Thursday, March 7, 2013


Strong performances from our Open stars saw Sydney Summer Series 'house prices' return to the high fives last night - the first time for some weeks. Combined with excellent clearance rates, SSS event 24's James Ruse navigation-on-the-run property perv, showed confidence had returned - and knee pain had  once again given way to capital gain.

Ten athletes (seven of them first 'open'- home buyers) all had their hands up over the 500K mark, with another eight just falling ten or twenty short. Good scoring, and good bidding at the premium end of the market, and great to see so many Open stars up there where they should be (coping with the decision to 'fix' or 'float'). Topping the bids, with an equal win on the night, were OM fancies Andrew Hill and Steve Ryan with their 580's apiece. 'The Ford Dealer' and 'The Daughter' just managed to shade equally sensational work from fellow Open kingpin, Mark 'My Word' Schaefer, who's notionally equal 580 copped a ten point contract preparation fee, giving him the bronze in this closely contested auction. And it wasn't just our OM's going hard, Catherine Murphy (510) and Gill Fowler (500) waged a ding dong battle in OW for the semi detached in Gowan Brae Avenue, with Ms 'Parr' finding that final tenner as the hammer came down. Incredible racing.

Good to see the Open guns on the flog to such good effect (there is nothing like the mongrel of the first home buyer to lift the work rate), but how good to see, amongst these young kings and queens, VM Greg Barbour and MM Glenn Horrocks both holding 550K bank loan approvals! Exceptional work, with 'The (sadly missed) Yellow T-Shirt' working all properties as per usual (in 49.03), and 'Sweeney Todd' enjoying a Burton's Ale free event, and really putting the boot in. Age shall not weary them indeed.

Great performances at the pointy end, and excellent scoring throughout the ranks of the 161 auction attendees (ten or so of whom were in the rooms, but not holding bidding paddles). Well over 100 posted over 300 point scores, with all but four of the 151 going 'hands up' over 200 - one of our highest medians ever I suspect. Sounds like a run, and sounds like a fast one too. With thirty properties being disposed of on the evening, there was no time for mucking about. Let's join Nerise 'The Gavel' McQuillan and the experienced team at WHO Auctions, as they set about their work.

Buyers with previous exposure to this market had an understanding of the older properties in North Parramatta, and perhaps were expecting a full landscape catalogue of units and detached dwellings with JR's Driveway forming a northern (price) barrier. This was not the case however, with the attendance fee revealing an A4 portrait sheet of properties for purchase, and at a wide range of prices. Almost half of the real estate north of the Driveway, bringing in a different (steeper) demographic, and appealing to buyers with more puff. 'JR' was almost a central divide to a full 'Larry' hand spread of points, and a suprisingly wide spread range of property styles and address numbers. It looked like a puzzler, and many retired to confer with bankers and lawyers before placing a bid with the starter.

With 340 points south of the Driveway, including several older properties with 30K expectations, most runners planned a southern collect as a base case - and hoped to add another purchase (or two) in the north as time and funds permitted. Several loops presented themselves here, with the beginning via 20, 16 (Sherwin Park Pole Art), 26 (All Saints Cemetery), 30, 25 (Jack Teale's three bedroom fibro), 13,1 (Symonds Avenue Playschool), 27 and on to 7/19/22 being probably the best of them. Andy Hill worked this beginning, although he included #5 (the rather small 'boxy' property) (20,5,16). The four southern houses with 30K expectations in this loop were too hard to ignore, and attracted strong bidding on the night - including from buyers wearing strange and colourful clothing.

Another essentially southern bagging, began at #12 (the Corry Circuit house garden seat) and included the middle priced and located houses with views (#2 - a tasty Boral brick offering with no eaves, 21,14) before working down the budget to #16 and as above. These starters had a bit more work to do early, and only managed a tickle under the tunnel - losing out to higher bidders on the dream properties further north of James Ruse. It delivered a 380, but not a 400.

Runners who like to swell the sweat band early on went north first - including Mark Schaefer going left (12,2,21) and Steve Ryan going right (12,3,11,8). Interestingly 'The Pen' worked a fuller circle, out over the freeway and coming back via the tunnel, whereas 'The Daughter' returned the way he began - via the tunnel. Steve left off #6, rightly ignoring this small galvanised iron dwelling, as he inspected the houses further north, but mucked up the open home times at #10 Lind Avenue, and had to double back here (working 23,29,10,4) and maybe missing out on a 590 win (the blue shoe is back folks!).

