The vendor-agent relationship is conducted behind closed doors, far from statistical analysis and horrid little sticky beaks like me. But fresh anecdotal evidence is coming quick and fast.

The gap between vendor’s price expectations and market prices has become a gulf.

Buyers ain’t paying no fancy prices.

And agents have a flood of properties to offer on the market – more than they can handle. So sellers with a fixed opinion on price – like the numbers boasted about a year ago – are ignored by agents.

No amount of proprietorial dignity, no stern assertion of superiority, can overcome the fact that agents work on commission and crave a quick, clean sale. This is the age old principal/agent problem. Principals appoint someone to do their dirty work; the agent asks, what’s in this for me? and follows the logic.

Sure, the agent will sign up the listing. Then immediately turn to massaging vendor’s expectations. Downward. Hard.

In a falling market where a few foolish hardy buyers are spoiled for choice, many vendors must miss out. Having strong price views will guarantee your property a place – on the shelf.

This is most unpleasant news. Capital values are falling.

Please don’t blame your humble blogger or the handful of forecasters who read the entrails correctly. Blame the blind willingness to take on debt and our vile tax system that offers endless privilege to land speculation and fines taxes wage-earning and business.

I want genuine, durable reform to come from the ashes of this financial bushfire. Shifting the tax base onto economic rents will turn Australia into a land of plentiful jobs, quality leisure and reward for commercial risk. Reform worthy of the name!