There are four stages to accomplishment: Plan purposefully. Prepare ponderously. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently. What we have had to contend with all year is a property market, that has been procrastinating painfully! With the benefit of hindsight what we needed was a February Federal election as now the market tries to make up for lost time, with just a five week selling window remaining that will then close the front door on the 2004 market. Collective opinions agree that interest rates will remain unchanged until early 2005 and we can finally get down to what we do best ‘trading places’. Last Saturday, we auctioned a property at 17 Arkland Street, Cammeray which sold $150,000 above the reserve, with the hammer finally dropping on the bid of $1,902,000. Would it have achieved the same result six weeks ago ? Definitely not !! As we suggested a few weeks ago, the run-in to Christmas will be fast and furious. This will all but guarantee that the 2005 market will start with confidence, and we see no reason to suggest otherwise.

The Australian economy is powering along, and we absolutely love the tabloids for publishing executive salaries as it assists us when identifying purchasers. With companies posting record profits, it is no coincidence that the top-end of the market is enjoying an unprecedented run on sales. Even the International Monetary Fund, congratulated Australia for its outstanding economic management. Mentioned in dispatches for exceeding expectations was the long period of uninterrupted growth, consistent budget surpluses, falling public debt, low inflation with low unemployment. Whilst many still bask in the sunshine of success, it is clear now, that not everyone got it right.

Spare a thought for Bobby Dazzler, and his ‘State of Decay’ as many are not aware that if they purchased a home on January 1, 2004 they no longer qualified for his Premium Property Tax which was abolished from the 2005 tax year. This actually meant after 31 December 2003. The REI of NSW is currently investigating what damage the ‘Dazzler’s’ Vendor Exit Tax has inflicted on the property market (yes, I filled out our form). Our investigations identified little to no serious effect on our business, which coincides with the data, that the Vendor Exit Tax still remains well and truly in the red. The last few weeks have seen plenty of action in the rental market which has been running fast. The REI of NSW released the property management survey results this week. They further confirm that the months of September 2004 and October 2004 saw the Residential Vacancy Rate fall below 3.00 per cent which is the first time in over a year . September 2004 for Sydney dropped to 2.8 per cent and October 2004 saw it finish on 2.9 per cent, so why would an investor sell !! Millions have been missed with the Premium Property Tax abolition, given the recent run of top-end sales, and John Brogden is on record saying that he would never introduce it. No wonder this end of the market is bullish. The purchasers are the big winners here, so spare a thought for all those asset rich and cash poor vendors who were forced to sell because they could not pay this tax.

With the news still reverberating that Fairfax is in full-swing with its Domain North, the Cumberland Newspaper Group raised more than a few eyebrows, when it upped the ante with the launch of its “Moving On Up”. Sounds like a song from Australian Idol !! Together with a totally revised and improved real estate section, clearly their plan is to take on Fairfax’s dominant property doyens, the Chancellor/Blok combination. Congratulations to Cumberland. The new look is a huge improvement on the previous model and goes to show what a bit of competition can do. No doubt they will be hoping that (gets ready to click the fingers, and shake) “Moving On Up”, takes off as well as Domain East, where a little bird just told me, it has cracked the one hundred page mark.

The vendors and agents are really enjoying all these new innovations in our property market. If you can’t think up a new idea, try finding a way to make better use of an old one !! Cheers and clink ^__^

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