When the NSW Treasurer Michael Egan announced that “it was not necessarily a bad thing” if the investors look outside the ‘State of Decay’ due to new taxes, this confirmed how well he runs his ‘No Idea’ portfolio. If anything, these new taxes will stimulate the investor market as the mums and dads in NSW are on the verge of cleaning up. What we are hearing is that they are buying investment properties in the names of their children (they must be over 18). They then apply for the First Home Buyers Grant, next they save $17,900 on not having to pay Stamp Duty (what a deal)! The only thing they can’t claim is negative gearing on the property. When the time comes to sell there is no Capital Gains Tax as it is the principal place of residence, which also rules out the Exit Tax. Whilst the Treasurer believes that his new taxes will help cool the market, the investors on the other hand are calling it a cool deal !!

With the new loans to property investors falling for the fourth month in a row, due mainly to the two interest rate hikes late last year, it will be very interesting to monitor what happens in the coming months. The February figures revealed that borrowing dropped 3.7 per cent in February. We are starting to see a much more positive outlook on our property market, and the Autumn market will be rewarding as the buyer confidence gains momentum. In the coming weeks we will be offering $26 million in houses, and our home unit department could not be busier. Of the eighteen properties we are currently marketing, twenty five per cent are under offer. Without getting carried away, we remain confident and optimistic about real estate in our niche market.

The same can’t be said for the agent ‘down at the ‘Gong’, who this week was ‘gonged’ out of the real estate market for five years for making fictitious bids; seems he was barking up the wrong tree, and did not register Mr and Mrs Eucalypt. To use the excuse that “he was not aware of the new legislation”, is absurd as the legislation had as much exposure as a David Beckham text message. You see many weird and wonderful things in this industry, and it was a first the other day when an auctioneer exercised a vendor bid – the only problem was that the subject property was a Deceased Estate !! Nothing like a bit of divine intervention.

For the property voyeurs the next few months will be the most interesting that we have seen in years. Whilst many keep offering opinions, the simple truth is that there is no historical data to suggest what will happen. Never before have we seen investor concerns about the stock-market; some company directors were awarded a ten year disqualification and an agent who takes three dummy bids get five years !! Money is still considered to be cheap so the star attraction of real estate still remains hard to beat. We have historically low inflation and an Opposition Leader, Mark ‘King Gee’ Latham who now recites Bill Clinton. Sure it would be fair to suggest that capital growth in many areas will diminish, however it would also be fair to suggest that some areas will continue to post capital appreciation. All that needs to be identified are hot spots, and horror spots. Much will depend on the debt burden and employment which are both looking very healthy at the moment. We will see a movement way from public auction, with an increase on private treaty as many vendors will argue that big advertising campaigns are not really working at the moment. This could change in the space of a few weeks.

There could very well be a move to Internet marketing, which many argue is the most cost effective and those agencies who have heavily invested in IT will come out the big winners. Whatever happens, I can say that database is the King of the property market, and the future is looking very bright for those such agencies. In our network I know of one agency that does not even have a computer !! Technology in the property industry is here to stay, although some agents also are hoping for some divine intervention. Have a great Anzac Day “Lest we forget”, Cheers and clink, and stick with heads !! ^__^

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