It’s off with a bang literally!! This week will be remembered for many occurrences, and given that I am not a war correspondent, I watched with amazement as the Mosman market soared to a near record week of property transactions. In the space of just one week we negotiated a record $30,215,000 worth of property. So far we have exchanged $18,565,000 which in itself, is quite amazing, and the property pundits stood true to their word, “that they would hold off until they see what happens in Iraq”. Still somewhat confused how a war can add further combustion to a hot market, guess we will have to attribute it to the burning passion of Mosman property seekers?

The big news item of the week was the Burran Avenue, Balmoral property which grabbed second spot on the all time highest sales ever recorded in Mosman, eclipsing the previous record of $9.4 million. This really was a fantastic negotiation and congratulations to Steve Patrick and Hunta Biddulph, This sale represented land value only, so now we hold the highest and second highest sales ever recorded in Mosman. It is not just the top-end that sets records, the apartment market continues perform brilliantly with Marize selling three apartments from $385,000 to $780,000. This market continues to show plenty of pizzazz. The biggest problem with the apartment market as we see it is that we don’t have anywhere near the levels of property to meet the demand. So much for the experts who shouted that the property bubble was about to burst. They are now reporting on the pros and cons of stamp collecting. If they were prepared to call it, maybe next time they will do a little more research because it was abundantly clear that more than one got it so badly wrong!! There are quite a few investors who are not very happy as they sold up last year, only to see their investment properties return capital appreciation, when they understood that the market in 2003 would show capital depreciation. If you look back at our past editions you will see that we have been right on the money !!

Our market is certainly not isolated from the rest of the property market. Whilst we have the highest median price for homes it is interesting that all the median prices are well and truly in the black. In February the median auction price rose to $727,000 which was up from $718,000 in September 2002, the apartment market jumped in the same period from $451,000 to $490,000. Whilst clearance rates are down on last year, it is very difficult to apply a figure in a climbing market, and one can hardly blame a vendor for trying to exceed their price expectations. Overall, property is in all probability their best investment unless they were one of the lucky ones who recently purchased AMP at $5.88 a share.

With so many properties selling early in the auction campaigns, the amount of available properties has declined rapidly over the space of the last few weeks, so it will be a quiet time up to Easter. Watch the market have a run in May, as it should be on for all and this could be the greatest test for 2003, if the market can sustain the continual pressures to out-perform. If the current weeks are any indication, we believe that this selling period could surpass the recorded highs of April/May 2002. As they say, nothing ventured nothing gained.

We do get many calls from clients asking for advice on investments, and whilst we are not investment advisers we do stumble across some very interesting investment opportunities. Steve and I are still licking our wounds over the failed ADX investment scheme, so for obvious reasons we are staying away from those!! I would love a dollar for every time we are asked, “Ok, what do you guys invest in?” Well here it is, we have been looking at Queensland commercial building trusts, and they stack up pretty well the way that we see it. We have completed some pretty exhaustive due diligence, and in some instances you can get in for as little as $50,000.00, with excellent yields and some great tax benefits. We have nothing to do with it, we were only introduced to it by a vendor who just happens to be a subscriber. We do not receive any benefit or financial gain from anyone who expresses an interest in it. If you want more details, send Steve an email, and he will put them in touch with you.

In a week that was nothing short of sensational from the perspective of our property market, it will be very interesting to see what transpires in the coming weeks. Watch for the calm before the storm, because something tells me that “you aint seen nothin’ yet!!” Cheers and clink…^__^

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