Australia’s Head Teller, our very own ‘Governor of Moolah’ looks like being acknowledged as the first immortal of The Reserve Bank of Australia. A fortnight out from The International Monetary Funds World Economic Report warned that Australia’s housing boom still posed a threat to the economy, ie it will come crashing down. The question that begs is, has the great Governor landed the property market safely on the tarmac ? Well at this early juncture we believe that he has. What we are now finally seeing after all the (bull) dust has settled is a much more measured and balanced property market. What the two rate increases in November and December 2003 have achieved is to fine tune and stabilize that problem-child otherwise known as capital appreciation. Our present market is much more intimate as fewer players are participating. This is a significant change from last year’s market which in many instances was better described as an orgy, which threatened to spread a disease of financial ruination.

In the last week we have put together some great sales and we will report more on those once exchanged; the pleasing aspect is that we are realising vendor and purchaser expectations. At last weekend’s ‘open for inspections’, the housing numbers were fantastic for the first time this year, one home had ninety couples inspect in the first week of marketing. Our Home Unit Department recorded between ten and fifteen inspections per property and we are averaging around three apartment sales per week, adding another seven new listings this week. We had approximately three hundred inspections over the last week, and welcome the one hundred and twenty five new subscribers who are reading their first edition of Virtual Realty News. Not a day goes by that I don’t monitor our Internet usage statistics for our e-business and the numbers viewing RWM are also revealing a pattern, January 164,688, February 339, 556, March 396,184, April 399,098 and May 56,601. These numbers are significantly up on 2003 which peaked at 326,600.

Many figures are being thrown at the market in general and there has been a concentration on clearance rates which last weekend posted 32.3 per cent from the 115 properties offered in Sydney. At the same time last year it recorded 63.8 per cent from 209 properties offered which clearly identifies that stock levels will remain tight for at least the next twelve to eighteen months. Again, a positive sign for the market. One statistic that is well and truly up, compared to this time last year, is the number of real estate agencies listed for sale and this will grow significantly over the next twelve months.

Quite a few niche areas are now getting used to capital depreciation (those being the areas where developers kept subdividing the sky). This comes as no great shock to the system as this was the punters’ property market. I was interested to read an article in the Money section of The Sydney Morning Herald this week titled “Hammered”, which looked at the broader Sydney property market. Interviewed, was Louis Christopher, head of The Home Price Guides research, who commented in regard to Mosman, ” Vendors there are sticking to their guns”, which is a positive spin on our market. Yes, the sales are now taking place. I predicted last week that the May – June market would be positive and this week, RWM is even more confident. Only eight more editions to see if my prediction is correct!

Spare a thought for the prolific leader of our “State of Decay”, who runs it from the book of ‘No Idea’. This week Bob in his usual bravado announced, that the number of applications for Stamp Duty exemptions had tripled since our brilliantly elected Government announced their mind-boggling new tax-free threshold. ‘Bobby Dazzler’ then went on to say ” since the announcement of the $500,000 tax-free threshold for first-home buyers, 2330 had claimed Stamp Duty exemptions, worth $20.4 million.” One wonders how many of the 2330 applications were the mums and dads who are using the scheme as a tax lurk by applying through their children’s names. Next, how many of these applicants are those who have rescinded contracts signed before April 4, and then signed a new contract to take advantage of the Stamp Duty exemptions. Also, does anyone know when John Brogden is returning from holidays, or are the new tax innovations (not) a tad too complicated for the Opposition leader, who appears to be running in the opposite direction? ‘Bobby Dazzler’ is also set to mount a legal challenge to the Federal Government over the Commonwealth Grants Commission’s missing 376 million bucks. Given that the methodology of calculation has never been a concern in previous years, I guess an accurate clue is that the “State of Decay”, is trading whilst insolvent.

The ‘State of Decay’ is more likely to have a crash landing than our property market. What chance of our ‘Governor of Moolah’ who finishes his extended term in twenty nine months time, changing positions and taking up the position of running NSW. I’m sure that the chorus would be ‘I’d like to see that’!! Well worth a cheer and plenty of clinks ^__^

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