What Happened in The Markets in August?

It’s the month we always fear in real estate. The month before a federal election! Well that’s the way it has traditionally been in Australia. But it seems, in Australia, we have been in pre-election focus for as long as we can remember!

The merciful thing at least is that the election is taking place. So we can now get down to a full and uninterrupted spring campaign – the critical season for all of us in this industry!

But, in the end, our August numbers turned out to be pretty impressive. Nicely up on last year (eight per cent) even with the traditional lack of stock that seems to always occur as part of pre-election mode.

So the relative lack of stock in August didn’t deter purchasers. Many of them seeking to purchase before they felt they would be under competitive pressure in the coming Spring campaigns.

The Kiwi’s again led the way with their huge businesses in central Auckland – they are doing so well. Their strength of foreign purchasers is continuing to impress. So different to a decade ago.

It is becoming a significant new element in the lives of the Australian and New Zealand communities – the continuing interest from our northern neighbours in our collective residential housing assets. In Australia, there are specific restrictions in the purchase of resale property, yet the emergence of large numbers of Asian immigrants – who are now permanent citizens with the rights to acquire property – are exhibiting an enormous contribution to the health of the Australian markets.

In Australia the feature has been the strength of the capital city markets, for example Ray White in Sydney where results were up 22 per cent on last year. Is this the return of the natural order of things? Remember the days when all property values where at a significant discount to those in Sydney?

Our Loan Market settlements were $501,253,067 for Australia and $173,098,348 for New Zealand, leading us into another strong month. Loan Market also held its annual national conference this month in Fiji and during the awards evening they raised $50,000 for a local orphanage. A tremendous effort.

What’s new at Ray White

The appointment by the Anglican Church for our Double Bay office to market Bishopscourt – one of the true iconic residences in Australia is a Group highlight. Situated on a 6,216 square metre property, it was the initial Sydney homestead for Thomas Mort – one of the most successful and famous of early pastoralists. Visiting the home and seeing his vision – when the home was being planned right back in the 1860 ‘s – revealed just how powerful pastoralists were in the whole Australian economy. It is a showpiece property where expressions of interest close at the end of October.

Also the big news for the Group is the forthcoming Beijing exhibition at the end of September where the company is showcasing some of the very fine property offers that we are marketing. The company’s ambitions to keep building on our Asian footprint is resolute. A generation ago, the company decided that remaining a provincial business had no long term future. We became Australasian. Now it is reflected in the character of our Asian network that will determine the Group’s fortune over the next generations.

White & Partners – specialist advisory team within the broad family structure – is expanding quickly with recent appointments in Sydney to deepen the capacity. Already acting for some of the major corporate entities in Australia, it is giving great confidence to the company of our potential to keep broadening our horizons.

The entry by the Group into America is set. It will commence with our first office in Atlanta. Focusing on delivering property management and investment services to investors in the residential real estate product category. The office will open with an expected management portfolio of several thousand. Overnight it will be the biggest individual property management businesses within the Group. The decision to enter into this market was influenced by different philosophical attitudes our Group has to property management to the ones reflected by American service providers. We are only arguing that we see it differently. We have a definite focus on taking responsibility for the physical asset as well.

The Wealth Conference is set to begin on the 10 – 11 November on the Gold Coast. This will be the biggest event yet. It is called the Wealth Conference because, for real estate agents, the existence and the development of an effective property management business is the foundation of wealth that an owner has within that business. So many new techniques and processes that will be revealed and released at this conference. With already 250 registrations, we are expecting more than double over the next few months. www.wealthconference.com.au