Ray White recorded another robust month of sales in December, and its chairman believes the Australian market has firmed for ‘mid-range’ properties.
“Ray White’s figures in December were right up with the results from the previous three to four months of $2.4 billion,” said Brian White, chairman of Ray White Group, in his latest White Paper. “On sales per available selling day, it’s a pretty strong selling month.”
Mr White said the group entered January with less ‘carry over’ of unsold stock. This was consistent with data provided by SQM Research, which found residential stock levels fell sharply in many capital cities in December.
“This year, we saw a strong momentum to successfully finalise the sale of properties that were all part of the spring campaign,” Mr White said. “People are making decisions. Particularly those who are relocating to different jobs and locations in 2013. There is a need to get things squared away.”
Mr White rejected recent figures which showed that average house prices in Australia have fallen in 2012.
“It’s so dangerous talking averages,” he cautioned. “We believe the Australian market has significantly firmed for the mid range. By significant, we mean something around five per cent. It’s just that the numbers of sales of expensive properties did not increase. Thus, in our view its impact on averages becomes misleading.”
He said the group would add five new offices in the next few weeks, and that the Gold Coast market in particular was improving.
“Big sales are now happening in these resort areas,” he said. “Mike Willems and Robert Graham, two of our first class operators in Surfers Paradise, sold $13 million between them in December.
“The Gold Coast is strong with the Ray White Surfers Paradise Group leading the attack with ‘The Event’, set to occur on Sunday 27 - Thursday 31 January 2013. Over 130 properties will be offered for sale in the best professional production we believe this industry has seen.”
While the Australian market performed admirably, Mr White said New Zealand remained its stand out market.
“New Zealand was a knock out - Ray White’s figures were 57 per cent above the same period just one year earlier,” he said. “We’ve talked a lot about New Zealand in recent White Papers. The power of Central Auckland. The important approach and encouragement by New Zealand to international buyers is all part of it, reflected by the lack of capital gains tax, stamp duty and a competitive currency.”