"Exceptional result" for realestate.com.au owner REA Group as buy listings surge

"Exceptional result" for realestate.com.au owner REA Group as buy listings surge

Photo: Realestate.com.au, via Facebook.

Realestate.com.au operator REA Group (ASX: REA) has reported a 24 per cent jump in revenue in the March quarter to $334 million amidst a rise in residential listings, particularly in the key markets of Sydney and Melbourne.

REA, which is majority owned by News Corporation (ASX: NWS), reports its growth rate in Australia was the same, although it would have been slightly lower at 21 per cent if not for the acquisition of CampaignAgent - a business acquired outright in July that has been described as like an 'Afterpay for VPA (vendor paid advertising)'.

Growth was underpinned by strong Australian residential and commercial yields, as well as revenue growth in India where the company's losses are expected to be lower this year.

Residential buy listings were up 6 per cent in Australia overall, but figures were up substantially higher in Sydney and Melbourne by 20 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, rent revenue was up due to an 8 per cent average price rise and growth in depth penetration, partly offset by a 5 per cent decline in rental listings.

REA notes that supply is benefiting from property prices rising to record levels and increased investor selling in some markets, while demand continues to be supported by strong fundamentals including low unemployment and high levels of immigration.

"The Australian property market maintained its strong momentum during the quarter with seller confidence and healthy buyer demand driving activity," says REA Group chief executive officer Owen Wilson.

"Australian consumers’ preference for our premium products and our focus on customer value delivered an exceptional result in this strong market."

Residential listings growth could have been higher still if it weren't for the earlier timing of Easter leading to a 9 per cent year-on-year drop in March. This was compensated for with a 32 per cent spike in April, a month when Sydney and Melbourne continued to outpace other markets with growth rates of 45 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.

The group reports year-to-date listings are currently up 7 per cent.

The group's commercial revenue was also up due to an average 11 per cent rise, as well as increased depth penetration and listings, while developer revenue was flat with lower project commencements offset by increased project duration.

REA's network of brands also includes realcommercial.com.au, property.com.au, Flatmates.com.au, PropTrack and Mortgage Choice, among others.

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