8663.0 - Real Estate Services, Australia, 1998-99  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2000   
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May 24, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Real Estate Industry becomes more profitable

The Australian real estate industry recorded a profit of $465 million during 1998/99, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. The average operating profit margin of businesses in the industry was 12 per cent, a significant increase from the 1995-96 figure of 8.2 per cent

The total income of the real estate services industry in 1998/99 was $3,903 million, a 19 per cent increase on industry income for 1995-96. Despite the higher industry income and profit margin, the total number of private sector real estate businesses decreased by 6 per cent over the period.

Real estate businesses earned almost two thirds ($2,503 million) of their income from property sales and leasing commissions, with the majority ($1,773 million) coming from the sale of residential properties. The average commission income from property sales per sales employee during 1998-99 was $107,400. The other major source of income was property management commissions which produced $925 million (24 per cent of total income). The average industry income per business was $514,300.

Total expenses for private sector real estate businesses over the period were $3,438 million. The highest cost was labour ($1,848 million) which was 54 per cnet of total expenses. Labour costs per employee were $36,500 up from $30,600 in 1995-96.

At the end of June 1999, there were 52,079 people working in the real estate industry, a 5 per cent decrease from June 1996. Of this figure 41 per cent were sales staff, 18 per cent were property managers, 5 per cent were leasing staff, 3 per cnet were valuers and 33 per cent were other (mainly administrative).

The real estate industry was dominated by small businesses with 96 per cent employing less than 20 people. These small businesses accounted for 77 per cent of industry employment and 72 per cent of industry income. There were only nine businesses in the real estate industry which employed 100 people or more. These accounted for 4 per cent of industry employment and 5 per cent of industry income.

Further details can be found in Real Estate Services, Australia 1998-99 (cat. no. 8663.0) available from ABS bookshops. The summary of the publication are also available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of the publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.