Great to see The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has a grip on what is possibly happening out there in the housing market. So re-assuring to hear that if there was a thirty per cent fall in home prices, the banks would be more than able to weather the storm. There would have to be an extreme economic trigger to see such an occurrence eventuate, which more than likely would lead us down the path to a ‘recession, that we don’t have to have’. Such “stress testing”, merely tests the intelligence quotient of those who compiled the report. I guess they are still ‘smarting’ after their involvement with HIH.

The ‘Assylum of Anecdotes’ creates many of today’s unique expressions that inaccurately describe the property industry. This week, the ‘Brick Award’ goes to ‘debt binge’!! Yes, a survey conducted, revealed that one in four would have trouble meeting mortgage payments if rates went up one percentage point. A two percentage hike would leave 44 per cent of those surveyed in dire straits, and three-quarters said that should rates jump three percentage points, they would be well and truly up the proverbial creek without a paddle. An enormous amount of work went into the compilation of this report. Between September 23 – 28 they polled (wait for it) a massive one thousand people. This quite remarkable poll failed to reveal the residential addresses of those who participated, nor did it reveal if it was referring to investment property, which quite often is falsely construed as the principal place of residence. It did reveal that out of the one thousand who participated sixty percent believed that homes would keep rising. Might I suggest that the next survey be conducted in the Heiniken Beer tent at the Rugby World Cup, when Romania play Namibia.

One must give credit where credit is due, and NSW the “State of Taxes”, has all but run out of credit !! Yes, our outstanding leader Mr Robert John Carr has managed to do it again with his implementation of economic policy that really has exceeded all expectations. In just six months he has managed to squander a very respectable $1.5 billion. The Daily Telegraph, revealed that this quite remarkable institution which is better known as an elected Government is fast making One.Tel look like a smart business plan. They blew $470 million on the Millennium train, and Ronald Biggs could have told them that it would not work, and that great Treasurer Michael Egan lost $305 million due to negative investment returns. Throw in another $519 million in managed funds blowouts. I guess neither can expect an invitation to speak at the next breakfast meeting of the Chamber of Commerce.

Given that his new Water Wealth Tax, is just there to whet their appetites, they are coming back with an up-dated version of the Land Tax Grab. Yes, although the Courts have labelled the Government’s application to applying Land Tax as being fraudulent and inaccurate, that is not enough to stop Bob and his merry men. Our modern day Robin Hood, who can’t see the forest for the trees, can see with Land Tax, that the threshold is lifted by a staggering eighteen per cent. Of course the rich peasants in the villages would not know that property prices have jumped by thirty per cent. Mathematically it makes great sense why he would collect this money, what does not make sense why it is consistently blown away.

The clearance rates this week for some agents and agencies were nothing short of atrocious, sitting around ten per cent. Before the dogs start barking, most were away in kennels because their owners were away on School Holidays. One would think that those agents who ran campaigns would have worked this out. For the record, our auction clearance rate for 2003 is 98%!! There is a clue there, holidays and property marketing don’t exactly mix, and some are blaming it on the new regulations!! Cheers and clink, oops that could be perceived as a new binge…^__^

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