Real Estate Turmoil
Ross Greenwood: Going, going, but for John McGrath – known as Mr. Real Estate – not quite gone.
Louis Christopher: For him to come back, he is going to be basically going against the odds.
Ross: McGrath’s company had until the close of business today to appoint new directors to stay within stock exchange rules.
The new chairman – Peter Lewis. Ex-chief finance officer at Channel Seven.
McGrath previously said he would take the role. But – not so.
John McGrath made his fortune and his reputation selling upmarket houses to the people of Sydney. But with allegations about his gambling, plus his chairman and chief executive quitting, he needs all of that reputation to maintain his business as one of Australia’s largest real estate agents. (McGrath Limited ASX:MEA)
Brent Courtney is one of Australia’s top 20 agents – he stuck with McGrath but he admits some clients are talking.
Brent Courtney: Yeah some people are at open houses, but the reality is, it’s about buying and selling houses.
Louis: He has lost some of his key agents over the last two to three years.
Ross: Like Karen Stewart and Edward Smyth who went their own way
Karen Stewart: Its down to us to make things happen, and we’re having a lot of fun. Its early stages but we’re really excited about what this year will hold for us.
Ross: Across Sydney on the weekend, there were 780 auctions, compared with 856 in the same week last year.
That means less commission for agents, less advertising for property websites like Domain Group who’s CEO Anthony Catalano, friend of many agents, quit suddenly.
Nick Falloon: We don’t see any impact at all; we have a great relationship with the agents.
Ross: Domain said its Sydney business was down 27 percent in January and that hits agents, like McGrath
Louis: Highly competitive market, not as many listing occurring
Ross: Ross Greenwood, Nine News
Interviewed Ian Yates, CEO, COTA titled ” Has the New Retirement Pension Age Increased to 70? .”