REA hit by Queensland estate agency contraction

REA Group has reported a 4% drop in paying real estate offices on its listings websites realestate.com.au and property.com.au, the second consecutive six-month period that numbers have fallen.

The company shed more than 200 real estate offices in the second half 2011 with, numbers falling from 9,536 to 9,324 over this six-month period to sit below December 2009 numbers (9,329 paying agent offices).

Paying agent office numbers are down more than 300 from 9,688 recorded for the corresponding six-month period in 2010.

REA Group attributed this slight decrease “mainly due to the contraction in Queensland agency numbers”.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland started including property listings from its own members from September 2011 on its own website, reiq.com. On its launch the REIQ said about 80% of real estate agencies across Queensland were accredited with the institute.

REA paying agent numbers

Six month period to end of:

Paying agent numbers

December 2011

9,324

June 2011

9,536

December  2010

9,688

June 2010

9,612

December 2009

9,329

 

A graph released with its full-year results to the end of July 2011 showed that paying agent numbers had started to plateau from around June 2008 after steep growth in the preceding seven years.

Unique web browser numbers per month contracted by 3% from 7.1 million to 6.9 million for the six-month period year-on-year. In June 2010, REA Group had 6.56 million unique monthly browsers.

Residential agent revenues earned by realestate.com.au and its affiliates increased by 11% to $74 million for half-year to December 31, according to interim results posted by publisher of the site REA Group.

Income earned from residential listings remains the bread and butter of the REA business, accounting for 62% of the $119.8 million earned over the six-month period, an increase of 16% on the $103 million earned in the corresponding period in 2010.

However, it still remains far ahead of its nearest competitor, Domain.com.au, which has 3.7 million unique browsers, and other rivals on all key metrics.

According to February Google Ad Planner figures Realestate.com.au had 3.8 million unique visitors and 300 million page views for January. This was followed by Domain, Real Estate View and Home Hound at the top of the list.

According to Nielsen Online Ratings released in October last year, realestate.com.au ranked 12th in a list of top online brands – there were no other real estate listings websites in the top 15.

Aside from realestate.com.au, the REA Group also publishes listings and rentals on property.com.au and provides property information via homeguru.com.au and ozhomevalue.com.au.

REA Media, its display media advertising segment which sells ads across all its websites, achieved revenue of $32.7 million up 33% compared to the same period in 2010.

Its commercial listing website, realcommercial.com.au earned $12.7 million, accounting for 11% of revenue while

Overall, the website posted a 17% rise in earnings to $58.4 million. 

According to February Google Ad Planner figures Realestate.com.au had 3.8 million unique visitors and 300 million page views for January. This was followed by Domain, Real Estate View and Home Hound at the top of the list.

According to Nielsen Online Ratings released in October last year, realestate.com.au ranked 12th in a list of top online brands – there were no other real estate listings websites in the top 15.

Aside from realestate.com.au, the REA Group also publishes listings and rentals on property.com.au and provides property information via homeguru.com.au and ozhomevalue.com.au.

REA Media, its display media advertising segment which sells ads across all its websites, achieved revenue of $32.7 million up 33% compared to the same period in 2010.

Its commercial listing website, realcommercial.com.au earned $12.7 million, accounting for 11% of revenue while

Overall, the website posted a 17% rise in earnings to $58.4 million.

REA Group also announced the appointment of advertising man Hamish McLennan as a non-executive director and board member. He is the former chairman and CEO of advertising agency Young & Rubicam and was recently named executive vice president, office of the chairman at News Corporation, with responsibility for enhancing News Corporation’s global brand partnerships across traditional and digital media platforms.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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