Real estate guru bets big on new market as Sydney sales slide

A major Australian real estate group has opened a number of new offices this week as it looks to grow its footprint in one key property market.

This week, McGrath announced the opening of two new Melbourne offices after breaking into the Victorian market in December last year.

On Monday the group revealed that it had opened its third Melbourne office in the bayside suburb of Bentleigh.

McGrath chief executive John McGrath said he was delighted by the continued momentum in the company’s expansion into Melbourne with high-calibre franchise partners who are well established and respected in their local communities.

McGrath Bentleigh will be led by principals Melissa Ryan and Peter Sinclair. The new franchise office will focus on the key suburbs of McKinnon, Ormond, Bentleigh, Bentleigh East, Oakleigh and Murrumbeena.

“Melbourne is one of Australia’s most dynamic property markets and one where we see great opportunity for our company and its clients,” Mr McGrath said.

“Melbourne has continued to see solid growth over the past 12 months with gains of 9.8 per cent year-on-year, which is the highest of any capital city, followed by Sydney.”

McGrath Bentleigh principal Peter Sinclair said he was attracted to the McGrath brand for its superior marketing, first-class systems and innovative technology.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the industry’s leading professionals, and look forward to providing our clients in the local area with the highest level of service and results,” Mr Sinclair said.

Located 15 kilometres south-east of the Melbourne CBD, Bentleigh is a sought-after family area with a selection of sporting and lifestyle amenities, parklands and well-established infrastructure.

The suburb has experienced strong price growth over recent years; since 2013 the median house price has increased by 50 per cent to $1,212,500, with apartments growing in value by 26 per cent over the same period to $635,750, according to CoreLogic RP Data.

On Wednesday McGrath opened its fourth Melbourne office in Croydon in the city’s outer east, a clear signal of the group’s focus on this important metropolitan market.

McGrath Croydon will be led by principal Paul Fenech and focus on the key suburbs of Croydon, Kilsyth, Mooroolbark, Croydon Hills and Croydon South.

Mr Fenech said that Croydon and its surrounds provide an affordable lifestyle option for families priced out of the city’s inner-ring suburbs. A selection of public and private schools is also a major drawcard.

“Croydon is a highly desirable suburb for families, with ample parklands and green spaces, quality schools and a vibrant village atmosphere,” Mr Fenech said.

“Established infrastructure along with new development activity, such as the Eastland Shopping Centre development, has provided growth stimulus for property prices, with the median house price in the suburb increasing by a healthy 15 per cent over the past 12 months.”

The two new offices will bring the current office count across the east coast of Australia to 84.

McGrath’s expansion into the Melbourne real estate market comes after the group revealed last month that it had continued to experience “unforeseen low volumes of listings and sales” in April, particularly in the north and north-western suburbs of Sydney.

[Related: McGrath admits to poor sales amid 'challenging' market]

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