“The market had a soft start to the year, as a seasonally low period was exacerbate by the impact of the bushfires,” Mr Pellegrino said. “Melbourne’s shutdown sent overall volumes down again in August and September. We have seen a seasonal uplift in October for the spring selling season, however this has been less pronounced than in previous years.”
“Continued investment in growth initiatives (including product development, marketing, and driving sales performance) is being supported by ongoing cost discipline.”
Domain shares sank 6.9 per cent to $4.30 on Tuesday in a rising broader market, while rival REA shares dropped 4.7 per cent to $132.90. The stock was hit hard earlier this year when social distancing rules led to restrictions on open homes and sparked fears of a property rout.
However, it has since rebounded and remains within striking distance of record highs at $4.38 touched last week. Domain is majority owned by Nine Entertainment Co, which owns The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Property listings bounced back slightly after restrictions were relaxed in New South Wales and forecasts are improving again with Victoria’s relaxed rules. REA Group boss Owen Wilson said last week the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to slash interest rates would provide certainty about the cost of borrowing.
“COVID won’t be the major influence next year assuming we don’t have a relapse in Australia. The bigger impact will be consumer confidence and employment – a COVID hangover. These are two factors that will play a bigger part in property market performance next year,” Mr Wilson said.