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REA Group unveils plunge in April listings, secures $149m loan facility

REA Group has secured an additional $149 million loan facility from its banks as it revealed a 33 per cent drop in national residential listings because of impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief executive Owen Wilson said the local real estate market had been improving but government restrictions and low consumer confidence during the crisis had resulted in a downturn.

REA chief executive Owen Wilson.

REA chief executive Owen Wilson.Credit:Eamon Gallagher

“We delivered a very solid result for quarter three given that we did see the impact of COVID-19 during the quarter. It’s really disappointing in that the property market was in full flight until COVID-19 hit, we were seeing week on week increases in residential listings across the country,” Mr Wilson told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The real estate listing site, which is majority owned by News Corporation, reported revenue growth of 1 per cent to $199.8 million for the quarter to March 31, while earnings grew by 8 per cent to $119.6 million. Listings in mid March were up 3 per cent nationally, but the crisis resulted in a 2 per cent decrease by the end of the month and a 33 per cent fall in April listings. The company has introduced features including digital inspections and online auctions to help its customers through the period, initiatives Mr Wilson said were widely used.

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