When in doubt, tell the truth!! Well the December 2003 quarter figures have done exactly that, the home truths make for amazing reading. What we also know is that an argument is a question with two sides-and no end !! The property arguments are exactly that. Once again the December quarter 2003 identified strong gains in residential property prices, and this was not just in Sydney alone, but over NSW. What it also identified as most observed was, that across the board the turnover rates for property did decline. The Sydney median price for a home increased by 6.4%, to finish the year at $500,000, NSW, overall posted an increase of 5.7% to $382,500. The (for some) highly contentious home unit market rose by 2.8% finishing up on $370,000, across the ‘State of Decay’. This market grew 4.5% to $350,000. Now let’s get down to the ‘nitty gritty’; 27,069 parties played the property game, during the quarter across the State. Sydney had the largest party with 17,662 party-goers. This shrinking number of ‘party players’ was down 15.0% on the previous quarter. Some may remember reading in earlier editions that the December quarter for ‘RWM’ was the second highest on record. We were the number one office in our network in the December quarter (yeah team).

Now that I have captured your attention, and no doubt many are shaking their heads in utter disbelief, these are figures released by the Real Estate Institute of NSW. Over the twelve month period, (that’s four quarters for our Queensland subscribers – its Super 12 season jibe time) to December, the median price for a home in NSW rose 21.4%. This was then averaged out since the December quarter of 1993, which identified that the median home price in this once great state has increased by 10.1% a year. The ‘Mosman dollar’ was again the leading currency for real estate, recording a median price of $1,810,000 for the quarter for the Local Government areas. This registered a 17.92% quarterly increase, with the annual increase being 9.70% which is exactly what we predicted (gives himself a gold star). Areas like Strathfield posted quarterly increases of 39.24%, the now defunct Sydney Council posted 39.28%. Now let’s get back to the ‘numero uno’ currency! In the December quarter for home units again the median price improved to $465,000 an increase of 3.68% for the quarter, and overall an annual increase of 3.33%. Given that our little business covers two Councils, for those residing in North Sydney municipality the home median was not as spectacular. The median price for a home was $969,000 being a 6.08% quarterly increase, and annually 3.23%. If you own an apartment there the median was $480,000 (more expensive than Mosman) for the quarter it was -2.04%, and for the year 5.09%. For the year the median unit price in Sydney rose 8.8%. On average since 1993, median prices for units have increased 9.5%, which is nearly four times greater than inflation which averaged out at 2.5%. Now for those investors who enjoy reading our ‘clicks and mortar’, who are investors in’bricks and mortar’, the December vacancy rate was 3.7%, well down on the 4.5% rate recorded for the same period last year.

These figures don’t come as any great surprise given that it was not just property that excelled over the quarter. The whole economy was having a rip-snorter, where the latest figures revealed that growth almost doubled. The one sector that did not show any exuberance was that of finance approvals for housing which have been falling by 5.00% per cent a month. Should this pattern continue, the ‘Governor of Moolah’, will not touch interest rates. With turnover on the decline across the board, finance approvals have to keep dwindling so put your ‘hard earned’ on rates not moving for quite some time, another ‘VRN’ exclusive. The volume of property going to the market is well and truly on the decline, less sales equals less applications for finance approvals (let’s hope the journalists pick that one up, I can’t make it any simpler).

The one thing about property market ignorance is that it causes many colourful arguments and as with any healthy debate we are more than happy to present the facts. All you have to do is figure it out!! Cheers and clink ^__^

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