Australian Real Estate Industry

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Australian Real Estate Businesses

In 2019, there are 40,403 real estate businesses operating in Australia. A very modest growth rate of 0.8% is predicted in this mature market. New South Wales has the largest number of real estate businesses in Australia, while the Northern Territory has the least.

TOTAL NUMBER OF REAL ESTATE BUSINESSES IN AUSTRALIA

  • In 2019, there are 40,403 real estate businesses in Australia.

TOTAL NUMBER OF REAL ESTATE BUSINESSES IN AUSTRALIA BY STATE

  • New South Wales- 14,650
  • Victoria- 8050
  • Queensland- 10587
  • Southern Australia- 2209
  • Western Australia- 3548
  • Tasmania- 466
  • Northern Territory- 221

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON MARKET

  • The growing and stable residential market has supported a modest growth in real estate.
  • Population growth has boosted revenue.
  • The market is extremely competitive and saturated.
  • The industry is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 0.8% until 2024, even though the GDP is projected to grow at a rate of 2.6%.
  • Deloitte has an excellent overview of the Australian real estate market. You may access it here.

Research Strategy

Current numbers were obtained by calculating the growth in the industry. We were able to obtain the 2013 numbers on businesses from the Real Estate Institute of Australia. The 2019 numbers were available from IBIS World. By figuring the CAGR for the growth (2.37%), we were able to apply that to the 2013 numbers which actually broke them down by region and triangulate the number of businesses per state. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has not shared publicly the data set needed since 2013. We were able to locate several of their reports which had much information on real estate in terms of the number employed and the number of offices, but it did not break down real estate into a separate category. As they might be useful, you may access them here and here.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Australian Real Estate Businesses- Career Breakdown

While massive turnover in the most common occupation (real estate agent) makes gauging the exact numbers difficult, data taken from Australia's Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP) provides a breakdown of the top 20 occupations in the Australian real estate industry (including the rental and hiring segments), as shown below and in the attached project spreadsheet.

THE TOP 20 OCCUPATIONS

According to Australia's Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP), the top 20 occupations in the rental, hiring, and real estate sector are:
  • Real Estate Sales Agents — 76,300
  • General Clerks — 9,300
  • Other Hospitality, Retail and Service Managers — 9,000
  • Land Economists and Valuers — 7,200
  • Office Managers — 7,100
  • Receptionists — 6,400
  • Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers — 4,700
  • Accountants — 4,600
  • Other Sales Assistants and Salespersons — 4,100
  • Accounting Clerks — 3,400
  • Finance Managers — 3,000
  • Personal Assistants — 3,000
  • Construction Managers — 2,800
  • Information Officers — 2,700
  • Metal Fitters and Machinists — 2,400
  • Bookkeepers — 2,400
  • Commercial Cleaners — 2,400
  • Truck Drivers — 2,300
  • Contract, Program, and Project Administrators — 2,300
  • Advertising and Marketing Professionals — 2,200
Altogether, these ten positions employ 157,600 persons, or about 73.4% of the total labor market of 214,600 persons or 95.6% of the 164,900 full-time rent, hiring, and real estate employees. Based on the fact that the last four positions comprise relatively few individuals, we suspect that the 11th through 20th top jobs would we increasingly niche positions, though without official data we are unable to confirm this hypothesis.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

As noted in our previous report, there is a discrepancy in the total employment figures in Australia's "Rental, Hiring, and Real Estates Services" market even within the government's official Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP): The raw data charts (pulled into a project spreadsheet for convenience) indicate that there are 259,600 people employed in the industry, 164,900 of them full-time, while a statement on a separate page within the site states that the total number employed is only 214,600 persons. Since the latter figure is associated with the data which would enable us to identify the top ten industry jobs, we dug in deeper to understand the underlying data, as detailed in our other report.

In the course of digging deeper, we discovered a table with the top 20 jobs associated with this industry. This not only provided us with a more extensive list (see our findings above) but also demonstrated that the top 20 positions, which flatten out considerably in the less common jobs, comprise 157,600 jobs total (see the "Top 20 Jobs" tab of our project spreadsheet). Given how close this is to the 164,900 full-time jobs in this industry, we understand this list of top jobs to either encompass only full-time employment or else to encompass only some part-time personnel (perhaps those who reach a certain hour-per-week threshold).

While this provided an answer, we were not completely satisfied with our inability to authoritatively explain the difference in numbers given by the same source. We attempted to dig yet deeper into the data. Here we were stymied by a formatting issue. The "Australia Occupation Summary" and "Main Employing Occupations" tables provided their data only in the form of macro-enabled results tabs, with the underlying data tables hidden and password-locked. This prevented us from pulling the raw data and performing our pivots and analysis.

As a final effort to provide as complete and unified data as possible, we searched for third-party sources and/or commentary which might explain how these differences in the data came about. This led us to Australia's official Job Outlook page for real estate agents, which provided some salient details:
  • The number of people employed as "their main job" in this position is expected to grow from 90,800 in 2018 to 97,400 by 2023.
  • In that same period, there are expected to be 58,000 job openings, mostly due to high turnover.
  • 80% of real estate agents are full-time, compared to an average of 66% working full-time in the general population.
That latter figure contradicts the raw data from the LMIP (see the "Distribution by State (Pivot)" tab), which puts the total full-time occupancy at 63.5% across the whole industry--far less than we would expect, with agents being by far the most common occupation and having an exceedingly high full-time employment status. However, this might easily be explained by the incredibly high turnover rate real estate agents face, as might the discrepancies between sources even within the LMIP database.

