In order to effectively sell or rent any property, anywhere in Australia, it is absolutely essential that your property be listed on www.realestate.com.au
Because the site operates as a monopoly force and because its majority owner (News Limited) is also Australia’s largest media power, the Australian public (and also australian real estate agents) are powerless to prevent a constant stream of massive price increases.
Realestate.com.au also puts in place pricing structures designed to artificially “milk” as much money from agents (and the public) as possible. It primarily does this via carefully designed pricing tiers, which continually force agents to pay ever higher listing fees, in order to maintain sufficient exposure. The Tiers themselves create and constantly fuel the demand for higher costs, rather than normal market forces.
A few years ago, realestate.com.au created an entirely new fee structure (a cost per basic sales listing) This was reported to the ACCC (your tax payer funded and government controlled competition regulator) as price gouging and anti-competitive …and yet was allowed to pass.
Though the price increase was both massive and unprecedented, it was still permitted by the competition watchdog!!
Buoyed by that victory 2 years ealier, realestate.com.au has now sought in 2020, to add yet another unprecedented cost. The latest price gouge, is a cost per rental listing. The ACCC was warned 2 years ago that this would be the next step and yet did nothing to prevent it.
Realestate.com.au announced publicly as late as April 29th.. and well into the Covid19 Pandemic….that this new cost would be temporarily frozen due to Covid19. As soon as Covid eases and if REA’s form holds true, the cost will be implemented. Covid has so far done,what the ACCC failed to do.
Throughout its history, realestate.com.au has succeeded in imposing one vast price increase after another. It has been permitted to do so with impunity and zero consequence.
No member of the public, no real estate agent or group nor any company, has any ability to control the monopoly website. Nor can anyone control the actual media messaging about the situation.
The ACCC has been asleep at the wheel and complicit in what ought to be readily seen as Anti-Competitive behaviour and astoundingly obvious Price Gouging.
Decades ago, the Federal Government enforced competition within the Australian Telecommunications industry, by breaking up the Telstra monopoly, however there has been no commensurate action to regulate realestate.com.au’s control over Australia’s largest industry.
A Royal Commission is now the only remaining mechanism to enforce a rigorous regulation of the pricing policies of REA Group’s – realestate.com.au
Such a Royal Commission should also as a matter of course investigate whether it is appropriate that the 2 largest property sites in Australia are controlled by the 2 largest media groups in Australia.