June 13, 2019 / 11:20 PM / 13 days ago

Australian realtor McGrath sees full-year loss as tough market conditions persist

FILE PHOTO: A promotional sign for Australia's only listed realtor, McGrath Ltd, can be seen at the front of an apartment block in a Sydney suburb in Australia, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray

(Reuters) - Australia’s biggest listed real estate agency McGrath Ltd said on Friday it expects a full-year core earnings loss of A$6 million to A$6.5 million ($4.2 million to $4.5 million) due to headwinds in the housing market.

The realtor said trading conditions in the residential sector remained subdued, with a significant reduction in transaction volumes in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“The market conditions for FY2019 have been challenging. While we have seen a general improvement in interest and enthusiasm in the market, we are yet to see this translate to an increase in listings,” Chief Executive Officer Geoff Lucas said in a statement.

Tighter lending conditions, higher taxes on foreign buyers and an apartment glut have driven the sharpest property downturn in a generation in Australia.

McGrath said it expected an improved performance in the following financial year following last week’s cut in the benchmark interest rate and the prudential regulator’s decision to lower mortgage assessment criteria for new loan serviceability.

The company also said it had appointed Howard Herman as chief financial officer, replacing Glynn Wright, who stepped down in March.

Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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