To summarize, we hypothesize that the different numbers coming from the LMIP are due to the industry's largest occupation segment fluctuating to such a high degree; basically, two surveys conducted even months apart might come up with very different numbers.

That being the case, we have not attempted to compensate for these (possible) fluctuations in the data, but have presented the top 20 occupations in the rental, hiring, and real estate services industry provided by the LMIP as-is.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Australian Real Estate Businesses- Careers

Thanks to figures taken from Australia's official Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP) page, the geographic distribution of those employed in Australia's real estate industry (which includes the rental and hiring segments) has been provided below. We have also included copies of the relevant tables, complete with calculations, in a project spreadsheet.

EMPLOYMENT DISTRIBUTION

According to raw data taken from Australia's official Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP) tables, the Rental, Hiring, and Real Estate Services industry employs the following number of individuals in the following states:

  • N/A 3,300 1,900 5,200
  • New South Wales 76,000 55,300 131,400
  • Capital 17,600 4,300 21,800
  • North Australia 2,000 1,000 3,000
  • Queensland 37,400 13200 50,500
  • South Australia 1600 600 2100
  • Tasmania 2,700 2,300 5,000
  • Victoria 14,600 12,400 27,100
  • Western Australia 9,700 4000 13,500
  • Grand Total 164,900 95,000 259,600

If this chart is difficult to read due to formatting issues, the data can be found in our project spreadsheet under the tab "Distribution by State (Pivot)."

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began our research by taking our data from the official Australian Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP), which provided us with several tables consisting of raw data compiled in May 2019. For the sake of keeping our calculations transparent, we pulled the stats from the relevant industry ("Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services ") into a project spreadsheet. The raw data copy/pasted from the LMIP can be found in the "Distribution by State (Data)" tab and the summed totals can be found under "Distribution by State (Pivot)."

Wary of single-sourcing our research, we compared this table to the abstract of a market report from IBISWorld, which puts the number employed by the "Real Estate Industry" at 137,289, far lower than the total of nearly 260,000 given by the LMIP. We hypothesize that this discrepancy can be accounted for by two factors: First, it seems likely, based on the similar numbers, that IBISWorld counts only full-time employees, while over a third (36.6%) of real estate employees in Australia are part-time workers. Secondly, for reasons that we have not been able to determine, Australia officially groups real estate and rental with "hiring," while the IBISWorld report includes only the first two categories.

However, without having access to the full IBISWorld report, we cannot be certain that this is the reason, and therefore have deferred to the official estimates of the Australian government. Even so, it may be useful to bear in mind that up to 16.7% (1 - (137,289 / 164,900)) of the official figures may include individuals in the "hiring" industry. Interestingly, that same discrepancy would almost entirely account for the difference between the LMIP's raw data and a statement in a separate page: "Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services employs approximately 214,600 persons." However, there are reasons to believe that this is not the 214,600 person figure expressly includes "hiring."

We dug deeper, finding a table which presented the top 20 jobs in the industry which, when tallied, came to 157,600 jobs total. The top ten were perfectly in-line with those given in this page, and so we understand them to have come from the same data. Given the bottoming out of the number of people employed in each job, we judge it likely that this chart, and the accompanying page, reflect either full-time employment only or else only include some part-time workers (perhaps those who reach a certain hour-per-week threshold).

In any case, lacking further data on how these different estimates reached their different conclusions, we have determined it best to simply provide the compiled LMIP data as-is, as it is by far the most authoritative and the most complete available.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "A booming residential property market has supported operators in the Real Estate Services industry over the past five years. Government incentives and falling interest rates have driven growth in housing prices over the period, despite turbulent economic conditions."
  • " However, falls in the number of housing transfers over the three years through 2019-20 have constrained the industry's growth. "
  • "Industry Statistics & Market Size Revenue $26bn Employment 137,289 Businesses 40,403"
  • "Safe as houses: Population growth and positive consumer sentiment have boosted revenue"
  • "Industry Threats & Opportunities Intense competition in an increasingly saturated market has constrained industry profit margins Government restrictions on property investments by foreign operators have constrained overseas demand The digitisation of real estate services is anticipated to challenge traditional operators"
  • "BISWorld has determined the most important Key Success Factors for the Real Estate Services are: Aggressive marketing/franchising - given the high level of competition Ability to effectively communicate and negotiate Having contacts within key markets"
  • "What is the Real Estate Services Industry? Industry operators primarily appraise, purchase, sell (by auction or private treaty), manage or rent residential property, commercial property, or a combination of the two."
  • "Industry Products Property sales Property management Property leasing Other services"
  • "Industry Activities Conveyancing (other than by qualified legal practitioners) Real estate agency, auctioning, body corporate management and brokering Real estate management Real estate title transfers (other than by qualified legal practitioners) Timeshare apartment managing Title searching Appraisal of real estate"
  • "The Real Estate Services industry is in the mature stage of its life cycle. Industry value added (IVA), a measure of the industry's contribution to the wider economy, is forecast to grow at an annualised 0.8% over the 10 years through 2023-24. This trend represents an underperformance relative to the economy, with GDP projected to grow at an annualised 2.6% over the same period. This underperformance is indicative of a mature industry. Rising demand in the residential property market has increased the number of operators in the industry. However, strong competition and established local players have limited industry growth. "
Quotes
  • "The three eastern states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland drove growth for sales and service income, employment and wages and salaries. "
  • "All three indicators grew the most in New South Wales, driven mainly by the Construction and Professional, scientific and technical services industries. "
  • "At the end of June 2018, New South Wales had the largest share of national employment at about 3.7 million people (33.4%), followed by Victoria at about 2.9 million people (25.8%) and Queensland at about 2.2 million people (19.5%). "