Agencies close doors as revenues plummet
Home buyers could soon have fewer choices with agents getting out of the market.
The Independent Financial Review says branches are closing and that up to a quarter of the industry could go in the next year.
The paper reported agency revenues were well down on last year, leading to job losses and branch closures.
Ray White chief executive Carey Smith told the paper a quarter of the industry could go.
But while the company had closed 13 branches, it had opened 13 others.
First National general manager John Stewart said offices had closed and business was tight, and Real Estate Industry president Murray Cleland agreed the industry could lose staff and branches.
He told the paper cities would be the hardest hit.
Century 21 said it had shed branches and staff but because of the company’s rural presence it was riding the downturn well.
A turnaround appeared some way off and Mr Cleland said some agents were tipping early 2009 while others were more pessimistic.
Century 21 shut branches in Warkworth, Whangarei, Birkenhead, Milford and Mt Eden, but opened one in Albany.
First National lost branches in Kaiwaka, Glenfield, Mangere Bridge, Silverdale and Takapuna. It was hardest hit across the country, losing 18 offices in total.
Professionals lost Botany but opened in Mt Eden, while LJ Hooker closed offices in Conifer Grove, Epsom and Mt Albert.
Harveys officess in Mt Albert, Mt Eden and Papatoetoe shut but that was offset by a new branch in Auckland city and a merged operation based in Manurewa.
Harcourts did not report any closures and Ray White closed Tuakau, Greenhithe and West Harbour but opened new offices in Milford, Parnell and Papatoetoe.
Five of the major players lost 40 offices but two groups added three, making the total lost 37.