The final curtain on the Australian dream is likely to fall quite soon as there are now just 182 listings on the Purplebricks’ Australian website. In July they still had 800 listings, but since then a number of properties have been, presumably, sold or vendors have ditched the disruptor for local estate agents.
The writing was on the wall in May when it reported an $18 million interim loss for the six months to October last year. Vic Darvey, the Purplebricks Group CEO said, “After much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to close the Australian business.
“We’ve been operating here for two and half years and, unfortunately, we have been unable to make the progress in the Australian market that we’ve wanted. With market conditions becoming increasingly challenging, we do not believe that the prospective returns in Australia are enough to justify continued investment.”
The decision just a week after UBS said the company was not likely to make money in Australia until 2022.
The remaining 182 properties range from around AU$2.4m at 19 Alawara Drive, Tallai, a seven bedroom, seven bathroom house set on 0.82 hectares to $150,000 for 140 Gilmore Ave, Medina.
The 522 square metre Medina, West Australia holding has been for sale since December 2018 with the asking price reduced from $170,000 in August 2019.
According to their website, around 73 agents are still “on deck”, down from 85 in July. Some commentators have said that Purplebricks would have to close its Australian operations to save the UK mothership.