Purplebricks has denied in the strongest possible terms that its business in Australia is in any kind of difficulty.
It follows publication by the Australian Financial Review of claims that 27 Local Property Experts have quit since March, with suggestions that they have been unable to make the money they expected.
While EYE reported the claims on Friday, we also pointed out that the Australian housing market is suffering, amid speculation of a crash, which will have affected a number of agencies.
A Purplebricks spokesperson has now told us: “We have hired 18 agents in the last two months.
“The net number of agents in the field in Australia is unchanged from March, despite some churn.
“We are winning market share in a declining housing market.
“Our growth allows us to continue to recruit while many traditional operators are making substantial redundancies.”
The spokesperson also said that the situation was unchanged from its trading update in late March when it announced the £1125m Axel Springer investment in Purplebricks: “Both the US and Australia Purplebricks businesses are set to at least meet full-year expectations,” the spokesperson said.
He added: “Market expectations are for year-on-year revenue growth in Australia of 250%.
“If annualised, for the eight months’ trading last year, expectations are for year-on-year growth of 138% – not bad in a declining market.”
The spokesperson also denied claims that there was any kind of a bullying culture in the business.
He said: “Our success in Australia is driving higher-quality agents to our model.
“We would not have such positive feedback from customers (9.3 out of ten from over 2,600 reviews on Trustpilot); be growing so quickly; or be attracting such high quality talent if we had the bullying culture that has been alleged.”
Here are the latest Trustpilot reviews for the Australian business.