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Category Archives For: The Secret Agent Report

Gardens – The Secret Agent Report

“The need to create gardens – to fashion from nature places of order and retreat – connects us to the ancient civilizations of Sumer and Egypt, Greece and Rome.” – TERENCE CONRAN

This month, The Secret Agent Report investigates the potential value a landscaped garden can add to property prices in the inner city. Find out which Inner Melbourne suburb showed a 18% premium in sale value for sales including a notable garden. As always, we track how the Inner Melbourne market has been performing over the last 6 months. 

Register to receive our report monthly and access this latest release – Sign up on our Thinking page.

The Secret Agent Report - Gardens

Downsizing. The Secret Agent Report.

2014 is the year of Downsizing. Jodie’s written a guide on how do it.
We also look at Offshore investment; just how much is the Australian market being influenced by the Chinese factor?Our Residential and Commercial Property wrap up reveals some surprising stats… which inner city location had a 54% increase in its housing market? You’ll have to read to find out.

Please sign up via the thinking page to receive this months report to your inbox, and don’t forget to browse the archives.


This months cover image is a slight tip of the hat to the wonderful film poster for Hitchcock’s Vertigo, created by the masterful Saul Bass.

Rather than using the ‘whirlpool of terror’ imagery, we’ve cleaned it up! Downsizing may seem daunting, but this special report
by our resident Investigator, Jodie Walker helps to clarify and promote new ways of thinking about the task.

Saul Bass (1920-1996) created imagery for many films, for great directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick. His distinct typographic style has enjoyed many ‘revivals’ over the years, and the playfulness of his imagery is still celebrated today.

– Saul Bass

Pools – Take a Dive!

The Secret Agent Report - POOLS

To pool or not to pool? A question that has always been a hotly debated topic among home owners and renovators. This edition of The Secret Agent Report sets out to determine how much more buyers are willing to pay for houses that feature a swimming pool. Many property developers and professionals believe adding a swimming pool to a property will increase its value. However, is it worth the associated construction and maintenance costs? Ten different suburbs located in Melbourne’s inner East and South East were investigated.

Please sign up via the thinking page to receive this months report to your inbox, and don’t forget to browse the archives.

Look out for our mid month special release of The Secret Agent Report, this time looking at Downsizing.

A note on this months Cover artwork…

In this report we pay tribute to one of the kings of pool lifestyle photography; Slim Aarons. On the cover, you can see our interpretation of his iconic image of the American writer C.Z Guest and her son at their Villa Artemis, Palm Beach, Florida (1955).

Pages 3 and 5 reference Aarons’s lesser know photograph Poolside at Laguna Beach (below).


2014 – The Secret Agent Report

The diffusion of information theory, radiant orchid and masculine interior design. In this months report, we change up our thinking yet again to explore trends and how they work within the market. Cosmo has created a mood board on Pinterest to back up his thoughts – please see the pinterest board here.

Paul also discusess key themes that we will see through to the end of the decade.

Please visit our Thinking Page to sign up to receive the report monthly.


Sign up through the Thinking Page to receive The Secret Agent Report to your inbox monthly.

Copenhagen VS Melbourne

This holiday edition we take you away from Melbourne to Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen. Why? It’s the world’s most liveable city, according to leading design and current affairs magazine Monocle. Melbourne was featured as the No.2 city in the world, and while this is great, we cannot rest on our laurels!

The Monocle report ranks cities according to safety/crime, international connectivity, climate/sunshine, quality of architecture, public transport, tolerance, environmental issues, access to nature, urban design, business conditions, proactive policy and medical care. Secret Agent decided to head to Copenhagen this Christmas to see what all the fuss is about! Spearheaded by Paul Osborne and Julian Faelli, the focus of the trip was to document some details of the city, and find in those details some lessons to be learnt. We hope you enjoy this special insight and wish you a super year ahead for 2014.

The Secret Agent Report

The ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’

The Secret Agent Report takes a different turn for the last release of 2013. Rather than analyse data, this month we discuss something intangible – the ‘je ne sais quoi’ of property.

The Secret Agent Report Dec 2013

Secret Agent x Europe

Today Paul and Julian are off to Europe for an architectural study. The report of their findings over there will be in the upcoming January and February edition of the Secret Agent Report.


Melbourne Bumped!

Of importance is the city of Copenhagen, which is now the worlds most liveable city (bumping off Melbourne!).

Read more about the ‘Index’ here:

Stay tuned for further updates.

The Cubic Metre Rate

The square metre rate of a property is a very important factor – it allows a further indication of value.  This month, The Secret Agent Report investigates the volume of space – The Cubic Metre Rate – to see if there are any trends or correlations with regard to pricing.

Positive points can be given to both high and low ceilings. High ceilings allow for better air circulation and a feeling of grandeur, whilst low ceilings can make a room feel more intimate and allow for better acoustics and cheaper utility bills in some cases.

We also take a look at Inner Melbourne’s Commercial market, presenting some recent sales of interest.

Please click here to read the report, and also view the past six months of sales data for Inner Melbourne’s houses, townhouses and apartments.

In next months edition of The Secret Agent Report, we discuss the feeling you get when you know a property is just right! After a year of covering many different specific topics (such as Coffee, Vegetation, Walkability, Housing Styles and Parklands) and analysing data for countless hours, we decided to discuss the ‘je ne sais quoi’* of property.

*French: ‘I don’t know what.’ Be sure to read next months report…

The Secret Agent Report November 2013 - Volume