Mortgage Choice helps drive strong growth for REA Group

Broker networks Mortgage Choice and Smartline have contributed to REA Group’s strong third-quarter revenue growth totalling $869 million, up 23% on the previous year.

The real estate giant tallied 23% YoY growth, driven by the business and the inclusion of Mortgage Choice, which it acquired last year.

Mortgage Choice and Smartline were estimated to have a network of close to 1,000 brokers across Australia, with Mortgage Choice operating more than 740 franchises.

The rebranding of Smartline to Mortgage Choice began during the quarter, and REA Group said full integration remained on track for completion by Q3 FY23.

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“Australians transacted property at pace during the quarter as continued high demand gave sellers the confidence to bring their properties to market,” said REA Group CEO Owen Wilson (pictured).

“These conditions, combined with record take up of our premium products, contributed to our very strong result.”

REA Group said the Australian residential property market continued the post-COVID recovery during the quarter.

“National listings increased 11% YoY, with Sydney up 14% and Melbourne up 8%,” it said.

The group delivered strong revenue growth for the quarter, reflecting higher buy listings and the price rise from July 2021.

The REA Group said its flagship site realestate.com.au maintained leadership as Australia’s number one property site, delivering a record average monthly audience.

“Having the largest and most engaged audience delivers great value to our customers,” Wilson said.

“This is key to our success and we were pleased to realise a strong increase in active members during the quarter, with greater uptake of our property tracking and valuation tools.”

Wilson said 12.7 million people visited the site each month on average, or 63% of Australia’s adult population with 124 million average monthly visits.

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The CEO said the fundamentals of the residential property market remained positive, with an increasingly healthy balance between supply of properties and demand from buyers.

“While further interest rate rises are expected, strong bank liquidity, record low unemployment and increased immigration should underpin the Australian property market,” he said.

“As expected, April national residential listings were down 8% YoY, with Sydney listings declining 19% and Melbourne 18%, impacted by the timing of the Easter and Anzac Day holiday period.”

The REA Group said national listings were likely to be down year-on-year in the fourth quarter, reflecting very strong prior period listings and potential impacts from the federal election.

“The Australian property market is very healthy. While we are seeing housing price moderation in some areas, the strong economic fundamentals will continue to support robust conditions beyond this quarter,” Wilson said.

“We are excited by the significant growth opportunities throughout our business and are well positioned to deliver another strong full-year result.”