Looking back on February, our group sold almost $3 billion worth of property across Australia and New Zealand, which was 13 per cent lower than the same time last year. This decline was mainly as a result of lower number of sales on the prior year. There is no doubt that there are more potential buyers being active in the home search process at present, especially in Australia. We are seeing this in the numbers at our open for inspections and auctions, which are both well up 2018.
While there are more buyers, they remain cautious and in the absence of competition, are in general not prepared to improve their offers to meet vendor expectations. They feel that this is ‘their’ market, and time is on their side. As stock levels continue to rise,buyers seem comfortable to consider other options. Will potential buyers who do not transact look back on this time regretfully and say “that was a great time to buy….I wish I could have my time over!” In uncertain markets, buyers don’t find confidence by looking at the prices similar properties sold for last year, even last month. They find confidence by knowing that there are other buyers willing to pay a similar price to them for the specific property they are looking at. It is no surprise then that we have seen a small, but genuine, lift in auction clearance rates in Sydney and Melbourne.Information is power in this market and we now have the data which proves that auctions are the best way to sell in all markets from Perth to Port Douglas and in Parnell for vendors to achieve the best possible price in the shortest possible time on market. Days on market for private treaty is up to three times that of auction stock which is makes for sobering reading in some markets when you compare the two selling methods.
There’s been some new corporate appointments this month too which will are already proving to enhance our support to the network.
My cousin Matt White, a fourth generation leader in the Ray White family and successful business owner, has now joined Ray White Rural and Livestock in Melbourne as its state director and auctioneer.
In Sydney, high-performance rugby coach, Chris Malone, has also joined Ray White Rural and Livestock in NSW to help drive productivity across the network.
And in Queensland, former real estate agent Adrian Knowles has been appointed as the State Manager for Ray White Rural and Livestock in Queensland. Ray White Rural is embarking on an ambitious growth and productivity plan for 2019.
Meanwhile, we have strengthened our focus on selling properties under the hammer with the announcement of Matthew Condon as Chief Auctioneer in Victoria and Tasmania. Mr Condon started in the role this month, however his ties with the Ray White Group date back two years to when he started in the business as a national skills trainer, educating agents on successful sales and auction methods.
And in Sydney, one of the country’s most exciting young auctioneers, Alex Pattaro, has joined the Ray White Group in the newly created role of Ray White NSW Chief Auctioneer.
Experienced operator Craig Hadfield has taken sole ownership in Nowra, Callala Bay and Culburra Beach after working in the Shoalhaven businesses for some time.
In Tree Tree Gully, well-known local agent, Sam Doman has opened the doors to servicing the north east, foothills and acreage market in Adelaide.
And in Brisbane, Ray White Bridgeman Downs | Albany Creek has just welcomed high performer James Gwynne and his team to it’s growing business on the northside.
This month we also recognised our Elite businesses in the field of property management and business development for property management. The Alan White Elite – Property Management Business was awarded to 27 offices across the nation and the Property Management – Business Development was awarded to 10 offices from Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. Ray White Head of Property Management Emily Sim said it was an incredible time in the history of Ray White property management and we’re thrilled to announce and celebrate our businesses that have reached this outstanding accomplishment.
In February, the brokers received $1B in applications, with approvals of $677M and settlements of $629M. Chief operating officer Stephen Scahill said the group saw increased significantly in the second half of the month with daily application numbers growing after a sluggish first half.
This month we sent almost 8000 surveys to our buyers and sellers and our group’s NPS sits at 79 as we keep our relentless focus on customer service. In the Australian capital, Ray White Canberra was currently the number one office internationally for customer service and a shout out to Ray White Frankston in Melbourne for receiving 19 10/10s from their clients while Ray White Remuera in Auckland was the top office for the month of February overall.
Until next month, thanks. I’m Dan White.