Nothing beats a good article about the debacle that our industry faces and how flawed the current system is. However, what we are not hearing, is how the system can be fixed so that market transactions can be accurately reported. Let’s face it, when the “Governor of Moolah” meets each month, with his Board, their positioning on the current market would best be described as ‘pin the tail on the donkey’. I enjoyed an article in The Sydney Morning Herald by Alan Kohler this week, “ABS collects home price data late, on the cheap”. Deputy Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, was quoted as saying “in an ideal world, we would perhaps collect data from real estate agents at the time that sales and prices are first agreed. This would offer near-universal coverage and a high degree of timeliness, and allow more control for compositional effects and quality”. Now I have received some flak. Oops! I meant to say feedback, questioning our reluctance to provide information on our sales (if you look at last quarter we believe that we transacted the highest number of exchanges in our area). The answer is simple. Why participate in a system that is widely acknowledged as being flawed.

So let’s go back to that “ideal world”. It simply does not exist, well not at the moment anyway. The question that needs to be asked is “why has the Reserve Bank never requested that we supply the sales evidence” ? We have never before been requested to participate, and for the record, we would gladly do so. It is time that the method applied to record this data, received a major overhaul. Each month we file (to our franchisor) our monthly sales returns, so this critical information only gets used to calculate franchise fees to determine the ranking of an office in that particular network, and record the salesperson’s sales activity. These figures are then used for the annual awards night, which makes it even the more comical. It has been well documented that in Victoria, the member agents are collectively providing this information to their Institute. Sadly in NSW, it appears that this information is not considered as important. Oh well, let’s hope that the “Governor of Moolah” does not run out of pins !!

Whilst on pins, spare a thought for ‘Bobby Dazzler’ and his ‘State of Decay’ as he must feel like a voodoo doll these days with the constant attacks. When you manage to collect more income from taxes than any other Premier in this country’s history, beware !! Having so much money can, in the case of NSW, lead to posting a budget deficit. With ‘Bobby Dazzler’ refusing point-blank to cut taxes in exchange for GST revenue, there are interesting times ahead. Let’s face it, the state of NSW is financially and mentally bankrupt. Investors are up in arms over the removal of the tax threshold. Now we are passing this impost on to the tenants. All this does in the long term is delay the opportunity to purchase a property as these increases reduce the ability to save. It has now become a vicious cycle. Land Tax and the NSW vendor duty are an absolute joke, and fittingly the joke is now on our esteemed ‘Bobby Dazzler’ as the blow-torch from Canberra is heading in his direction at a rapid pace. With the Real Estate Institute of NSW revealing that the number of properties available for rent is now at the lowest since the Sydney Olympics, investors will return to the market and the tenants are now their prey. In an ‘ideal world’ the percentage of available property based on the size of a property management portfolio averages out at ten to fifteen per cent. At the moment, the number of available properties in our portfolio is coming in at just under five per cent. Yet another recipe for disaster which further explains why so many young families are packing up and moving to other states.

The launch of our ‘new look’ website is exceeding all expectations, and going by the traffic that we monitor, the property voyeurs are clearly giving us the thumbs-up. Last Friday’s edition set a new record of 69,936 hits, the last week with the old site delivering 132,497. One week on, the new site has delivered 219,585 and remember we are in school holidays. We are very confident that this year we will break the million hits in a month. The current record stands at 575,510 and www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au are all reporting record months which further identifies that the Internet and real estate have a very strong bond.

With this being our 200th edition, we are absolutely amazed at the progress and growth of our ‘not so little’ e-business. Unlike the ‘Dazzler’, I love it when a plan comes together !! Cheers ^__^

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