All the talk in the market this week was about an article that appeared in “Domain”, in The Sydney Morning Herald last weekend. The article titled “Numbers crunched”, written by Alex May was in my opinion, a deliberate attempt to “profoundly mislead” the residential property market. Given that the one hundred pages that followed, generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in property advertising monies, serious questions need to be asked. The journalist responsible, spoke to me on the phone for about ten minutes while she was writing the article and here is her interpretation of the conversation. “Nothing is driving the market right now – our market is seriously ill” says Robert Simeon of Richardson & Wrench Mosman. “After eight years of consistent gains, Mosman is consolidating. It can’t go on forever”. Now here is what I actually said. I did say “that in a market like the present one, agents need to get their opinions of value correct, as when auction day arrives and properties don’t sell (because inflated opinions were given in order to get the business) one might just get the impression that the market is seriously ill”… or words to that effect. It was a vindictive article and totally biased and I can assure you that we did have the last word.

When I contacted Karin Bishop (Acting Editor), it was resolved that yes, I did use those words, but not in that context. So the voyeurs of the Mosman market will see a more balanced opinion of our market in “Domain” over the next few weeks. I asked for a retraction and that was denied, so I will give myself one here!

Ok, back to the Mosman market and the news doing the rounds at the salubrious Mosman Hotel was that Mosman had posted its third double digit sale. The home on Hopetoun Avenue, has been sold for reportedly $10.250 million, which is also the third highest sale ever posted in Mosman, and it was not sold by us. We now have the two highest sales, and our third highest sale has now dropped to fourth place. Oh well, three out of four ain’t that bad! This is great news for our market, as this would be the highest sale reported in Sydney this year.

News released this week, that housing affordability in the December quarter plunged to a record low, with The HIA/Commonwealth Bank Affordability Report declaring that housing was 23.7 per cent less affordable for first-home buyers in that quarter than it was twelve months prior. It will be interesting to see what the Bureau of Statistics January housing finance data, (which is to be released today) identifies about the state of the market. You can rest assured that again, you will see that lending will be on the decline, and this should firm up the market, given that our ‘Governor of Moolah’ won’t knock rates up whilst lending figures decline. This is positive news for the property market overall, and further identifies that it is far from being “seriously ill”. The property market needs balance, and this year it has started with a slow walk, feeling its way into the new year, and for the record, we like the current market. For quite some time agents have taken the market for granted, as it self – generated. Today, the market environment has changed significantly, and marketing strategies are being re-assessed.

As they say “truth is not always popular, but it is always right”, so let’s acknowledge that we have a truthful property market at the moment. All the agents have to do with the current market is stay close to it!! Cheers and clink ^__^

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