The north didn't link so comfortably as the south, with the properties north of the 3,28,18 line needing careful work, including the dreaded in-out and a bit of duck and weave before the auctioneer asked for your p[addle number. I particularly like the George Gollan Reserve claim and its attendant loopy needs. One point noted by all at the evening's auction, were the good spread of points close in - making for excellent beginning conundrums - and ending options. Pork Pie's anti clockwise loop south gave time to add 3,28,18,15,9 in the north before a heavenly downhill return via 21,2,12 - and the grassy flog to the double circle.

Looking at the scoring on the night, it seemed an almost perfect spread. Good loops, tempting add-on's (#17 a classic), well defined features, clear hanging, flatter or hillier offers - it had the lot, and was a presentation worthy of Belle Property.

So how did the buyers fare?

Most winners are as expected, with the biggest margins in JM (150pts), MM and IW (both 70pts), and VM and SVW - where fifty points was the gap from first to second. Amongst the many superb winning runs, I note Catherine Murphy in OW, Antoniya Bachvarova in MW and Liz Bulman (VW) in particular this week for walking off with the keys. Excellent work girls. Ellen wins SJW with 160 points, Michele wins JW with 220 (but only out checking houses for 33 minutes before rushing off with dad to help land an overweight Air New Zealand DC3 at Mascot), and several runners tie in sight of the final sale. Let's hear it for these sporting couples: Rochelle Cox/Clare Williams (460's in OW 5th), Richard 'At Peace' Pattison/Stefan Kuehn (450's in OM 4th), Pete Annetts/Andy 'The Underpants' Smith (480's in VM 4th), Karin Hefftner/Dale Thompson (340's in SVW 1st), Sue Thomson/June 'The Moon' Stanley 270's in IW 1st), and Brian 'The Meat Cleaver' Cleland/Tim 'The Shoulder Charge' Cox 310's in IM 4th).

I note a strong bid for the $480,000 property in Lorraine Place from Melissa Selby (OW) - just ten behind 'Art Deco', and indicative of this marathon stars exceptional speed and stamina. If only she could be spared from Timbertop Way traffic disputes, Detective Selby could threaten amongst the open gals big time. I also note Heiko taking forty over Ted (380/340) that seems to put 'The Mulled Wine's' gold hopes out of reach. It was getting close, but the Kincumber King put up the pony when it counted. Wazza Selby returned to a (strong) win in SVM - over James 'Of Beecroft', and 'The Highlander' and 'The Cheese'. Great to see SSS original Graeme Hill being able to join the run last night, and popping a 390 onto the underbidders register. I should also mention it was nice to see Marion Gledhill not letting 'The Maldives' have all the fun, with 200 neat and tidy ones in the IW bag, and second place bragging rights over Malcolm's third. I also note Belinda 'Not Of Gosford' Kinneally and Kerryn 'Frank Sinatra' Hassall sharing 230's in WaW - another equal score, but shaded by Michelle (300) and Julie (250) in this important category. There were no walking blokes - sadly.

Not too many odd stats to report, with no close (.59) shaves, and only a couple of pesky .01 overs - none of the 45.01 variety, although 'The Gladstone Bag' would be a bit annoyed with his 46.01. Lee Coady was out the longest this week - missing the highlight property of the night (the three story Glenn Murcutt stunner at #29 Brookside Place), as he worked through the full listing in 60.56 - and a 440 claim. Still a tidy result, and a share of 32nd place. Graeme Hill had the next best, with a 57.25 ping against his name.

So then, another excellent evening of running and viewing at the same time. Property is a Sydney obsession, and we at SSS headquarters like to show you what others only tell you. And so it was last night, as Nerise and the WHO auction crew (great to see Chris Crane there again) threw; brick veneer, fibro, double fronts, semi detached, cape cods, units, town houses, four car garages (and a cemetery and sewer vent!), into the mix - as we ran their property offer at James Ruse Driveway. Thanks again to all. It was a sensation.

Next week sees us once again well up the, no, the north shore, as we get another taste of Sydney bush - running Ian Cameron's North Wahroonga biggie at Lover Jump Creek. Ian has extended last years well received 'Cliff Reserve' map further east, with the new start location at Golden Jubilee Field, above and west of, the aforementioned creek. This is on another ridge jutting out into Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park and should provide some sensational additional material for 'The Quiet One' to work with. Plenty of bush, bush tracks, and adjoining leafy street connections. A great way to start getting into orienteering mode, and the State League beginnings at Lithgow coming up. Join us as we go 'North to Alaska' in a late surge for the Summer Series points.  


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