My First Blog

With 10 years of real estate experience in Cronulla, this year I wanted to further commit to the industry that has treated me so well, by becoming a fully Licensed Read Estate Agent and Auctioneer.

You will now find me at Beach & Bay Realty, a boutique agency located just off the mall in Purley Place. I chose to be a part of this independently operated agency because I feel it allows me to provide my clients with a more personalised and efficient service.

As a long term resident of Cronulla, I have focussed on selling in my local area, in particular I have become known for my selling expertise in apartments throughout Cronulla, Woolooware and the Shire.

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Last week’s auction clearance rate was much improved with 6 out of 15 properties selling, a local clearance rate of 40%. The Sun Herald’s Sydneywide figure was 47%.

Locally in detail:
4 sold at auction, 1 sold prior, 1 sold just after the auction, 2 passed in, 4 vendor bids, 1 no bid, 2 withdrawn.

It was a mixed bag of sales results with for example a near level waterfront in Caringbah South selling for $1.865mil and a waterfront estate on Woolooware Rd with a buyer’s guide of $4mil plus passing in with no bids.

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New Land Tax

This week saw an almost carbon copy of last week’s auction results with only 3 out of 14 auctions having a successful result (21% clearance rate). On a positive note, 2 out of the 3 properties that were sold, were sold prior to auction.

The Sun Herald is quoting a 49% clearance rate Sydneywide…

I think it is easier to hide statistics from the Sun Herald, Telegraph and other media that give Sydneywide figures. Agents just ignore the calls on Saturday from the media and we all live in denial a bit longer on the state of the market!

And now we have a new land tax – introduced with the state government’s mini budget –
Effective from the 2009 land tax year a new premium land tax marginal rate of 2 per cent will apply to land tax payers with total taxable land holdings above $2.25 million!

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When Will The Shire Get Some Respect?

I might have raved on about this months ago but I think it is important. Australian Property Monitors (APM) or Home Price Guide provides the sale prices and statistics for The Fairfax Group including Leader Domain, SMHerald, and any other Fairfax publication. In fact when you go to their website it states;

“APM is Australia’s leading national supplier of online property price information to the financial markets, professional real estate agents and consumers.”

My first gripe is that they refuse to acknowledge Burraneer as a suburb. Sales for this suburb get reported as Woolooware. Why do we have to put up with this? They don’t do this in the Eastern Suburbs. I have nothing against Woolooware but I think that Woolooware and Burraneer should be noted as the independent suburbs that they are.

Can I point out that the Fairfax Companies that use APM allow us agents and our clients to spend thousands of dollars advertising properties for sale in Burraneer in Leader Domain, SMHerald and

Burraneer is not a “vanity” suburb. It is a state government gazetted suburb. I have been arguing with APM for 12 months. They tell me they are going to change it next week! I am holding my breath.

Gripe number 2. This week when we reported our sales at 6 Yeramba Ave, Caringbah South ($1.2 mil) and 83 North West Arm Rd, Gymea ($350,000) Home Price Guide informed me that the Caringbah South sale was going into Dolans Bay statistics and the Gymea sale would go into Gymea Bay statistics. I argued that as agents we can be fined for advertising a property in a different suburb than what appears on the contract for sale. The Office of Fair Trading considers this “misleading”. Home Price Guide said we were wrong and that according to their map the contract for sale was irrelevant.

So next time you pay $74.95 per address for a property report on you might think twice about the value of such a report. You might be better off taking a glance at our auction website and doing a free search of individual suburbs to see what has been selling or ring your local real estate professional for a report/advice. Our auction website and blog is almost 12 months old and was designed to provide up to date sales data on Cronulla, Burraneer, Woolooware, Caringbah, Caringbah South, Dolans Bay and Lilli Pilli. You will find a lot of relevant information that slips through the cracks of a massive company like Home Price Guide that doesn’t even acknowledge properties in their correct suburbs.

The Sutherland Shire is constantly overlooked and Beach and Bay wants to change this. Thank you to all the buyers and sellers who have provided us with information for our website. We are one step closer to getting more recognition for the beautiful place that we live. Hey Cronulla’s Beaches have just been named a “National Surfing Reserve!” Eat your heart out Manly!

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From 4 Auctions to 17

Last week there were 6 properties going to auction on Saturday 25th October but 2 were rescheduled to a November auction date. Out of the 4 auctions that went ahead 2 were sold. Our 50% clearance rate compares with the Sun Herald’s Sydneywide clearance rate of 46.1%.

This week 17 auctions are scheduled.

We are only days away from another possible rate cut and the US election (finally!).

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10% Local Clearance Rate

While the local auction clearance rate last week was its worst since we have been recording statistics, a lowly 10%, the Sun-Herald edition for 18th October was reporting a Sydneywide clearance rate of 60%.

Somehow, I don’t think so.

Is it because agents are withdrawing the properties and the Sun-Herald is not taking this into consideration?

While economic conditions globally worsened, the Sydneywide clearance rate seems to have improved to the highest level seen all year.

Please note: Beach & Bay classifies a withdrawn property as not sold, which we consider as realistic.

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A Week is a Long Time

On October 7th, just over a week ago the Reserve Bank dropped interest rates by 1% and then … all hell broke loose.

Who would have guessed that in 1 week we would have seen the share market nosedive; people withdrawing money out of banks to put under their mattresses, the Prime Minister declaring that all money in banks is fully guaranteed for 3 years and then addressing the nation yesterday to tell us the Government is spending half the surplus to boost the economy.

The last time the Prime Minister addressed the nation was when we went to war with Iraq.

In this climate it is not surprising that we had a local clearance rate of 16% last week, although it is surprising that they Sydneywide clearance rate was 54.3% according to The Sun-Herald.

We are in unfamiliar territory now, but thanks to the quick thinking action of our Government and that of the British Prime Minister who has been singled out as stopping the slide to disaster (by buying into his shaky banking system), things have steadied this week. Now the US has seen the light, it is putting $125 billion into the top nine US banks and a similar amount into the smaller ones.

In regard to real estate, we are probably near the bottom and hasn’t the last few weeks shown that real estate is much more stable than shares.

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Even the expert analysts are shocked by the 100 basis point cut just announced by the Reserve Bank.

“The last time the central bank cut rates by one percentage point was May 1992.” states (Weren’t we in recession then?)

And the last time the reserve rate was 6% was back in August 2006.

Inflation is expected to be at 5% for the 4 quarters to the end of September, 2008, against a target of 2-3% yet despite this and earlier policy to control inflation, the cash rate has been reduced to 6% from 8th October, 2008 against today’s 7%.

Update: Westpac is the first bank to announce they are dropping their rate by 80 basis points!

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