Property

Real estate agent tips sales slump in Australia

SYDNEY - Sales turnover in the Australian property market could fall 20 per cent this year after home values peaked for the current cycle last August, real estate agent Ray White said yesterday.

Monday, June 21st 2004

Average home prices in Sydney, Australia's most populous city, were likely to fall between 3 per cent and 5 per cent in the second quarter, said Sam White, deputy chairman at Ray White Group.

The group operates 700 offices in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia and has annual sales turnover of A$24 billion ($26.3 billion).

White said homes were taking twice as many days to sell this year as last year and turnover in May was down 9 per cent on a year earlier at Ray White, even though the company had expanded its network of agencies by 40 during that year.

"The total turnover in real estate this year will be significantly less than it was last year," White told a gathering of the Australian Business Economists.

"The total market turnover may be down by as much as 20 per cent," he said, adding the main culprit was "longer days on the market rather than price declines".

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