After our record-breaking March, and amidst so much commentary ‘talking down’ the market, we keenly awaited our April figures. Our Group result of $3.55 billion was a respectable figure, although slightly down on our corresponding month in 2016.
Victoria continues its strong run, seeing 15 per cent growth on last year. All other markets experienced softer overall conditions, though still achieving a number of remarkable sales and strong auction clearance numbers. Delving into our listings and stock data, the average listings per agent was up 11 per cent across Australia and New Zealand, indicating a more balanced market.
As April was a disrupted trading month with so many public holidays, it’s difficult to gauge if the strong positive momentum of the market is changing. All eyes are on May, traditionally one of our strongest months, to give us a better picture.
Our Commercial group results came in at $183 million, nicely up on April 2016. The sale of Newtown’s Marlborough Hotel for over $30 million by Andrew Jolliffe is yet another signal that the Sydney hotel market continues to strengthen.
New underquoting laws in Victoria have taken effect. State CEO, Domenic Belfiore backs the changes. “Ray White Victoria supports the new laws and recognise this is a positive change for our industry through providing transparency for buyers which will enhance the customer experience we, as agents, deliver to our communities.”
Our partners at Loan Market had a stable month achieving $830 million in lodgements and $630 million in settlements.
One of the highlights of every month is seeing our client advocate-base grow. In April, another 1,900 customers rated the service they received from our members as a 9 or 10, out of 10.
What’s New at Ray White
It is with great pleasure that we extend a very warm welcome to the newest business joining our Group. The market-leading business in Mosman, Sydney will be rebranding to Ray White in June. This move represents a long term strategic step for both our businesses in one of Australia’s largest and most dynamic real estate markets. Directors of the business, Richard Harding, Geoff Smith and Bernard Ryan are excited about both the re-brand and the potential for expansion across this region. Operating for 60 years and employing more than 55 people, we are delighted to welcome the whole team to the Ray White family.
In a statement to their team about the rebrand to Ray White, the Directors of the Lower North Shore business said: “We believe Ray White is the best possible partner for us heading into what is potentially the most challenging and exciting industry environment we have ever faced. Their depth of systems and services they offer to us as franchise holders and to you as staff are unparalleled by any other network.”
We are thrilled to see the new Ray White brand launch into market after 18 months in development. The brand refresh delivers a contemporary approach to real estate marketing to our members and their communities. There is so much value to having consistency of our brand across markets and with more than 3,000 templates available, a new marketing ordering system is also going live in line with the new brand launch.
Ray White has been entrusted to take some extraordinary properties to market and we are delighted to confirm that Ray White lists and sells more properties above $2 million than any other real estate group across Australia and New Zealand. Our new prestige listing book not only showcases the magnificent properties Ray White has sold over the past year, it also proves the statement that more people choose to list their prestige properties with Ray White than any other group.
In April, we announced that planning for the highly anticipated Connect 2018 conference is well underway. After the success of Connect in 2015, the appetite for a group-wide event has never been stronger. Tickets for Connect will go on sale in June across Ray White, Loan Market, Living Here and Wealth Market.
Ray White is proud to be home to some of the best commercial agents across Asia-Pacific. We are a company where our members can build an outstanding and profitable career in commercial real estate. We have introduced a new commercial accreditation process that ensures everyone in our group operating in the commercial property sector does so according to the highest standards to provide the best outcomes for clients. The programme launched in April and will continue through until June.
In New Zealand Ray White were awarded the winner of the 2017 Readers Digest Quality Service award in the area of Real Estate. Independently surveyed contributors were asked to consider Personalisation, Understanding, Simplicity, Reliability and Satisfaction. In receiving the award Carey Smith Chief Executive of Ray White New Zealand said “Customer Satisfaction is the only long-term sustainable measure that can provide growth through a genuine point of difference. It allows a strong foundation for reputation to be built in the eyes of the customers”.
It’s always fantastic to see the solidarity of our members in times of need. In the wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie, communities came together across Queensland and no more so than in the Whitsundays. Fantastic to hear comments from Principal of Ray White Whitsunday, Mark Beale, who said the recovery efforts have already led to a lift in market activity.