The oldest real estate agencies in Australia as Ray White – by no means the oldest – marks 110 years

The oldest real estate agencies in Australia as Ray White – by no means the oldest – marks 110 years
The oldest real estate agencies in Australia as Ray White – by no means the oldest – marks 110 years

Ray White recently celebrated its 110th anniversary. The five great-grandsons of Ray White met up in Sydney celebrate the 1902 founding with group chairman Brian White. Ray White once sold pigs, insurance and rural real estate in a railway siding that has since been restored as a museum dedicated to the founder. It is a remarkable milestone, and Ray White is one of many Australian real estate agencies that have exceeded the 100-year mark.

1839

Elders Real Estate bills itself as the oldest agency in Australia. It was established in 1839 after Alexander Lang Elder arrived in Port Adelaide from Scotland. The agency now has more than 400 offices across Australia.

1858

Richardson and Wrench was founded in Sydney in 1858, before much of Australia had been explored by settlers. Liverpool-born founder Robert Richardson set up shop at 235 George Street at the age of 31.

1859

Kelly & Shiel in Carlton was started in 1859. It was awarded a Lord Mayor's Commendation recognising the contribution of small businesses to Melbourne.

 1866

Carlton Gaetjens in Adelaide was founded in 1866. The agency is run by the 86-year old Ken Gatjens – great-grandson of Herman Gatjens who married into the agency in 1886. With Ken's grand daughter now working in the agency, there have been six generations of the family working there. It was originally founded by Adolph Heinrich Bartels and Christoph Meyer. Bartels was the Mayor of Adelaide from 1871 to 1873.

1872

W.B. Simpson & Son in North Melbourne has been run by the same family since its founding in 1872 by William Simpson. The current principal, Darrell Simpson, was joined by his son Richard Simpson, the fifth-generation Simpson to be involved with the company.

1881

Blacks Real Estate in Queensland’s Mackay has been run by the same family since 1881. The family-run agency now has 20 employees.

1883

Raine and Horne’s website claims it is the oldest family-owned agency in Australia. It was established by Tom Raine and Joseph Horne in Sydney’s Elizabeth Street in 1883.

1890

Biggin Scott was founded by former mayor of Prahran TGL Scott on Chapel Street in 1890. The company now employs more than 200 people.

1890

P. Leahy agency in Mosman was founded in 1890 by Paddy Leahy. The agency is currently in its fourth generation of family ownership.

1890

The First National O’Donoghues agency site has been operating as a real estate agency since 1890. O’Donoghues bought the JC Adams Real Estate Agency in 1974.

1892

Ron Loiterton Real Estate Agents in Cootamundra was founded in 1892. The agency sells residential, rural and commercial property throughout the Cootamundra, NSW region.

1889

Sommerville First National was established by James Somerville in 1889 in Hercules Street, Ashfield. Sommerville was a founding member of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales, and later principal Eric Morrison was also a member in 1978.

1892

Curnow Dyett Real Estate in Bendigo has been run since 1892, Bendigo’s oldest continually running agency. The agency says it has a proud tradition of helping Bendigonians realise their home ownership dreams.

1894

Ewing Real Estate in Gunnedah, NSW, was established in 1894. The family ownership of the company spans four generations and is currently run by principals Bob and Don Ewing.

1895

After a brief spell in Melbourne, James Thomas Peet established Peet in Perth’s William Street in 1895. The business was no doubt bolstered by his former business partner’s assumption of the role of mayor of Subiaco.

1898

Forsyth in Sydney’s Willoughby was founded by Robert Todd Forsyth in a wooden shack in 1898. The business is still run by descendants of the Forsyth family.

1899

Callagher Estate Agents in Annandale was founded in 1899 by an ancestor of the current principal. The agency is in its fourth generation of family ownership.

1902

Ray White recently celebrated its 110th anniversary. The five great-grandsons of Ray White met up in Sydney celebrate the 1902 founding with group chairman Brian White. Ray White once sold pigs, insurance and rural real estate

1903

Miller and James, based in Temora, NSW, was established in 1903. The agency says that 100 years on, the goal is still the same and while agents have altered their methods to suit the modern world they remain committed to professional service.

1907

Kelly and Sons in King Street Newtown dates back to 1907. The business was founded in Parkes by William A Kelly. It remains in family ownership to this day. The Kelly family forefathers arrived with the second fleet in 1790.

Do you know of any more agencies across Australia that should be on this list? Email us and let us know.

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Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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