There is just one truism when it comes to property reporting in the media ‘the weaker the argument the stronger the words’. Just take this week for example. On Monday in The Sydney Morning Herald we were told “Homes bust ‘within three years'”, with BIS Shrapnel warning of sharp rises in home loan rates which would then bring about the bursting of the bubble. All I can agree with is the “shrapnel” part. The guys from ‘BIS Projectiles’ went on to say that the variable rate of interest would be 10.1 per cent in 2006, and even went on to predict a recession similar to the one that Paul Keating delivered back in 1990-1991. Given that currently the economic fundamentals for the Australian economy remain, in a word, “robust”, one would seriously need to look at their high-risk investment exposure, namely those get-rich quick property seminars. What happened in the past was the dreaded domino theory as investors quickly liquidate their exposure to that particular market. This should not be construed as being the same for our housing market. The two bear no similarities what soever. Even back in those ‘cask wine’ days, Mosman had fewer than 20 mortgagee sales over the entire three years. Now there is a clue!!

The very next day in The Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Alan Kohler (a man I really rate with respect) wrote an article with the headline “Property buyers have just been sensible”. Mr Kohler said, “Apart from the fact that there is not yet a real estate bubble in Australia, as opposed to a sustainable once-off shift up in property values due to lower interest rates, there is another factor that will keep prices where they are for a few years yet.” Mr Kohler then went on to say, “Actually there are two property markets: owner-occupied and investment. Each is dancing to a different drum but neither has gone crazy,” which is exactly what we have been saying all along. They are completely different and bear not the slightest similarity. It is just a few who appear to have confused the two, which in turn led to the creation of their fixation on the imaginary property bubble. It should be clear to all that such a bubble is merely a mirage.

No doubt the ‘Governor of Moolah’ will be happy when he observes that houses and apartments are still selling for higher prices across Australia however, they are now taking longer to sell, according to the “Home Price Guide”. In Sydney, the median price increased by eighteen per cent over the last twelve months, up from $550,000 to $650,000. It was interesting to note that average yields fell to 2.9 per cent, which overall was a drop of 3.3 per cent. The apartment market over the same period jumped from $385,000 to $419,000 , and it was claimed that the apartments are averaging 47 days on the market, as compared to our apartments at RWM, which average ten days. The average price for a Mosman home for the twelve months to 31 August 2003 sits at $1,785,979, and for a unit it currently is $603,179.

It is very interesting to look at the overall dynamics of the property market and what is evolving. We had quite a few e-mails last week regarding our Internet sales which currently stand at $204,438,000. The number one salesperson in our office is not actually a person, it is our database! The July – September quarter for us was an all time record. The month of September was a new monthly record with $42,685,000 in property sales. The simple answer to what, how and why, is that we are mastering the art of the Internet. We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in research and development. We, as an agency, would be in the top one per cent in Australia, when it comes to understanding and successfully implementing the Internet with our client base and properties. We will definitely be here in 2006 to see if BIS Projectiles long -term predictions are correct. Sadly for some, many agents won’t be joining us. Love it or hate it, the Internet is fast taking over our industry!! Clink and cheers…^__^

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