Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The wind

I wandered around the joint, pretending to be interested. In fact I may have been, but like the other dozen or so tire-kickers, it depended on the price. Though I was later informed by my prettier half, "no one was there to buy, they were only nosing around - just like you."

Ok. I was busted on that one because the place was empty - about as surprising as Lady Gaga wearing a hat made from goat turds - and being empty meant there was plenty of access to taps, showers, toilets, cupboards, wardrobes. You could turn, pull, push and open everything to liked and if that didn't get the hormones racing, there was always the auction in five minutes time.

Apparently that was what gave me, and the other rubberneckers, away. We weren't here to look at the house, just to see what the house went for - if it went at all. And if everyone at an auction is only there to watch other people bidding... yeah, you know what happens next.

The auctioneer cracked his whip and rounded us into the lounge room. He babbled some auction business as I scanned the room. Looking back, it was a thoroughly disinterested bunch, I doubt there was a chequebook in anyone's pocket, certainly not mine and I doubt the 200 bucks in my wallet would have pushed me over the 10% deposit needed as the hammer fell.

As the bidding started, or lack of bidding, the auctioneer, who kinda looked like Ricky Nixon, greasy perm and all, started at a level which caused me to suck my lips into my mouth to avoid laughing. There were five other houses for sale within 500 metres of this one, two of them were around this asking price, but that was ten months ago and two discounts ago. I looked across at the dude who arrived in the SS ute, we smirked in unison as the auctioneer sliced downwards in 10k multiples.

70k was bleeding on the floor before the vendor bid came in. Apart from eyes darting around the room, no one made a move. It was now priced under every listed house within farting distance, if you'd just eaten Mexican.

It went once, twice and a third time. Everyone looked around in confusion and the auctioneer politely told us to piss off. We ambled out into the street, with the icy wind providing an uppercut. Yet the really cold breeze was saved for the real estate agents, inside licking their wounds. A year earlier I'd watched two maniacs duke it out for a house that appeared to have family of hungry Labradors as its previous occupants and no one's going crazy to live in a kennel in this climate.

For a state in the economic crapper there will be little reprieve from crumbling prices, of course this is news to the REIT. Who today managed to reheat a January sale, which included the cobbling of five blocks and two houses on different titles together and get The Mercury to proclaim...
A HOBART property has smashed the Tasmanian residential sale record.
And on cue, the REIT...
Real Estate Institute of Tasmania vice-president Tony Collidge said the sale was a boost for Tasmania.

"To have a property in the market at that sort of price shows positive signs," Mr Collidge said.

"The number of sales in excess of $1 million has ballooned over the past couple of years.

"It's certainly great for the local marketplace. It shows good real estate will achieve good prices and it's an outstanding result for the state."
I just hope Tony hasn't mistaken a large (and stale) fart for a turn in the relentless cold wind.

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