If you thought the local doctor would be doing house calls following last weeks rate increase, think again !! The market more than held its own and if anything exceeded expectations, proving yet again that those who subscribe to the ‘school of doom and gloom’ may now need to renovate their room. Our ‘Governor of Moolah’ was concerned that the national median house price was $371,853 in the December quarter of 2004, which was up from the September quarter $364,803, twelve months prior it was $362,734. And for the March quarter 2005 it will be up again, given that volume continues to decline.

Figures released this week from Home Price Guide which many argue is “statistically not reliable” revealed that 235 properties went to auction this week, down on the 357 last week, and well down on the 379 for the same time last year and the clearance rate was 47 per cent. Not a bad result given the rate bump earlier in the week. Out of the 235 properties offered, 131 sold, which was actually a clearance rate of 56% and given that 42 were withdrawn prior to the auction, this brought the clearance rate down to 47%. Over the course of the week, we exchanged 5 Botanic Road for $4,000,000, 120 B Holt Avenue for $1,080,000 and a home in Neutral Bay for just over $1,500,000. A further five properties are awaiting exchange today.

I get a chuckle each month when I look at the Home Price Guide Postcode Snapshot, which for the twelve months to 31 January 2005 listed the average price for a Mosman home at $1,825,000. Given that their were no auctions in January this year, all the private treaty sales were not recorded which further explains why the ‘Governor of Moolah’ described the system for recording property data as “hopeless”. We find the best way of monitoring our market is that little thing called a ‘sales meeting’ which happens on a weekly basis. Back to Mosman and for the period to 31 January 2005 the median price in Mosman fell – 6 per cent, and the median price for an apartment which came in at $470,000 fell -1 per cent. These figures put an entirely new spin on “Home and Away”. Now if you live in Neutral Bay the median price again “statistically not reliable” identified that for the same period the median price jumped a whopping 32 per cent, coming in at $1,228,000. The reason for this uncharacteristic jump could have been that a home in Shellcove Road settled for $13,500,000. For those who reside in Neutral Bay, you should be back to around five per cent next month, but who knows what is likely to be recorded, the median apartment price came in at $506,000 which in their opinion was a – 5 per cent result.

In a week that left the market reeling after the rate increase and valium sales soared to record highs, the Eastern Suburbs posted some shabby sales. “Boomerang” in Elizabeth Bay posted a $20,000,000 plus sale price, then the very next day the Murdoch(s) accepted around $20,750,000 for their Point Piper waterfront home. This puts a very positive spin on the top-end property market and just confirms what many have been suggesting, that when you read the business section of the newspaper you are seeing the best company profit reporting in a decade. Despite increasing interest rates and a record current account deficit, thank goodness oxygen is still free.

The current property market has serious attitude in our niche market, which all but reinforces our attitude that the market still remains happy, healthy and wise. The “Mosman dollar” still remains one of the strongest currencies in the country, and the economists still keep getting it wrong. We are extremely confident that the market will remain robust and positive till Easter and then once again we will review our position. Cheers ^__^

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