NSW Premier Mike Baird has promised to follow through on an election promise to crack down on dodgy real estate advertising.

Pressure is mounting on the state government to clean up the underquoting of property prices by agents in a bid to lure buyers.

The confluence of low interest rates and high property prices places buyers in a vulnerable position. Being lied to about an auction price lures them to sales they would otherwise avoid. Once at the sale there is always the chance they will bid over their budgeted amount and lock themselves into a mortgage they are ill-equipped to service.

In so doing mortgage holders are bound into decades of mortgage and credit stress.

On Monday the state government of New South Wales admitted there had been no fine for underquoting on propery prices since 2004.

“The existing laws are vague at best,” said a spokesperson for Premier Baird, “so prosecutions or fines have been few and far between. So, yes, greater enforcement is anticipated because the laws will be clearer.

“The changes we’ll impose will require all ads to specify a dollar figure or price range a opposed to ‘offers over’.”

Real estate agents have been posting record commissions recently. The underquoting  of auction prices has attracted bumper crowds to sales and contributed to the staggering 85 per cent c auction clearance rates in and around Sydney.

On top of this, property prices have ballooned by more than 50 per cent in the past six years, with the average price rise being 12.2 per cent in the last year alone!

By underquoting property prices agents are acting in a predatory way on buyers. It’s not the agents who have to manage an overblown mortgage for the next ten, or twenty years.

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