Figures released this week, confirmed that in the December quarter, the property market responded by showing the money. As we predicted and stated back in the December editions of ‘Virtual Realty News’ , this was a quarter of the “market on”. We posted a record breaking quarter and from agent speak, many others set new benchmarks. The Australian Bureau of Statistics posted the December quarter figures this week which clearly identified that new homes, existing homes and investment properties all posted increases. The new figures draw a parallel to those posted in 2003 when it was well documented that the market peaked. Given that there was no trigger to ignite the market, this all but confirms that many were incorrect with their predictions that the property markets were locked in gradual decline.

In 2006 the market is encouraging thus far, with whispers in the market that a few off market sales have been posted. A Clifton Gardens residence has been reported at $8,000,000 and this will certainly add hype to the market. Our prediction for this year is that niche markets that boast a top end, will enjoy a very strong market and in all probability existing records will be superseded. This will be the only significant change.

The Sydney property markets will (should) no longer be amalgamated as one. Rather, the individual personalities of suburbs will this year draw greater definition and recognition. Last week we reported that in Mosman, the average price for a home for the twelve months to 1 January 2006 was $1,948,000. This week, for the twelve months to 1 February 2006 the figure has climbed to $1,997,000. The median price for Mosman has jumped from $1,663,000 in January to $1,725,000 in February 2006. If you want to know what the capital appreciation has been for the twelve month period you can work on nine per cent. Whilst this figure destroys the prophecies of doom and disaster it is the apartment market that confirms that it too has kick started after the rest period of the doomed vendor tax. For the period to I January 2006 the average price for an apartment was $656,000. One month on, you can add another $10,000 as it now sits at $666,000. The median price jumped from $515,000 to $523,000 which identified an 11 per cent increase over the twelve month period. The reason for the sudden increase in apartment sales, is due entirely to a return by investors to the market as rents continue to climb.

Adjoining suburbs, Cremorne and Neutral Bay, did not perform as well as Mosman over the same period. Neutral Bay in January, boasted an average price of $1,112,000 and a month later it is $1,110,000. The median price moved from $899,000 to $915,000. Apartments again were the improver moving from an average price of $573,000 to $583,000, the median price remained the same at $500,000. Cremorne houses in January sat at an average price of $1,423,000. This has now increased in February to $1,439,000 with the median price increasing from $1,100,000 to $1,133,000. Apartments in Cremorne have not performed as well with the average price dropping from $598,000 to $592,000 although the median price remains unchanged at $490,000.

You can draw your own conclusions as to the state of play in the market, however we are of the opinion that our niche markets have certainly turned the corner and we can (if properties are valued correctly) enjoy a positive March quarter. This week we sold 1/41 Young Street Cremorne $454,000, 11/21 Grasmere Road Cremorne $880,000 and 54 Awaba Street Mosman for $885,000.

The property market enjoyed an injection of new properties this week based on the increased pages in The Mosman Daily and Domain North. Obviously vendor sentiment in 2006 has been cautious, which is to be expected, given the variety of market speak currently doing the rounds. The latest releases will provide further confidence in the market place although some never doubted it in the first place. We called it first in December and we should with all things considered, keep calling it correctly. Cheers ^__^

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