Purplebricks launched in Australia in August 2016. Last week’s trading update piqued my interest in its market traction in Australia, which led to several interesting observations. All data is publicly available from the top property portal in Australia, realestate.com.au.
To begin, let’s look at overall market traction. The chart below shows the number of houses sold each month (as reported on the portal).
There is clear, continued growth in its two launch markets, while NSW is off to a promising start. The overall numbers are still low, but there’s a promising and unmistakable upward trend in all markets.
Purplebricks currently list 26 LPEs (Local Property Experts) in Queensland, 20 in Victoria, and 12 in NSW. Given the monthly sales figures above, we can calculate an approximation of many properties each LPE is selling per month.
NSW is quite new, so it makes sense that the ratio is lowest there. But in the two, slightly more mature markets, you can see that each LPE is selling between two and two-and-a-half properties each month.
At the time of writing, there are 346 properties listed for sale in Queensland, 196 in Victoria, and 83 in NSW. Given the same LPE numbers, we can plot out the total number of current listings relative to LPEs.
There are a number of factors that could influence these numbers. It could be a reflection of average time on market; perhaps there are more listings per LPE in Queensland because it takes longer for properties to sell. Or it could be a reflection of timing; it may take several weeks for a new LPE in NSW to become fully productive with acquiring new listings.
The real magic will be in seeing how these ratios change over time, so stay tuned!
Looking at the listed sale prices of just under 500 properties gives us a look at what segment of the market the Purplebricks proposition appeals to. The chart below shows clear clustering in Queensland, where Purplebrick’s median sale price is $493,000, below the overall market median home value of $655,000.
Mike DelPrete is a tech entrepreneur and business advisor with broad expertise in online real estate tech. As head of strategy at the online real estate portal and classifieds firm Trade Me in New Zealand, he oversaw investments and acquisitions for the publically-traded firm. Now he travels the world engaging with leading property portals and real estate tech startups, gathering first-hand knowledge on emerging trends and industry themes. This post was first published on his blog: Adventures in Real Estate Tech.