Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekly Wrap up - Get up to speed, Valuers!

We are spending an extraordinary amount of time working with Valuers on sale prices for properties.
When you buy, the amount you can borrow against a property is determined mainly by two things. Your capacity to pay (usually a maximum of 30% of your gross income for ALL debt based repayments - including credit cards, car loans etc) and the valuation of the property (a maximum LVR - Loan to Value Ratio of 80% - 90%). The rush by First Home Buyers has caught a lot by surprise. Not the least of whom are the Valuers. We now have two sales by genuine buyers competing with others being threatened by valuers. Based on the feedback from the valuers, I suspect you will see a lot more before they 'get up to speed'. I'm not sure what extra evidence they need. The market has moved up in the last month for properties under $400k. No question. Like a lot of forensic reviewers, the valuers react AFTER the fact. Lets hope its not too late for First Home Buyers to benefit from no stamp duty.
Auction results: Sydney 54% with Melbourne 48%
As I write this, the Melbourne Cup has been run and won and the RBA has dropped official interest rates by 0.25%.
The retailers are doing it tough and Australians are hanging onto their money to pay out debt. Lets hope this move by the Reserve Bank will tempt some to spend for Christmas.
Quote for the week:
If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.- Thomas Alva Edison

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weekly Wrap up - No sudden deluge

No great big emergency, no sudden deluge...just a steady repeat of last weeks numbers.
We held 11 open houses with 71 attendees. A total of 3422 unique visits to our properties on the web and 3 sales negotiated.
Auction results: Sydney 56% with Melbourne 60%
Again we are hearing the lower end of the market is still the most active. We have negotiated $5.73m worth of sales since 1st September with a median sale price of $330,000.
I have included an excerpt from SMH Business Day Section from today:
"Australia's inflation eased more than expected in the September quarter, increasing the likelihood that the Reserve Bank will cut interest rates at next week's meeting. The dollar dived on the news. Headline consumer price inflation rose 0.6 per cent in the quarter and 3.5 per cent for the year - both tallies exactly as economists had predicted. The RBA's preferred measures of inflation, though, were both lower than the market had been expecting, a signal investors took to mean that the central bank would now have more room to cut rates on Melbourne Cup Day."I think this clears the way for a rate cut," said Shane Oliver, chief economist, AMP Capital. "The Reserve Bank had highlighted how important these numbers were....Our view has been that they will cut next week and this reinforces that."
Quote for the week:
Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. - Vincent van Gogh

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekly Wrap up - A pat on the back, A brickbat and A bouquet

My wife and I were in Canberra on the weekend. White fluffy clouds, birds singing in the trees and a comfortable 22 degs. Saturday morning, my phone rang. One of our sales agents was obviously stressed. Danny shouted, 'I can't get there!'. Eventually the torrential events of that Illawarra morning emerged with his journey between open houses blocked by debris, flooded streets and police cars. THAT was a surreal conversation amongst our pleasant surroundings. This was the first open house on 1 Prospect Street, Mt St Thomas. Well...his Kluger found footpaths, water crossings and back streets to eventually arrive only a few minutes late to allow 9 people through the home. Well done Danny O'Neill - a truly committed sales agent!

Despite the weather we had 74 inspections on 10 open homes and a staggering 3,925 visits to our internet listings for the week. 2 sales were negotiated with 2 properties being close to sale.
Auction results: Sydney 55% with Melbourne 51%. Agents report the first home buyers in Sydney are out in force like the Illawarra with the removal of the First Home Buyers Plus scheme fueling buying decisions in the lower range. If you are thinking of selling, talk to us well before 31st December as we believe you will benefit from the extra buyer activity now.

Now - the Brickbat. On two occasions I saw bike riders in Canberra ignore red lights at speed. They didn't slow. How are genuine riders going to claim any credibility on the road while riding red necks do this?! I'm a regular bike rider and felt ashamed by their actions. Wake up guys!

And the Bouquet - Belluci's in Manuka is an institution and Julie and I had a wonderful meal there on Saturday night. The place was packed, service was fantastico, food was bellisimo but what really stood out for us was the acknowledgement we received from the chef, numerous wait staff and Maitre d' as we left! In an obviously busy environment, each one took time out for a warm greeting and goodbye. Easy to see why they are so successful and something we can all learn.

Quote for the week:
Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.
- Margaret Cousins

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekly Wrap up - What a WOW of a weekend!

Let me start with the weekend results - 11 x advertised open houses, 2 x agent appointment open houses and 98 people through these 13 properties. In addition we have negotiated 4 sales from the weekend activity. That truly is a WOW!
We had an incredible 2,874 unique visits (average 143 per property) to our internet advertised properties for the week.
This reinforces our belief the Wollongong market is travelling well - in fact better than the general media would suggest.
Well done, Team.
Both of our auction properties were passed in on Thursday night with one of those properties being sold on the weekend. Of the 8 properties we have put to auction in the last 3 months, only one remains unsold. And that property was auctioned last thursday night!
Auction clearance rates for Sydney were 55% which is on the low end of normal and 60% for Melbourne (courtesy of Domain).

This weeks quote:
You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.
- Pat Schroeder

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs from his Stanford speech in 2005.

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

"Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weekly Wrap up - there are buyers out there!

With the long weekend and everyone elsewhere, we only opened 5 properties this past weekend and subsequently saw a small turnout at our open homes. However, it appears it was well worth it as a genuine buyer (who took a contract copy) turned up at one of the houses.
We had a total of 1,879 unique visits onto our sale properties from the web for the week averaging 104 per property.
What is also telling for the market is the 10 sales we secured for the month of September. I'm aware of some areas in the state (and also SE Queensland) who's offices are doing 10 sales for the year.
I also believe this is due to the sales team and their abilities - well done, team!
Auction clearance rates for Sydney were 57% and Melbourne - 44%. I suspect the Melbourne figure was due to the Footy grandfinal. (and really...who would auction in Melbourne on GF day!).
We have two properties being auctioned this Thursday 6th October with both attracting buyers. Will report the outcome next week.
In the meantime - happy house hunting.