What happened to the markets in July?

Winter is supposed to be when markets slumber. Right? Not in 2014. For the first time Ray White’s group sales exceeded $3billion in a winter month. In fact, the markets are continuing to resemble Spring/Summer conditions in a remarkable display of consistency.

And the consistency is across all individual markets. The pick? Well, one can’t ignore the strength of the recovery in Queensland – once the hardest hit property market in Australia. Seems the only thing holding even stronger results across our markets is the seasonal stock shortages.

Once more, capital cities – indeed the inner city components of our major capitals – are proving fundamental in this resilience. For example Ray White’s inner city New Farm office in Brisbane achieved an all time record of $50million in sales, with the other inner city Brisbane businesses all doing similar numbers. Similar story in Auckland and so on throughout our company.

The continuing interest in our property markets from Asian investors remains remarkable. Once seen as a potential transitory phenomena, the regard that Australia and New Zealand has as an economy of security is paying huge dividends.

This is leading through to the continuation of demand for unit sites. It’s amazing how valuable some sites are (due to the confidence developers have in the demand for the eventual projects), when compared to their perceived value only a few years ago. A revolution has been happening in our cities!

Over $250million was of commercial sales and leasing was written by our team in July. Much of our activity reflects the extensive rejuvenation and development of land, and existing assets being undertaken by local and offshore developers and investors. The sale of 171 George St, Brisbane for $35m by Rick Bird and Andrew Adnam to a consortium of local and Singaporean developers, with plans to convert it from a largely vacant office building to a hotel, was a prime example of this.

Loan Market is celebrating 20 years this week, at the Loan Market Conference at Hamilton Island. Recently, they were awarded the strongest strategic partner for 2014, by the Commonwealth Bank, last year settling over $12billion across both Australia and New Zealand – a record for our company. Now there’s some reasons to celebrate!

What’s new at Ray White?

We devoted a double page spread in this seasons Hot Topics – the leading independent property industry magazine – to the new Ray White office openings in 2014. This announcement is just the beginning for what will be a big run up for the end of this year for new business. Rarely has there been such exhilarating talent set to join our network. Most will be in the form of new office start-ups, but there’s some big business re-branding as well.

In New South Wales alone we will see openings in Seaforth, Balgowlah, St Ives, Auburn and Canley Heights this month. In Victoria, we’re opening in Bayswater, Tarneit, Footscray and Beaumaris, and in New Zealand we have welcomed Ray White Merivale in Christchurch and Ray White Mangere Bridge in Auckland. Next week we welcome Ray White Russell in Northland and Ray White Epsom in Auckland.

There is also growing acceptance that real estate businesses today need the back office providing sophisticated marketing support, all delivered through advanced technology. Our decision to invest huge capital in these structures over a period of some time is now paying dividends!

As mentioned last month, it’s worth noting the large percentage of women opening businesses for us. Nicole Payne at Beaumaris and Heather Walton at Epsom in Auckland, are two terrific examples. Also Sue Douglas’ new Taranaki office in Auckland, shows her continued ambitions are unabated, even after being established in her initial Ray White office more than 20 years ago.

Finally, huge congratulations to the Waratahs. Ray White’s sponsorship was inspired by Stephen Nell. Ray White offices compete fiercely for international recognition in sales. It’s certainly been interesting, to say the least, listening to the crosstalk between our Australian and Kiwi devotees of Rugby!