The financial year to June 2021 was as special as special can get for the real estate industry.
We finish the year humbled to be part of an industry, and indeed a country, that thrived during times of such uncertainty, when so many other industries and countries were discriminatively impacted by the economic and social challenges imposed by the pandemic.
We were very fortunate to be able to be part of so many incredible results for our customers that often far exceeded their expectations, and to be able to report to the community that the value of what is usually their most important asset strengthened during the year. And we helped more first-home buyers than ever before get into the market.
Sales records literally tumbled every month across our network. Over the whole year we helped more than 200,000 families or businesses with their property dreams and exchanged contacts on a record $74 billion worth of property across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Indonesia. To put this into perspective, this result was almost 40 per cent more than the prior year. We are looking forward to celebrating everyone’s achievements at our annual awards in coming months.
In the month of June, we recorded a massive $7.55 billion in sales. So it’s officially our best start to winter ever as our members helped more than 16,000 buyers and sellers with their property ambitions. NSW recorded a monster $2.18 billion in sales, followed by New Zealand at $1.70 billion and $1.44 billion in Queensland.
My family is so proud of all our members who delivered these results. In the first part of the year, our members rose to the challenges when faced lockdowns and rolling restrictions, showed courage in adversity, and fought to get the best outcomes for their customers. And they then seized the opportunities that the market offered later in the year to record such breath-taking results.
We are very excited by the fact we welcomed 4,097 new members into the Ray White family to reach a total 12,833 members by the end of June 2021. Our future is defined by the leadership ambitions of our members, and so we were delighted to welcome 75 new business owners to the group during the year, and we look forward to doing all we can to ensure that they build great businesses for the benefit of their families and the communities that they serve.
The great news for the property market is that stock levels are up, and not just compared to last year but also compared to 2019. In fact, for listings, this is the strongest start to winter we have ever recorded. While nationally this is the case, the gap between previous years varies across each state. Victoria, hit by rolling lockdowns, is only slightly above 2019 listings levels. This is likely to be the state that sees the biggest pick up in coming months.
Our auction market metrics also continue to be a beacon of light for our members and customers. In June, we had 3,139 auctions booked and we cleared 82 per cent of those. From a $19.250 million mixed use commercial site in Eastwood, Sydney to a $120,000 house in June, NSW, the process is still the same. Auctions have been absolutely pivotal to the success of our business since we began in 1902, ensuring that we maximise the competition that we create for our customers and deliver them the best possible result. The sold prior rate sits stubbornly at 20 per cent and yet our data shows that if our sellers hold on until game day they will receive 13 per cent more on average by selling under the hammer. Meanwhile, more than 92 per cent of all our June auctions had active bidding, that’s an impressive metric. The other unique data that we track is the number of buyers actively bidding. We had, on average, 3.3 buyers bidding at every auction in June. So we know there’s no shortage of buyers, and while buyer numbers have stabilised since the extraordinary increase witnessed in the last half of 2020, they are still much higher than what we have seen before.
We have taken a lot of courage and insights from our friends at the Loan Market Group in the last year as we know mortgage financing goes hand in hand with buying property. The fastest growing privately owned mortgage aggregator set a new settlement record in June at $1.92 billion, and received a healthy $2.65 billion in applications and $2.35 billion in approvals. Loan Market’s settlements grew 57 per cent to $417.3 billion in 2020-21, and each Loan Market broker on average now writes 45 deals or $23.4 million a year. Incredible growth and the data helps us to feel confident about the momentum in the current market. The Reserve Bank also remains committed to maintaining highly supportive monetary conditions to support a return to full employment and higher inflation. This position definitely helps to underpin the property market and maintain our momentum bias.
The new financial year began with a lot of confidence, but we are now locked down in our largest marketplace. The past year reminded us that we should never take anything for granted.
Ray White Group – Managing Director