June 13, 2019 / 11:58 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Australian realtor McGrath sees FY loss as tough market conditions persist

(Adds details, background, CFO appointment)

June 14 (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. ($1 = 1.4463 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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