Whilst Barry Humphries is rehearsing his new character (my grapevine says he lives in Mosman) there are many Owen Steeles that fit the bill. For those nursing a hangover it could be interpreted as Owe n Steal !! Whilst many would spring to mind, AMP would be this week’s finest candidate! Or as they were best referred to this week as AMPutated! Many people found themselves investing further as they tried to average-down their investment. Nonetheless, that did not stop the property market from posting an $80,000,000 weekend in Sydney as owners and purchasers traded places! Not to forget a $4,000,000 windfall to Bob ‘The Builder’ Carr with his outdated Stamp Duty tax.

It was most interesting to observe the market and look at the sales evidence. Yet again the property market, unlike the sharemarket, is exceeding all expectations. A garden apartment in Cremorne Road was auctioned this week and sold for $855,000, after being announced on the market at $750,000. The happy owners purchased the property in December 2001, for $693,000 and did not even have to renovate. Over at Balmoral a Coronation Avenue home was sold prior to the scheduled auction for just under $5,000,000. It was purchased for $4,162,000 in March last year.

It was over to the ‘Governor of Moolah’ this week to ponder and cast his reflections on the state of the property market. After much deliberation it was deemed that the target cash rate should remain at 4.75 per cent. It has not moved off this since 5 June 2002. Given that the property market will hit an all time high this month, The Gov may well be excused for a lack of concentration between shots as he enjoys his weekend round of golf at Manly Golf Club. This could be short lived based upon the information released this week from the Housing Industry Association saying the ratio between the cost of buying a house and servicing a loan has stabilised. The median house price across the nation jumped 13.7 per cent to March. This statistic renews the thought process that investors are buying outside their respective capital cities.

Interesting to read today, that Dr Morgan of Westpac believes that we are seeing the end of the housing cycle, because prices have jumped forty per cent over the last two years. The Doctor of ‘The Bank’ who has spent more time on the chaise longue of psychedelic lending believes, “that we are now seeing investment housing overtake owner-occupied housing as the predominant source of new lending and clear signs of overcapacity in certain parts of the investor market.” Actually doc, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal that for February, over-all housing finance commitments are continuing to rise, with the strongest growth in refinancing and borrowings for renovations. What we are seeing, and not through rose coloured glasses, is that the home owners are using the principal place of residence to finance investment borrowings in the property market. The balance sheet for property still reads very well, and after all they don’t make land anymore!! I predict that our housing market, especially Mosman, looks very sound, and it will continue to more than hold its value for the foreseeable future.

You can’t really blame them for having a go at the property market. We are now five months into 2003 and nobody has even started to be critical or sceptical of the market. Those who predicted the prick in the bubble last year, have simply fallen by the wayside. Thanks partially to the brilliant way our CEO’s have been running the public companies. It is simply called an alternative solution!!

Plenty of Berocca was handed out this week as Mosman’s most respected real estate agent celebrated the big 50!! Yes, our very own Steve Patrick notched up the big one, and what a week-long party. It started with a surprise party at a secret Balmoral venue last Saturday night for seventy-five thirsty friends, then moved to the Flower Drum in Melbourne for some Peking Duck, and ended up at the Mosman Hotel. There are not enough superlatives to describe Steve, just happy to be a great mate.

Oh! And I invite the doc to our open for inspections this week-end… sorry I won’t be able to chat, we will be too busy chatting to purchasers!! Cheers and clink…^__^ (and trying to locate Owen Steele!!!)

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