by Brian White
Ray White Group
March is the real estate agent’s version of Christmas. It brings to a culmination to all the summer marketing and selling activity. It’s the time for records. Probably, March results won’t be repeated until we’re well into Spring.
Waiting for our March results has the same feel as getting set for election night. Hope is inbuilt for a big one!
Overall, the Group totalled just under $2.5 billion. Certainly no record (it seems forever since our $3billion-plus months that happened in 2007!). But comparable to the same time last year.
Again, New Zealand stole the show. 50% up on the same time last year! Perhaps even more remarkable was Auckland – up 40%. When it is realised that the major metropolitan centres around the world have been the most resilient since the beginning of the GFC, the continuation of fabulous activity in Auckland is major news.
Australia was fine – certainly with more optimism than we noted over our recent Spring/Summer season. Why is Australia not seeing some of these same influences? (Australasian readers might be interested to know that our Bali offices are going gangbusters at the present time!)
One would have thought that Australia wouldn’t be the laggard when markets were beginning to be revitalised. Mortgage interest rates in Australia are only 0.75% ahead of New Zealand.
The Loan Market approved volumes of $750 million for the month. This reflects similar conditions in the actual agency market (with New Zealand also up). A comment that enquiry levels are stronger raises the hope that the market action will follow.
There’s a surprising level of commercial activity happening – which includes uptake of office space available for leasing. Our Sydney commercial leasing division was appointed to lease an iconic building in Sydney in a most desirable location. The building had not leased space before. This month, they have been successful in securing a major tenant who have taken a substantial lease in the building. More details to come as the deal wraps up.
What’s new at Ray White?
It’s 25 years since the company expanded from its Queensland base. A robust platform has been secured in both Australia and New Zealand, which we tend to use as a springboard for the next growth phase. Our strength in Indonesia continues to open new opportunities for us in Asia.
Three businesses located in Paihia, Kawakawa and Kaikohe greatly strengthened New Zealand’s Northland network this month. Dianne Quinn’s offices are market leaders in each of the areas that they trade and have been established for several years.
Meanwhile, we are witnessing a heightened commitment to skills development and a participation to inspire smart career decisions by our people.
The early registrations for our conference programme over the next few months exceeds our expectations – our Wealth Conference for property managers will be the biggest held in Australia Our Future Leaders’ conference will profile why owning a real estate business can be one of the best career moves. The Next Generation – an industry first – explores the question many teenagers ask ‘is joining the family business a good option for me?’. As in so many things we do, we welcome members of the real estate industry to register for these sessions. As always, our Elite conference pulls big numbers.
March saw the wrap up of our award season. For the first time, two Commercial performers took the top two slots across our entire network: Karen Seeto and Bruce Whillans. Michael Willems, from the Gold Coast, rounded off the top three places.