Ray White Group’s Western Australian offices posted a 26 per cent on-year jump in sales in December, leading what was another strong monthly result for the Group, its chairman has reported.
“Could it be that the Perth market has begun following its eastern state cousins?” Brian White asked rhetorically in his latest monthly White Paper column.
When coupled with a 40 per cent rise in sales by the Group's New Zealand division, Mr White highlighted how “these increases are big numbers.”
The Group, which booked $2.1 billion in sales for the month, said the result was better than its $2.4 billion November when compared on a sales-per-working-day basis. Ray White Group considers sales above $2 billion a strong monthly result.
“People often get surprised when big numbers are achieved in the December month due to the gaps in number of working days,” Mr White said.
“But there is often a rush, which happened again last year, to successfully complete the negotiations on so many of the properties that were part of our Spring marketing campaign.
“Nothing exemplifies this better than our Double Bay [in eastern Sydney] office result which exceeded $50 million in unconditional sales - remarkable how the prospect of year end brings sales to fruition.”
Mr White said the result was “more proof that the recent reduction in interest rates is continuing to lift activity, giving confidence to purchasers that a continuing fear of more rate rises will not eventuate.”
Another highlight for Mr White was a sale by the Group's new Hotels division of a portfolio of hotels to Woolworths Ltd for $320 million.
“Our research shows that this was the major transaction by a real estate group for 2011 - a tremendous achievement to Andrew Jolliffe and Tony Bargwanna who head up this new business,” Mr White said.
“The success of our Hotels division has encouraged us to further expand their operation with a planned advisory team which will commence shortly.”
He added that the group’s rural results “were the best for 12 months”.
Ray White Group’s mortgage broker division - Loan Market – also recorded just under $600 million in approved loans in December, its second best month on record.
“More proof in the emerging underlying confidence within our communities,” Mr White said.
Ray White Group also announced that it has opened new offices in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and plans a bigger presence in other Asian markets along with the Lebanese capital of Beirut.