Alerts took on a totally different meaning this week, and it was not the alert that you regularly receive in your mailbox. We much prefer the e-mail alerts, so that is what we will concentrate on as the 2002 property market, has gathered some missing momentum this week. It does not take a great deal of grey matter to work out that Mosman has the worst clearance rates across Sydney, currently hard pressed to break thirty per cent. This has further contradicted the market as at first, it appears that the market is no longer there, however this could not be further from the truth. What we are witnessing is agent-backlash. With the Eastern Suburb’s markets still maintaining a better than sixty per cent clearance rate, the simple reality of our market, is that the opinions of value provided have been grossly inaccurate of late.

No longer available for purchase and inspection are the following properties that secured new owners this week, 11 Shellbank Parade Cremorne, 8 Buena Vista Avenue, Clifton Gardens, sold ahead of the scheduled closing date. 16 Brierley Street, Mosman, has a new owner, and 69 Rangers Avenue, Mosman has also been sold prior to auction. On top of these sales, we have another twelve million dollars of Mosman properties in the final stages of negotiation, and/or, awaiting exchange. With the local market nearing it’s end for the year 2002, it will be interesting to see which properties reach a satisfactory conclusion. Whilst it could be argued that the auction market has seen better days, the property market is still a fair way from finishing for this year, and the terrorist alerts add another new dimension. We are also seeing Mr. and Mrs. Gazump enter the market after a long absence!!

The interest rate debate continues to dominate the market and it is anyone’s guess when we will see the first rate cuts. The nation-wide drought is causing much concern for obvious reasons, and the State’s Governments are expressing concerns, as they don’t want to see the surplus funds which they derive from stamp duty, dry up either. This then will direct much attention to the 2003 property market, so the pressure will be on The Reserve Bank to ensure that the New Year market starts with positive momentum so that the economy can follow suit. If the market is lacklustre and indifferent, it could take months to re-ignite the market and the usual peak summer market could be lost until we arrive at the spring market later in the year. Should this happen the economy and real estate market could suffer dire consequences.

The 2001 Census has confirmed what we have been talking about all year. Yes, good old property still remains the topic of conversation. I have said on more than one occasion that property is the largest employer and this has been confirmed in the latest reports. Since 1991, the number of people in the property industry has almost doubled, and now accounts for nearly 1 million workers, which is 11 per cent of the workforce. The areas with the greatest densities are North Sydney with 30.6 per cent, Mosman 28.8 per cent, followed by Woollahra with 26 per cent. Interesting to note that Mosman and Woollahra are the number one and two suburbs respectively for the average median prices.

Whilst the local market might have lost some of the spring in its step as people walk around the open for inspections, the ex-pat market is heading home for Christmas and we have received many e-mails seeking appointments. Our goal is to save Expats time and minimise the hassles of house hunting with our exclusive and innovative Christmas Break House Hunt Service.

Here’s how it works… We are asking all house-hunting Expats who are returning to Sydney in December and January, to contact us in advance to ensure that inspections can be arranged. So far, we have more than $80m worth of property to choose from.

If you are a local subscriber and would like to add your property to the Expat Inspection List, please call our Expat Coordinator Jacqui Rowland-Smith on +612 9969 7622 or click email us.

Where would our industry be without the Internet?

Whilst some are busily counting the number of properties available in our market, some of the vendors are counting on a result!! There are plenty of interesting challenges out there at the moment. What remains to be seen is who can perform in the current market, as more than a few agents have been listed as “Missing in Action”. Cheers and clink… ^__^

P.S. It is twelve months this week since our good mate Mark Reynolds left our property market. Mate, you may be gone but not forgotten. Cheers.

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