Facts, frustrations and figures that constantly confuse property markets!

Facts, frustrations and figures that constantly confuse property markets!

Without a shadow of a doubt that confusion is generated by our dominant media companies that consistently promote zoom and boom for home price growth in 2010 and beyond. You can’t really blame them, given that the global financial crisis (GFC) positioned their real estate business revenues on a hiding to nothing. We are six weeks into the 2010 market and this week’s results were mixed.

External coal – face market examinations can deliver dire consequences where our property markets are mapped on anecdotal market results. Simply put: our property housing market remains a bit skittish and definitely improving. The media companies may well be right although – only time (not crystal balls) will tell. When media companies talk the real estate market up one would be dumb and dumber to assume that vendors are not upwardly repositioning their greatest asset.

In this week’s edition of Virtual Realty News we identify – what’s going up and what’s going down. It’s a week by week proposition given last week the adjusted auction clearance rate in Mosman was 77 per cent then, this week, it dropped to 38 per cent? Next week will probably be a different story.


Admiralty House is arguably Australia’s most prized real estate holding as identified by Tim Mooney when he captured this amazing shot this week. Hopefully, The Emperor (Kevin Rudd) did not have Pink Batts installed in his Sydney harbourside residence – a question never tabled in Parliament House?


Tim Mooney Photography

Housing market shows signs of cooling – a frustrating report given that in January (every year) Australians are on holidays. Every year, our two quietest months are January and July, “The Bureau of Statistics says only 667 NSW residents took out construction loans in January, down from a high of 1,270 in September. “ September is a peak month so not exactly an accurate market critique.

Just look at our share market for a clue – weaker economies leave us in their wake.” Australia’s share market has been stalled for six months and has performed worse than many countries that are in much poorer economic shape. Twelve months after the depths of the GFC, the All Ordinaries Index is up 54 per cent from its low, but has improved just 4 per cent since September. In contrast, US shares have climbed 60 per cent since March 2009 and 9 per cent since September despite a deep recession and unemployment at 10 per cent.” A possible answer could be investors grab bigger share of home loans the grab for their largest share of housing loans since 1994.

On the flip – side business confidence at a four month high but growth remains below the highs seen in late 2009, a survey shows. The National Australia Bank (NAB) business confidence index gained four points to plus – 19 points in February. This was the surveys highest level since November 2009 when it also touched + 19 points, which just so happened to be a seven year high. What Australians spent money on during the GFC and why, in most countries it means bunkering down however, Australians went in the opposite direction when in 2009 we spent $5.000 billion on boats, bikes and caravans. In 2008 we spent $3.500 billion!

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This is the telling graph given Australian home prices surged 13.6 per cent in 2009. What many are missing, is exactly what triggered the recovery. Earlier this week I was chatting on the phone with a Virtual Realty News subscriber who also happens to oversee one of Australia’s largest mortgage books. He pointed out that as first home buyers entered the market they drove prices up and the recipients then went out and purchased more expensive property. In January this year home loans slump most in a decade falling by 7.9 per cent which was the largest fall since June 2000. “The number of first – home buyer loans as a share of total borrowing edged down from 21 per cent of the total in December to 20.5 per cent in January 2010. Home loans for new houses dropped 13.2 per cent to 2,146 in January, while loans for established dwellings dropped 8.2 per cent to 42,303. The true real estate market grows organically and I don’t support government cash hand outs to entice purchasers, knowing that cash rates will continue to go up – not down.

On the flip – side RBA warns home prices could go higher. Assistant governor Phillip Lowe said if the nation’s population growth remained strong, more of the economy would need to be devoted towards housing, presenting challenges both to labour markets and governments. He must have read last week’s edition as Fort Fumbles (Federal government) have our builders constructing school halls instead of working on bricks and mortar. Liberal backbencher Malcolm Turnbull wrote an interesting piece in The Sydney Morning Herald this week The government throws prudence – and billions – to the wind. Great to see our Virtual Realty News commentaries remain a week ahead of our elected politician’s viewpoints.

We all share an obsession for Sydney’s top end of town property results so here is the Dyson Austen Top 10 Prestige Residential Survey for Quarter 3 – 2009 and Quarter 4 – 2009. The Sydney top – end barometer and the results identify our markets road to recovery.

Dyson Austen Top 10 – July to September 2009


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RWM led this recovery when we posted $63 million worth of sales in June 2009 and grabbed top spot with the sale of Lodge Road Cremorne (this is the very first time that a Cremorne home has attained poll position). The vendors are subscribers. This survey identifies that the Top 10 was up 7.2 per cent from the previous quarter.

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Now we see (with the published results for the December quarter 2009) the obvious upward movement as the economy recovers. The previous quarter’s top sale would have come in at position five. The Top 10 jumped up another 12.2 per cent when compared to the previous quarter so it will be intriguing to see what the first quarter of 2010 delivers. What we see here first hand is our property market recovery from the GFC first hand. For mine: the top end identifies the exact strength of our markets because it is the indulgence market that sets market sentiment. Just as interesting, when Australia was in the midst of the GFC this market all but shut down – a clue. The first home buyers stole the limelight with cash government incentives, marinated with record low rates. Remember also, that The Emperor removed foreign ownership constraints when he dismantled the Foreign Investment Review Board Top Sydney properties snapped up.

Dyson Austen Top 10 – October to December 2009


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Great commentaries on our blog regarding last week’s edition. The Henry Tax Review keeps grabbing attention for most obvious reasons. The Emperor was just too busy to release tax review. He was probably engrossed in reading review ‘hollow’ with no income tax re-jig”.

We went further a field for those who love paying tax and are happy to present The Unfinished Business of Australian Tax Reform which is an amazing report by Robert Carling. I loved this quote “Do we really want more redistribution? Don’t we already have too much, in that policy is paying too much attention to re – slicing the economic pie at the expense of making it larger”?

The same could be said about the Federal Budget Stimulus.

Back again next week and we’ll chat further with you on our blog.

Cheers ^__^

This week’s sales Mosman real estate, Cremorne real estate, Cremorne Point real estate, Balmoral real estate, Neutral Bay real estate, Cammeray real estate Click Here

This week’s RWM open for inspections Click Here

5 Responses to “Facts, frustrations and figures that constantly confuse property markets!”

  • roger says:

    I suspect Tim Mooney’s photo is of Admiralty House – the Sydney home of the Governor General.
    Kirribilli House – the Sydney Home of the Prime Minister – is the smaller one off to the right rear of the photo.

  • Roger – you get the Gold Star as you are 100 per cent correct 🙂

  • Michael says:

    The Emperor has snookered himself with the Henry Report, he has to release it before the election, which I bet will be just after the Football Grand Finals , so the election debate plays second fiddle to the usual hype at that time of the year. He may wait until November if the polls goes south, but I bet he is itching for October or even September. There is now NO DOUBT that there will be a double dissolution, following the rolling out of the Ministers this week complaining they dont have a majority in the Senate. He is softening us up.

  • Tim Mooney says:

    Thanks Roger. I have forwarded a correctly titled image to RS. I wasn’t sure who was running the country.

  • Mitch says:

    Sometimes the real estate news are being over sensationalized by the media. The numbers can be reliable and we should know exactly what to do in times like this. I wish you well in all your real estate endeavors. Good luck!

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