Owen Wilson, the CEO of REA Group, has put the blame on the banking regulator and state governments for disrupting the property boom and causing the worst market for real estate sales in a decade.
The News Corp controlled property listings portal’s first quarter trading update revealed a 9 percent decline in revenue after broker commissions fell to $202.3 million and a 14 percent fall in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to $114.9 million.
On an underlying basis revenue declined 6 percent, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fell 9 percent.
"It’s about as bad as it can get … It’s the worst market we’ve ever seen," Wilson said.
National listings fell 15 percent over the three months to September 30, with a 22 percent drop in Sydney and a 21 percent decline in Melbourne.
"That quarter, the fact the residential and development and mortgages [declined], to have that kind of a perfect storm … we haven’t seen that within 30 years," he said. REA Group’s share price dropped 2.8 percent to $103.72.
However, Wilson said that to have kept revenue relatively stable in the current environment was a good outcome that met the expectations of most analysts.
"This was a manufactured downturn," he said.
REA Group, which is majority owned by News Corp, laid off 60 staff as part of a restructure in September.
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