Online estate agent Purplebricks has embarked on its first foray outside of the UK, launching ventures in Australia over the weekend, with new services focused on Melbourne and Brisbane.
The firm, which is backed by star investor Neil Woodford, first revealed plans to expand Down Under in June as it announced its first full year results as a listed company.
As well as commencing operations in Victoria and New South Wales, it confirmed plans to expand across Australia's property market later this year, with Sydney, Perth and Adelaide next in Purplebricks’ plans.
The firm is listed on London's junior market, and has pledged to invest £10m in the Australian business over two years, with funding coming from existing cash resources.
The estate agent’s share price closed at 125.25p on 26 August, before the Australian operations commenced trading.
Purplebricks chief executive Michael Bruce said: “Australia is a natural second market for us to target. It is a large and fiercely competitive real estate environment, but one where sellers are currently receiving poor value for money.
“We will offer the Australian public far greater transparency and a fairer way to sell their homes. We are very excited about the size of the market opportunity there, and believe that the expansion outside of the UK provides both additional returns for investors and the benefit of diversified income streams.”
Purplebricks says the Australian real estate market is worth a total of £3.3bn, adding that it plans to compete by offering flat fees of AU$ 4,500 (£2,616).
The firm’s figures suggest that sellers in Australia are charged an average of 2.2 per cent in agency commission and AU$2,500 in marketing costs.
Based on the median Australian house-price of AU$614,000, it estimates its fees will save property owners a total of $11,500.