Data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that, at the end of June 1996, there were 8,082 businesses in Australia's real estate agents industry, an 11 per cent rise since June 1993.
These businesses generated $3,370 million in income. Most of this was from sales and leasing commissions from residential properties which accounted for 43 per cent ($1,463 million) of total income. The other major source of income was property management fees which accounted 26 per cent ($868 million) of total income.
The industry's operating profit before tax was $275 million. This represents an operating profit margin of 8.3 per cent.
During the period 1995-96, businesses in this industry incurred $3,094 million in expenses. The major item of expenditure was labour costs which accounted for 44 per cent ($1,368 million) of total industry expenses. Payments made to sales staff working solely on commission accounted for a further nine per cent ($279 million) of total expenses. Advertising with eight per cent ($241 million) and rent, leasing and hiring expenses seven per cent ($206 million) were other significant items of expenditure.
A total of 55,785 people were working in the industry at the end of June 1996. This consisted of 45,956 employed and 9,830 working on a commission only basis. Compared to June 1993, employment in the industry rose by 12 per cent while people working on a commission only basis fell by 10 per cent. During the same period full-time and part-time employment in the industry rose by 13 per cent and seven per cent respectively.
At the end of June 1996, 97 per cent of businesses in the industry employed less than 20 people. These businesses accounted for 82 per cent (45,753) of people working in the industry and generated 76 per cent ($2,560 million) of total income.
Businesses in the real estate agents industry were concentrated in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. They accounted for 73 per cent of people working in the industry and 74 per cent of the total income. Western Australia accounted for 15 per cent of people working and 14 per cent of the industry income.