Quick Snips May 2012

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We had our local council elections last weekend and we have a new mayor (at least temporarily) for the Sunshine Coast plus new councilors for the two divisions that cover Coolum and the North Shore villages. All I can say is that I am glad that we have finally finished. You get the feeling that the public in general is just over politics and the people involved with it. The new mayor for the Coast won with a grand total of 33% of the vote. Not exactly an overwhelming endorsement. He may not necessarily be the mayor of the Sunshine Coast Regional council for too long either with the push to deamalgamate Noosa. If that happens we will probably all need to go and vote again. This could be any time in the next 18 months if it goes ahead. On top of that, the way things are panning out federally I wouldn’t be putting that ballot marking pencil away too soon either.
This years Easter holiday period turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag. We had two weeks of Queensland school holidays either side of the main five day weekend plus southern holidays for the two weeks following. Whilst generally things were very quiet either side of the Easter weekend, a fantastic forecast for going to the beach saw the coast explode with people from the Thursday afternoon. Every shop and restaurant on the coast filled with people and there was hardly a spare grain of sand at the beaches for the whole time. The traffic gridlock on the road back to Brisbane on Easter Monday was testament to the weekends crowds but it certainly left everyone on the coast with a buzz. In the midst of a tough tourism market this was by far the best Easter the Coast has seen in many years.
Never a dull moment Clive has been keeping everyone on their toes at the place formerly known as the Hyatt. Will he or won’t he put a casino in is the burning question around the Coast. A major announcement was expected this week as he was scheduled to make a speech that was to include outlining his plans for the resort. He pulled out of making the speech over the weekend and today he has announced that he will stand against Wayne Swan in the next Federal election. There is so much going on in this blokes life that I don’t know if he knows what he is going to come out with next. Stay tuned.
One thing that did manage to get confirmed was that the PGA will be in Coolum again this year. Dates for the event will be December 13-16. This is a little later than the last few years and is getting close to Christmas so hopefully that will help to attract a few more headline golfers for an end of year family holiday.
Coolum will get a much needed business stimulus in the very short term. Local mining services company Nitro Drilling has taken the whole top floor of the new shops across from the Surf Club (where the Sol Bar used to operate). Office fit outs are now underway. Nitro employ over 250 people and locating their main office in central Coolum will be a welcome injection throughout the local business community.
A few months ago I mentioned that our sales teams had undertaken a course of in room auctions to try and stimulate some sales activity and offer our sellers an alternative to our standard terms of selling. Well on April 12 we completed our fourth event of this type. The results of that auction were 5 sold prior to auction, 2 sold under the hammer and 3 more sold by the following Monday. In this market it does not get much better than that. More importantly, we have now taken 54 properties to auction through In Rooms events since October with 39 of those properties now sold. That is an overall clearance rate of 72%. If anyone is interested in finding out more about these events please contact any of our sales team. Our next Auction is being planned for 14th June 2012
In general the market has been showing signs of improved activity since the beginning of the year. At the very least we are seeing signs of a consistent level of turnover but there is no doubt that we are still in a difficult and patchy market. There are suggestions of possibly a couple of interest rate reductions in the not too distant future plus a return of stamp duty concessions for Principal Place of Residence as of 1st of July 2012. Both of these should hopefully assist in maintaining the momentum we are seeing right now. A serious boost in confidence is really what is needed and hopefully the recent changes in two levels of government will help kick start the process.

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