by Ray White Group Joint Chairman Brian White
With all the press speculation of a market change in the world of property, we awaited our October results with more interest than usual. So when our result of $3.9billion came in – just short of an all time record – it was a delight for us all!
Of particular interest was the continuing strength of NSW, who achieved a record result for us of $1.4billion. That is double of what was being achieved only a few years ago. Victoria and Tasmania also achieved a record result in the month of October with $353million.
The continuing resilience of the Australian east coast market is reassuring. It is true that bidding at auctions is not as frenetic as we noticed in the winter months, but what commentators have missed is that there is still substantial strength and activity in the market. Willing buyer and willing seller are still coming together and continuing to secure attractive prices – it just means the role of the real estate agent is more important than ever before!
In Western Australia conditions remain tight. A market of great interest to us is the market in New Zealand where conditions have been stronger for a longer period than in Australia – coming up to three years in contrast to Australia’s two and a half years. Will the New Zealand market maintain its momentum and create a new record for longevity of a market upswing?
Commercial transaction activity shows no sign of slowing down in the lead up to Christmas. Even with more stock coming onto the market, investor demand is such that most markets continue to enjoy record conditions. Not being limited to capital cities, sales and leasing activity continues to build in more regional markets such as Noosa, Maroochydore and Townsville. Our commercial auction clearance rate is currently at 74 per cent.
There remains a continuing interest in redevelopment sites, particularly in Sydney which is increasingly capturing buyer interest through international developments. Interestingly, we’ve been used to the Chinese developers holding almost a monopoly in this space, however now European developers are also intending to commit to the Australian market.
Loan Market lodged just shy of $1billion in October and settled over $650 million in loans. New South Wales led the way with $199 million worth of settlements and Victoria was hot on its heels with $195 million.
What’s new at Ray White?
This month EY announced, as part of their famous Entrepreneur Of The Year program, that the White Family had been awarded their inaugural Family Business Award for Australia. This was big news within the Group, and an honour for Ray White to sit amongst international businesses who have been in operation for hundreds of years. It is such a significant achievement and has been embraced by our members with so many of our businesses family entities themselves.
The award primarily recognises family values, this ties in beautifully with our increasing focus on customer satisfaction ratings which continue at impressive levels.
This month, the second edition of Ray White’s Portfolio magazine was released, with the Chinese edition circulated through our government relationships in China and the CCPIT database. The magazine profiles the Australasian market alongside the presentation of spectacular properties that are being marketed by the Group.
In the auction space, the Group’s commitment to online auctions continues to gather pace. October saw a huge 73 auction extravaganza in Brisbane earlier in the month with the entire proceedings featured live online. Already its deepening our value to our vendors. A strong take up saw more than half the properties sold, making it one of the biggest single auction events ever in Brisbane.
In NSW, the first ever online auction for the state was held this month, and saw a standout sale of a $5.8million dollar property; Braeside. The day’s online bidding attracted many participants internationally, and was supported by those who were actually present.
Again, we welcome a number of new offices which have opened within the Group this month, including Thornlands and Albion in Brisbane, Riverstone and Woolloomooloo in NSW, the expansion of Damian Moore’s successful Ray White Glen Waverley with new office Mount Waverley in Victoria and Takapuna and Te Puke in New Zealand.
Extremely proud of Loan Market’s Josh Bartlett, who was named Broker of the Year (Franchise) at the Australian Mortgage Awards for the second consecutive year.
Loan Market Victoria’s spring referral campaign, A September to Remember, wrapped up on 31 October with great results. The initiative uncovered 1135 qualified leads for Loan Market brokers and 160 appraisal opportunities for Ray White agents. Zole Elali from Ray White Caroline Springs was the number one referrer with 37 qualified leads and Ben Taylor took out the top position for Loan Market, referring 22 appraisal opportunities back to Ray White.
2015 will be a bumper year for the Group’s Christmas campaign ‘a little Ray of giving’ with already more than double the number of offices who participated in 2014 with only just under two months till Christmas. Make sure you drop a gift at your nearest Ray White office and help put a smile on the faces of underprivileged children this Christmas.