If the property market is going to trade-well into its ninth consecutive year, it will be imperative that it finishes strongly, so that market perceptions remain up-beat for 2005. At the beginning of 2004, the market got off to a slow start as confusion reigned following the two rate increases in November and December 2003. With just over four weeks to go in 2004, agents face a larger than life mission to clear the current available property. Having said that, we still remain confident of a successful outcome.

If you look at Mosman houses alone, in The Sydney Morning Herald Domain on Saturday, there were eighty offered for sale, which is the peak number for the year, so now we need to see these numbers diminish. Of the eighty, we are carrying fifteen and with a few more still to come onto the market, it will be a most interesting finish to the year. Naturally, when Macquarie Bank announce that they are yet again on track for another record annual profit, the market moves up another notch as it is well documented that it has a passion for those special numbers “2088”.

The markets are consistently holding their own, with Mosman for the twelve months to 31 October, posting an average house sale price of $1,907,250. This saw the median change for the twelve month period sit at seven per cent. Units in Mosman average out at $596, 122 and the median sitting on four per cent. Cremorne houses posted an average of $1,321,118 with the median sitting at nine per cent. Apartments were much the same in Mosman with the average price being $580,896 and the median, four per cent. Neutral Bay, had an average of $1,250,221 and the median was one per cent. Apartments averages are $619,635 with 0 per cent change in values. Cammeray has an average of $1,055,478, its median was five per cent for houses and apartments sat on $528,181 with a zero per cent median change. These figures send out a clear message that the Lower North Shore market is very balanced, confident and comfortable to trade at the current levels.

Whilst interest rates are not as great an issue as in other markets around Sydney, they still play a part in market temperatures. Building approvals have fallen by twenty five per cent, which shows why investment financing for houses has had ten months of continual decline. No doubt the ‘Governor of Moolah’ will not be following the path of his mates at the Bank of England, who tortured the market with five interest rate rises in a year. These rate increases then saw house prices fall at the sharpest rate since the 1990’s. Our property market is much more protected these days with current economic factors indicating that rates will remain on a steady path for most of 2005.

This week we sold 2 Inkerman Street Mosman for a price in the mid-two million range. The apartment market continues on its impressive path in 2004 with 409/433 Alfred Street Neutral Bay selling for $520,000 and 303/55 Harbour Street, selling for $375,000. The market is moving gradually and somewhat conservatively, but we remain confident. At the same time, we are keeping a very close eye on every move and breath it takes.

Let’s see if we can nail a few big ones before next week. Like the eternal optimist, when we go fishing we take a camera with us !! Cheers and clink ^__^

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