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REA Group changing the narrative to build confidence

REA Group is campaigning to change the doom and gloom perception of the current property market. 

This involves providing more data-driven insights on what’s happening in the market to its real estate customers so they can better educate vendors and buyers about the reality of market conditions. 

REA Group Chief Customer Officer Kul Singh said the group would also present a more balanced story directly to consumers via the media, informed by its real-time property data. 

He said the approach was in direct response to the group hearing and understanding their customers’ frustration about continuous negative headlines in the mainstream media and the impact that was having on market confidence. 

 “Customers are telling us that opens are generally performing well, with strong turnout and clearance rates are high, so whilst stock is down, it is evident that buyer demand is there,” Mr Singh said. 

“They’re finding that the negative media is fuelling vendor hesitation to list, while buyers are watching and waiting, fearful the market will keep dropping and that it isn’t the right time to buy.”

Mr Singh said while national housing prices were 4.5 per cent down on their peak, they are still 28.5 per cent higher than what they were at the start of the pandemic, but data such as this wasn’t making the headlines. 

“The hysteria and the lack of balanced facts is resulting in a market that’s not that confident to participate,” he said. 

“So we want to rebalance the story.” 

Data from PropTrack, REA Group’s data and insights arm, shows buyer demand indicators were still performing strongly, with enquiry on properties listed on realestate.com.au up 66.7 per cent in January this year compared to the same month in 2020. 

The number of potential buyers per listing was also up 93.1 per cent in January 2023 compared to January 2020, while the median days on site dropped from 77 days in January 2020 to 63 days last month. 

“We’ve seen incredible peaks over the past couple of years, and the market is now rebalancing to more normal levels,” Mr Singh said. 

The group is also facilitating discussions with industry leaders, peak bodies and state and federal governments to highlight the need for crucial action on the rental crisis. 

“We’ve started engaging federal and state governments to understand what their housing policy looks like and in turn how our data and customer insight can help inform policy and drive positive industry change where it’s needed most,” Mr Singh said. 

He said areas of opportunity include tax reform for new development, incentivising landlords to remain or re-enter the property market and new home supply issues. 

REA Group will be hosting economist briefings next week, outlining key market observations. Click here to register for an upcoming webinar.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.

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