitan Melbourne house prices Keatings Real Estate still claims one of the state’s top Victorian residential under the hammer auction results when on 21 April 2005 he sold Sefton on Mount Macedon for $8,175,000. This then record price was achieved after he recommended the vendors use the auction process.
John has sold many of the high end Mount Macedon properties multiple times and has navigated his way through “five real estate booms and five corrections” so far.
Few estate agents know their sales area like John Keating.
To stay a leader in the Macedon Ranges real estate scene John continues to study the history of this fertile and sought after rural living and farming area so that he can recite the values of the land by region, town and even by individual properties impromptu.
“We (around the Macedon Ranges) left productivity values behind in the 1970’s,” John said.
“I realised early on that between 80 and 90 per cent of real estate decisions were being made on the lifestyle aesthetics and amenity of the area, that is, the views, the trees, the privacy aspects.”
Macedon Ranges Property Values
John said the premium values for rural farming land in the Macedon Ranges in mid 2019 generally belonged to the volcanic red soil country that sells between $12,000 and $15,000 an acre. The farms with this soil type are located in or near Lancefield, Romsey, Newham, Kerrie, Hesket and Trentham.
The bare land rural living zoned values John is witnessing around Romsey in mid 2019 sees land valued between $6000 and $9000 an acre with the lower value attributed to those areas like Monegeetta not having the same aesthetic appeal as the bare land with mountain or scenery views.
The Newham farming zoned living bare land per acre value is $9000 to $15,000 an acre with the higher figure usually attributed to land with views of Hanging Rock, the Cobaws or Mount Macedon.
Lancefield’s rural living land varied in mid 2019 between $4000-$12,000 per acre with views of the ranges and countryside determining the higher end prices. Gisborne’s rural living zoned land has attracted between $8000-$12000 an acre recently while residential land in this historical town now being rediscovered given its proximity to Melbourne fetching between $275,000-$375,000 for a bare 800 square metres.
John said the Hanging Rock and nearby Carlsruhe farming zoned areas has been valued between $5000 to $8000 an acre with those values being influenced by state legislation that will not allow any subdivision of land of less than 40ha (100 acres). The more valuable land is priced according to the surrounding views.
Why People Want To Live on Mount Macedon
Why many people want a Mount Macedon property according to John is their love of gardens while there are some who buy because of the perceived status of owning a high end Mount Macedon property.
John said there is a difference in people’s perceptions about Mount Macedon properties according to whether it is on the north or south side of the mountain that stands 1000 metres above sea level.
John said the factors that influenced Mount Macedon buyers, and therefor determined the property values of the north and south side of Mount Macedon, included the views, the elevation, the soil fertility and the perceived climate.
“The flagfall (price to pay) for vacant land with good views or a good site (on Mount Macedon) is about $750,000,” John said.