McGrath shares trading at fresh 32 cent record lows

McGrath shares trading at fresh 32 cent record lows
McGrath shares trading at fresh 32 cent record lows

McGrath Limited has provided shareholders with a trading update in light of deteriorating market.

Impacted by the tougher real estate market across Australia, it noted auction clearance rates and the number of properties taken to auction were at levels well below the previous year.

It further noted there has been an increase in the level of overall stock currently on the market with lower buyer activity, along with homes taking longer to sell and price reductions across the sector.

After the announcement McGrath shares traded at 31 cents and closed at a record low of 32 cents.

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McGrath shares trading at fresh 32 cent record lows

It was December 2015 when, some two decades in the making, the real estate services company commenced trading on the stock market.

Its initial trading price was $1.94, slightly below the public offering price at $2.10.

Today it noted industrywide data that in the past year saw the number of settled sales in the Sydney having fallen 18.5%, in Melbourne by 15.8% and Brisbane by 11%.

"The NSW and Queensland property markets represent the majority of McGrath’s footprint, with 83% of company owned and franchised listings occurring in these two states," Geoff Lucas advised.

“Over the financial year to date, we have seen a noticeable slowdown in the market with a correction of residential property values experienced across the entire real estate sector.

"While McGrath has also been affected by this downturn, we are encouraged by our number of new listings performing better than the market,” he noted.

Lucas noted over Q1 FY19, McGrath NSW market new listings were down just 6.9% while Queensland listings were flat.

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McGrath shares trading at fresh 32 cent record lows

Properties are taking longer to transact due to the softening market conditions with average days on market for McGrath company owned offices in being 42 days, compared with an average of 34 in the FY18 corresponding period.

Days on market for the McGrath network in Q1 was 54 compared with an average of 47 in the FY18 corresponding period.

The impact of market conditions and McGrath’s performance detailed above resulted in an EBITDA loss of $1.9 million for the quarter ended 30 September 2018.

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McGrath shares trading at fresh 32 cent record lows

The quarter ended 30 September is a historically slow quarter for the Company, the company expects a materially smaller loss in the second quarter of FY19.

It will provide a further update at the annual general meeting on 23 November.

Agent numbers within McGrath’s company owned offices have been increasing, reflecting the successful recruitment and retention initiatives put in place, with 154 agents at 31 March 2018, growing to 157 at 30 June 2018, and 168 at 30 September 2018.

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