These days, many who proclaim to be industry sources by offering information on the basis “I think that I know ” are actually a collection of those who simply don’t know!! It is that time of the year when those evil words start doing the rounds. ‘Clearance rates’ or as I prefer to call them ‘smear rates’. The clearance rates, which are compiled weekly on auctions conducted from Palm Beach to Emu Plains, offer as much insight into the property market as some agents quoting a likely selling price for an auction property. More often than not, the figure is ambiguous. For those who believe that the state of the property market is based entirely on clearance rates, they are seriously mistaken. It would be fair to suggest that it has no correlation to the state of play in the market as sales in mosman cannot be compared with sales in Mulgoa.

Auction results are determined by a phone call from those who collect the data, post auction. Some results are brushed under the carpet, but ‘sold’ results are always given. Funny that the rest are either withdrawn, sold prior, or under negotiation. Now it should be noted that these results do not include expressions of interest, private treaty sales and off-market sales, those being the hushed ones. It was reported last week in “Title Deeds” that Mosman just attained its second highest price ever, with a $10 million plus waterfront sale. In March we posted Mosman’s then second highest price with a $9.5 million sale. Neither of these sales will be used in the compilation of data.

From our perspective we concentrate entirely on what the RWM machine is doing and not what others are doing. We mix our sales between auction and private treaty, usually via our database, as against some agencies, which are total auction agencies. Whilst some agencies have a fixation on the number of ads they have in The Mosman Daily, it is clear to many that this is not always the most effective business plan. If you look at the websites of local agencies, it is very clear that between fifty to sixty per cent of their current listings are failed auctions. If there was no commission payable on the sale of a property for public auction, clearance rates would be higher than ninety-five per cent. It is the agents who provide the opinion of value. What needs to be disputed is the value agents place on the property, so they can be assured of being appointed as selling agent. For the record, some local agencies are battling to better a clearance rate of twenty-five per cent this year.

Last year yet again, real estate agents successfully maintained their gold medal for highest number of appearances at the Department of Fair Trading, with 1361 complaints lodged. In August this year the much awaited and overhauled Property, Stock and Business Agents Act comes into force. One can expect that the number of visits by agents to the Department of Fair Trading will double, because now the consumers will fight back. Those agents who continually under-quote at the door, and over-quote to the vendor can now be assured of quite a few speeding tickets being sent their way. Of late it has become quite obvious that the property market is not consistent between agencies. One can now sit back with confidence as the agents and agencies will soon be accountable.

There have been three sales in the last week which clearly identify that the property market is on an even keel. An apartment in Awaba Street, which sold in spring last year for $1,525,000, sold last week for $1,626,000 and a Cremorne waterfrontage, which sold for $4,700,000 in July, just sold again for $4,700,000. A home that was purchased in November last year for $2,525,000 just exchanged this week for $2,725,000. It is refreshing to see some factual evidence about our market.

Who sold Mosman’s second highest priced property? All we have heard is that it was an agency that is very computer savvy!! Have a great weekend!! Cheers and clink…^__^

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