White Paper – February 2017
Rarely has there been such conjecture in public commentary about the prospects for the real estate market in 2017. “Listings are tight.” “Property is too expensive for first home buyers.”
So we awaited our February results with more than usual interest. Our result of $3.4 billion was actually a slight increase over last year which, as our readers will remember, was a great market. Indeed, both Ray White in NSW and Victoria had personal bests for the month. Our sales numbers were only slightly behind last year with the factor of increased values – particularly in Sydney – having a positive impact.
Most markets were similar to last year but Western Australia is still experiencing lack of confidence – perhaps further undermined by its imminent state election?
Our Commercial group of businesses came in at $152 million, slightly behind 2016. The sale of the Precinct at Stuart Drive, Townsville by Stephen Kidd from Ray White Commercial (QLD) for $22million further underlined the strength of the investment market and the preparedness for investors to look further afield for higher income returns.
A strong month for our partners at Loan Market with lodgements coming in at over $1 billion and settlements reaching more than $622 million.
When people discuss the property market they invariably focus on sales but property management news can be just as revealing. In all the states except Western Australia, property management vacancy rates hover between 1 and 2 per cent – an acceptable figure for a well balanced market. In Perth however, the vacancy rate is now over 30 per cent. An astonishingly high rate. It illustrates how many people left the state post the mining boom some years ago. No wonder there has been pressure on prices in Perth and its regional centres.
Our customer satisfaction ratings continue to show strength with over 1,000 new clients rating Ray White service a nine or 10 out of 10 in February. Overall, our NPS score sits around positive 74.
What’s new at Ray White
The White family is pleased to announce that Wealth Market is now open. A team of 20 professionals has commenced offering its services to the company’s clients and the community. The need for offering specialist financial advice is significant. Many of the 200,000 property investors for whom we manage properties have already responded with interest.
Every year in February, our corporate teams come together at our Crows Nest conference. This year, on the the Gold Coast, we explored our learnings of the past year and direction for the next 12 months. An enormous commitment has been made by the White family in the development of technology products to enhance the efficiencies of our real estate businesses to their existing and potential clients.
A highlight of our conference was our awards evening with George Ajaka receiving the White family prize. His role at White & Partners has been exceptional in the delivery of some wonderful property value offerings to our investor clients. Jason Alford claimed the Chairman’s Cup. His role in the development and delivery of some superb technology products has been stunning.