By Stuart Condie 

SYDNEY--REA Group Ltd.'s Australian residential listings for the second half of the property advertiser's fiscal 2022 could be lower on-year due to the impact of renewed Covid-19 lockdowns and likely timing of a federal election, Chief Executive Owen Wilson says.

The online classifieds firm will also be comparing volumes against a strong second half in fiscal 2021. REA on Friday said its 2021 profit rose 18% against the backdrop of a surging Australian property market.

"It's going to be a bit of a rollercoaster as we cycle against lockdowns, we have further lockdowns and the impact of elections and things like that," Mr. Wilson said on a call with analysts.

The median value of an Australian home rose 12% over the six months through June, according to data from property analytics firm CoreLogic. That led to a surge in selling, while buyers were attracted by low interest rates and increased liquidity from lenders.

REA's Australian listing volumes rose 15% over FY 2021, with the growth weighted toward a second half that Mr. Wilson said had been the strongest six-month period in volume terms for many years. A lengthy lockdown in Melbourne weighed on market activity in the prior corresponding period.

Yet Australian listing volumes were down 3% in July--the first month of REA's fiscal 2022--on a 22% drop in Sydney, where the number of Covid cases is still trending higher despite a lockdown of several weeks.

Australia's three-year parliamentary term also means there will be a federal election by May 21 at the latest.

"We've seen in every single federal election it has a negative impact on listings. You could have negative listings in the second half. That's not a wild prediction," Mr. Wilson said.

Shares in REA are down 5.1% at A$158.79.

REA is 61% owned by News Corp., which owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire and The Wall Street Journal.


Write to Stuart Condie at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 05, 2021 22:13 ET (02:13 GMT)

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