PROPERTY IS HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!

PROPERTY IS HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!

One thing you can say about real estate is that the next best thing to experiencing it is to talk about it. Some enjoy talking it up, as others enjoy the practice of talking it down. The noticeable difference in the property markets this year is that purchasers are doing plenty of talking and the vendors are listening and liking what they are hearing. This week we exchanged 51 Clanalpine Street, Mosman for $1,725,000 and 15 Ellalong Road, Cremorne has exchanged for $1,500,000 (the first open for inspection was on Thursday 10th Feb). Also, quite a few of the top-end properties are under negotiation and in all probability a few will sell before the closing dates. Given that our property market flatly rejected Public Auction last year, in favour of Expressions of Interest, “it is first in – best dressed” and quite a few are finding this out the hard way. We do believe that gradually, we will see a return back to Public Auction which is very much a transparent selling process, and Expressions of Interest is not transparent.

Whilst on transparent there was plenty of discussion this week on the agents in Mosman seeking to dominate the Mosman columns in Saturday’s Domain, and in coming weeks it will be watch that space with interest. As suggested, the Mosman column has been transformed into a photo album with the major players going for the 10 x 2 colour advertisements, which down the track could possibly squeeze out the smaller brands as they will find it very difficult to compete (or be seen for that matter) in this medium. It is interesting to note that this new phenomena seems to be contained to the 2088 postcode at present. At a quick glance through the other sections, Mosman was by far the most dominant. Either we are leading the way, or going the wrong way!! I think that we are leading it as vendor enquiries regarding upcoming new business certainly want dominant advertisements in Saturday’s Domain. Domain North have just announced that next week’s edition will jump to 112 pages (not bad for a three week old brand). Cumberland Newspaper Group report that it is up on
last year, so it looks at this stage that 2005 could well prove to be up on 2004. Sales evidence is also suggesting this.

What is becoming clear is that we have selling windows now throughout the calendar year, and many of us are still coming to terms with the reality that Easter falls in March this year. That means that we now have just six Saturdays left before we hit Easter and April has a ninety per cent school holiday dominance. Historically, vendors sway away from spending advertising dollars over this period as a large proportion of the market is perceived to be on holidays. The bigger database-driven agencies then move away from the print media and have a much greater reliance with online marketing as this is much more cost effective. The campaigns hit full swing straight after the Anzac Day public holiday and the next selling window will go through until the end of June where the market takes another two week break, as July is the next round of school holidays.

Interest rate debates continue and yes, it is a reality that this year we will see one, or possibly two increases. With our niche markets, we believe that these increases will have little or no effect. If you were facing financial hardship, your property would be on the market now, given that rate increases are now a fait accompli!

It is becoming clear, that if you have nothing to write about, the interest rate debate is a great filler. Most would agree that it is no longer seen as a thriller as it has been over-done by certain sections of the media. The interest rate debate would not be anywhere near as irritating if it was not discussed in such large volumes. Especially when the predictions of most who stand on their respective soap boxes have been consistently wrong, not for months, but years.

When it comes to rates, all we hear is an echo and we know that echoes don’t contribute much that is factually new!! What we do enjoy is working the markets to the best of our abilities and it can be challenging as we all know. The difference this year is that the market has more confidence than at this time last year, and quite a few agencies are well and truly up on this time last year. The next six weeks will set the platform for the 2005 market and it will be good news for some and bad news for others.

Rest assured we do have a property market in 2005 and this year it appears to be much more consolidated with a sense of energy. The market breaks with school holiday disruptions will allow the different niche markets to re-group and this should add sturdiness, but we all know that property niche markets are a week by week proposition. It is refreshing that at the present juncture we only have to count to six!! Cheers and clink ^ __ ^

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