Surprise surprise!! As predicted, the “Governor of Moolah” has announced that official interest rates will remain unchanged. Even more intriguing is that the decision came with very little or no explanation as to why. Maybe the Governor is showing a little remorse for the two rate increases that struck the property market during that last quarter of 2003. With no increase this will allow those who did not find buyers late last year, every opportunity to secure a sale in the early trades for 2004. Or could it be that he is somewhat embarrassed regarding information revealed by the Freedom of Information Office, that he uses his taxpayer-funded Amex card at a rate that could qualify him for the ‘Guiness Book of Records’ ($249,265 over the last twenty four months). It would have been rather ironic if he’d raised the interest rates and cited consumer debt levels as a concern.

Crikey!! Mark Latham wanted to sell “Kirribilli House”, if he was elected Prime Minister. Yes, the man raised in ‘stubbies and a blue singlet’, believed that we could well do without this historic landmark. Given that this is Mr Latham’s debut in ‘VRN’, we have decided to call him “King Gee”. For those unaware of the history of “Kirribilli House” it all began in 1854 where it was held in private ownership. The land was resumed when the then Prime Minister, Rt Hon W M Hughes approved the compulsory acquisition. The property was resumed by special Commonwealth Gazette on January 17,1920. In 1956 the Commonwealth Government decided to restore “Kirribilli House” for use as a residence for overseas guests of the Commonwealth and the Prime Minister and his family. Since 1957 “Kirribilli House” has welcomed Royalty and numerous dignitaries (no wonder King Gee changed his mind). Maybe ‘King Gee’ reneged on his earlier contemplation of a sale, after his old rugby mates from Liverpool Rugby Club, suggested that it would be a bloody great place to hold a fundraising barbeque. Not to mention the great fun of a thong throwing competition on the manicured rolling lawns. There are many conflicting reports and suggestions on the true market value. I for one hope that we will never know! Given the heritage concerns, it would in all probability be around $35,000,000 to $45,000,000.

The media can take a bow for its hard-line stance on out-dated Stamp Duty laws. After Queensland Premier Peter Beattie announced his band-aid reductions, NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden proposed a ten per cent reduction across the board. Brogden cited “cutting spending, and the vast amounts wasted by governments”. One only has to look at the millions wasted on the ill-fated Spit Bridge proposal to witness this first hand. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Bob “Mr Tax” Carr, to join the chorus; on this issue he is certainly tone deaf.

It was good news all round in this week’s edition of The Mosman Daily, as we are finally starting to see more properties hitting the market. It was only a matter of time! In approximately three weeks we will see the true colours of the market. It will be interesting to see what number of prospective purchasers are out and about this weekend. One thing we do know is that with the ‘Governor of Moolah’ missing out on his hat-trick of rate increases, we are certainly not on a sticky wicket!! Cheers and clink… ^__^

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