Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Pressure


In more productive times this blog was churning out a respectable number of posts, was exposing spruikers, had a dollop of research and made a couple of funnies along the way. I was providing a service to the community I told myself - but then it stopped being easy. The daily hits stopped accelerating and the traffic gains stopped coming. I thought I'd hit a permanently high plateau, but then traffic started falling. I thought this blog would be different, but now the gains aren't coming like they used to, so what can I really achieve from this? When things were riding high I really thought I'd be in the game for the long-term, but now I'd be better off doing something else with my time. But the humiliation, no I can't quit, I'm a long-termer. I dunno maybe it was just the wrong time to get into blogging, but I read blogging goes in cycles, oh christ, what have I done? 

Yes, while comparable to the sloppy property investor letting one of his 'community service projects' go to rack and ruin, the slow down in this blog won't go on forever - hopefully. Especially when I always have dedicated fans like Craig to endlessly disappoint...
Hi!
I am a deeply cynical, hard to please, jaded journalist …. And I just love reading your blog!!!
I am a Tasmanian in exile in Melbourne where I sold my house in July 2008 trying to beat the cliff plunge I saw coming. No matter that it went up about 15% afterwards (it was beachside within 20km of the city) … I was right then - and you are right now!!
It is sad that so many people will be so badly burned when it happens … especially in Tassy, where they don't have so much spare wealth to burn (incidentally, Ballarat is like Launceston with 30,000 extra people … it seems like at least 15% of both towns are for sale on any one day).
Anyway, Kudos to you for the depth of research you do. I can only imagine how much real estate agents must hate you!!!
The mid section of Craig's email was hot, heavy and mildly erotic, so I'll save it for my own personal jollies, but Craig offered this in closing...
Anyway, a closing story on Melbourne real estate for you. I am now renting a 4x2 in Bayside Melbourne, two suburbs across from Brighton. The landlord bought it last year for $1.36 mill after being told by an agent he could rent it at $1,100 per week (4.2% yield) - after it sat empty for 4 months I got it for $900 per week (giving him a yield of 3.3%). Recently he had to replace the ducted heating system (around $5K) which he did not 'test' prior to purchase. Term deposits, meanwhile, have been paying around 6% ……  but mortgage rates are 8%ish. He is on a  hiding to nothing I reckon ….
Melbourne is interesting - there is a big market here in having people gear into $1-$1.5 mill properties using their self managed super funds. Its not enough to sacrifice today …. The spruikers want your retirement money too!!
Better men than me over at macrobusiness continue to discuss the Melbourne situation and what a rotten egg it is, so Craig's fortune - at the expense of his landlord - should come as no surprise.

In the midst of Craig's erotic interlude he wanted to know a little more about me. With apparently too much writing ability for anyone in real estate and too much humour for anyone involved in economics, I'd befuddled him. Essentially, the 'who' or 'what' matters little, this pestering blog came into existence after one too many, "Agent sees good times ahead" stories were churned out by lazy Tasmanian journalists.

Pretty simple really. Sure, any tired hack who wandered into the local barber shop, grabbed a few quotes and wrote, "Barber expects men will require haircuts soon", wouldn't attract my attention. Because a 'short back and sides' wouldn't require 25 years of debt servitude and like I always tell myself, "there's only a week between a good and a bad haircut." 

There's a lot longer to wait on escaping an ill-timed house purchase...

3x1 Eastern shore, Hobart. 284 days on the market  Wanted $450,000, now wants anything over $400,000. Paid $380,000 in September 2007.


Just on the market, 4x2. Wants an offer over $650,000, last sold for $645,000 in 2007. While further up the street another 4x2 has been biding its time - in hope of $650,000 - for the last 4-1/2 months.


Further east, 4x1, over a year listed. Wanted $380,000, wanted $349,000, now wants $300,000. Paid $300,000 in 2008.


Listings have peaked, but I can only assume for the moment. Spring is coming, public servants await their bullet and the debt used to purchase these illiquid, emotional traps, known as houses, remains. Some vendors cling to the belief of the greater fool riding towards their house on a white steed, money stuffed in the saddle bags, ready to rescue them from oblivion.

In real estate speak, the market looks to be revisiting the previous highs of 2007 and anyone buying above that level is probably riding that white steed.

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