When it comes to describing the Sydney property market today, most are left scratching their heads as they try to understand it. The property market today is confusing! Is it over-priced or just too expensive ? The ‘Governor of Moolah’ was spot on when he opted for the latter and described it as being “too expensive”, and “has even priced itself out of the market”. Transaction costs are the killer and this explains why so many are staying put, property punting has become too expensive and this explains why stock levels are on the decline. The upcoming Summer sell-out for houses will be the quietest in ten years and prices will remain steady with marginal increases. Sydneysiders have basically lost interest and trust in the property market, due entirely to the introduction of weird taxes. The trust factor has been decimated by a State government that has made a mockery out of taxing our industry. Today, most have little faith in the powers that be. The vendor tax was eliminated because the Premier had concerns that the government would not be re-elected in March 2007, but we all know that when one tax goes, a new one arrives. The threshold on land tax was abolished, then came back because the constituents (otherwise known as investors) complained to their local members. The share market today remains much more attractive to investors and one can hardly blame them for placing real estate on ignore. (Imagine if an exit tax was introduced to the share market !!) To make matters worse for the first home buyers, rental markets are unseasonably strong, with rents very much on the increase. This again was highlighted when the ‘Governor of Moolah’ commented last week “Sydney property is too expensive and young buyers would be better served by going somewhere more affordable”. The words “Queensland – beautiful one day, perfect the next” are ringing very loud to real estate agents across greater Sydney.

We still managed to post seven sold-by stickers across signboards this week, with Marize getting a gold star for five exchanges totalling $3,291,000. No longer available are 1/30 Eaton Street Neutral Bay, 14/180 Spit Road Mosman, 10/41 Sutherland Street Neutral Bay, 1/26 Somerset Street, Mosman and 3/93 Shadforth Street Mosman. Not one property was sold to an investor all were owner occupiers. We also sold two houses, 68 Kareela Road Cremore Point for $1,835,000 and 22 Sirius Cove Road Mosman for $1,300,000 and our Rental Department was very busy with ten leases signed. The apartment market remains very strong and will not follow the path of the housing market. We are of the opinion that stock levels for apartments will remain buoyant for quite some time.

It will be interesting to see how the property markets respond. Now that the multiple choice facility has been removed, we may even see public auction being introduced again. Over the last ten years the break down of private treaty sales to public auction has been on a fifty fifty basis. However this year we have sold eighty one properties and just six have been by public auction. This is amazing, given that the Eastern Suburbs still remains a dominant auction market. Mosman for some inexplicable reason went completely anti-auction with Expressions of Interest being the preferred option for house sellers. Even this week one agency submitted six properties and reported a none from six auction result.

All this does is confirm that Sydney property is made up of many niche markets that all demonstrate a multitude of personalities. Mosman is now demonstrating that ‘home sweet home’ is exactly that, and the excitement of playing in a market that simply is holding its own offers no challenges to the would-be participants. Cheers ^__^

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