Agen­cies close doors as rev­enues plum­met

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

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.

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