Plenty of interesting feedback to last week’s edition which all but identifies that unless the powers that be initiate a system where exchanged properties are recorded, we will never have an accurate market positioning at any given time. As we entered the Spring selling season this week, a look at the available properties will show that stock levels are at a record low. If you take apartments and houses that are currently up for Public Auction there is a choice of just 21 properties. Given that Mosman would in all probability have the worst clearance rates across Sydney, the preferred method of Expressions of Interest can only manage 14 properties which indicates that prices will climb. You only see prices decline when the market has an over supply (otherwise referred to as a dump). The October market (which starts after the school holidays) will be even more intriguing although it would be accurate to suggest that we will see the same pattern for the remainder of the year. Despite the economists’ predictions that we are in a housing downturn that threatens the economy, it is difficult to agree with their rationale given that stock levels continue to decline. We are currently experiencing very strong off-shore interest from expats which identifies that some large off-market sales will be recorded over Summer. It will be interesting to see the numbers at this week’s open for inspections. If the numbers are up, the market will be in for a run.

It is so much easier to get a feel for the financial markets over the property markets. With the financial markets you can get a daily positioning on the Aussie dollar, gold, All Ordinaries and the ASX 200. However, with property, the only weekly indicator is clearance rates at Public Auction. Expressions of Interest results are not really provided as vendors prefer to keep their sale price confidential. The Sydney clearance rates last week were the second highest for 2005 (which again leaves a clue) with a 52 per cent clearance, and 57 per cent post auction clearance which again highlights that property prices are firming. This could see a faster transition move by investors back into the market as they have a ‘pack mentality’ which usually leads to frenzied acquisitions which drive prices up. There is anecdotal evidence that apartment prices have bottomed, but are now moving up a slight incline. It will be interesting to watch in coming weeks as currently we are carrying twenty three apartments and will be launching another ten in the next week which is a significant increase by any standard. Property is a numbers game and if you look closely, it is pretty easy to understand. All you do is look at the number of properties available, then look at the numbers at the open for inspections.

Whilst on numbers it was the Richardson & Wrench Annual Awards last Saturday night and we came in with number one office NSW and number two office nationally. Congratulations to Noosa office who took out number one. Richard Simeon was number one selling principal which is an awesome effort. Last year’s number one, Stephen Patrick, (Mr Consistent) came in at number three. Marize Bellomo continues to climb up the ladder and achieved her highest ever position in the sales category by coming in at number four in NSW. What makes this result even more amazing is that Marize only sells apartments. With an average of one sale per week, it is little wonder she is a top performer. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank John Fairfax Publications Pty Ltd who were the major sponsors for the evening.

As most would know the financial year for 1 July 2003 – 30 June 2004 was our best ever and this quarter we remain on track to beat last year’s July quarter. You can read plenty of negative comments out there regarding the property markets. I must say, all this does, is strengthen our resolve. Cheers ^__^

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