LJ Hooker books 20pc rise in sales

Staff Reporter

LJ Hooker has reported a 20 per cent rise in property sales across its Australian and New Zealand businesses in December.

“After a challenging 2011 for the industry it was good to see the number of property sales lift at the end of the year,” said L. Janusz Hooker, chief executive of LJ Hooker.

“The influence of the two consecutive rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia at the end of the year directly related to consumer activity in December.

“The rate cuts gave prospective property buyers confidence to enter the market – many of whom had been sitting back waiting and watching the market for many months in 2011.

“December is always busy for real estate agents around the country. It is a key selling period for the industry as people look to successfully complete negotiations before the end of year.

“This was seen through LJ Hooker Parramatta [in Sydney's western suburbs] who held their Big Event auction in the week leading up to Christmas, with 14 properties worth more than $5 million successfully being sold.”

The company also reported a 14 per cent rise in the number of home loans written by LJ Hooker Finance for the year, led by NSW where first home buyers locked in purchases ahead of the state government’s changes to stamp duty concessions.

Mr Hooker said 2012 presented “outstanding buying opportunities for Australian families and investors.”

He expected more investors would return to the market on the back of higher rental returns. Only late last week, Australian Property Monitors (APM) reported that national median weekly asking rents for houses rose by 1.1 per cent in the December quarter, with rents for units rising by 1.4 per cent.

“We predict Bowen, Queensland, Newcastle, New South Wales and Perth, West Australia will be the places to watch for 2012 with lots of activity around key regional towns and cities influenced by the continued mining boom,” Mr Hooker continued.

“Consumer confidence will continue to be key in 2012.”

Staff Reporter

LJ Hooker has reported a 20 per cent rise in property sales across its Australian and New Zealand businesses in December.

“After a challenging 2011 for the industry it was good to see the number of property sales lift at the end of the year,” said L. Janusz Hooker, chief executive of LJ Hooker.

“The influence of the two consecutive rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia at the end of the year directly related to consumer activity in December.

“The rate cuts gave prospective property buyers confidence to enter the market – many of whom had been sitting back waiting and watching the market for many months in 2011.

“December is always busy for real estate agents around the country. It is a key selling period for the industry as people look to successfully complete negotiations before the end of year.

“This was seen through LJ Hooker Parramatta [in Sydney's western suburbs] who held their Big Event auction in the week leading up to Christmas, with 14 properties worth more than $5 million successfully being sold.”

The company also reported a 14 per cent rise in the number of home loans written by LJ Hooker Finance for the year, led by NSW where first home buyers locked in purchases ahead of the state government’s changes to stamp duty concessions.

Mr Hooker said 2012 presented “outstanding buying opportunities for Australian families and investors.”

He expected more investors would return to the market on the back of higher rental returns. Only late last week, Australian Property Monitors (APM) reported that national median weekly asking rents for houses rose by 1.1 per cent in the December quarter, with rents for units rising by 1.4 per cent.

“We predict Bowen, Queensland, Newcastle, New South Wales and Perth, West Australia will be the places to watch for 2012 with lots of activity around key regional towns and cities influenced by the continued mining boom,” Mr Hooker continued.

“Consumer confidence will continue to be key in 2012.”

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