Real estate agency Ray White Group has cashed in on the strong Australian and New Zealand residential markets, posting an 8 per cent increase in full-year gross fee income to $1.11 billion.
The result includes all residential and commercial transaction fees earned but excludes revenue from the group’s mortgage origination business Loan Market.
Equally, the total value of property sales transacted through the group amounted to $44 billion, a 10 per cent increase over the previous year.
“It was one of the golden years,” Ray White Group chairman Brian White said.
“People that have believed in property have been amply rewarded. The record low interest rates created an environment not previously experienced. The benefit of these lower interest rates more than counterbalanced the increase of prices in terms of the affordability of the overall market.”
The group also said its overall market share in Australia and New Zealand increased as it expands its commercial and residential project services.
The company also settled 74,000 transactions, up 5 per cent from last year, and is already banking on an equally strong 2017.
It is expecting the coming spring bumper selling season to deliver more listings, and alleviate the pressure of low stock levels seen in Sydney and Melbourne.
“The feature of both the markets in Australia and New Zealand is in the inner-city property markets. Perhaps the biggest generational change,” Mr White said.
“The previous overwhelming preference for families to move to the newer suburbs has, to a degree, been reversed as the inner-city community facilities and services become more developed.”
Buyer interest in inner-city units and houses continue to show in auction clearance rate – more than 80 per cent for Sydney two weeks in a row and close to 80 per cent for Melbourne in the same period.