McGrath Estate Agents has posted a record sales month in November, booking 758 sales worth $723 million, on the back of robust first home buyer and investor activity and strong listing numbers.
This surpassed the previous record set in March 2010, when the company posted $635 million from 572 transactions.
“The strongest sector was definitely [properties worth] between $500,000 to $1.5 million, with 444 sales,” said McGrath chief operating officer, Geoff Lucas.
“This has been a popular sector of the market driven largely by first home buyers and investor activity.”
A record number of listings – 1,019 in the last month compared to 651 for the same period last year – also showed confidence was returning to the market, the company said. Current average auction days on market were 36 for the group, which has expanded beyond its Sydney base in the last year with new offices in the ACT, Thirroul and Newcastle in NSW, and Broadbeach, on Queensland's Gold Coast.
“While there has been increased buyer activity in some regional areas such as Ballina, Byron and the Central Coast, our long standing Sydney metro offices have achieved some impressive gains while growing their market share,” Mr Lucas added.
The best performing offices included McGrath Eastern Suburbs, which posted $170.5 million from 140 sales, with 10 sales over $2 million, (+55 per cent on corresponding period last year); McGrath Neutral Bay/Mosman/Northbridge with $86.3 million from 66 sales, with 11 sales over $2 million (+57 per cent); McGrath Inner West reports $75.7 million from 75 sales, with 3 sales over $2 million, (+21 per cent); McGrath Lane Cove reports $32 million from 22 sales, with five sales over $2 million (+68 per cent); McGrath Cronulla reports $29.1 million from 34 sales, with 1 sale over $2 million (+9.9 per cent).
The result came at the same time that Raine & Horne predicted already tight Sydney vacancy rates – now at 1.2 per cent - will shrink even further next year once first home buyer stamp duty exemptions are removed for existing properties.
These exemptions expire on January 1, 2012, with the additional costs expected to make home ownership less likely for more Australians, pushing more into rental accommodation.