Covid-19 will have a real impact, but normality will return eventually and REA’s business will be as strong as ever.

REA continues to have a dominant market position, resilient financials, and good growth potential.

Low entry point provides a margin of safety.

REA shares have been hit by depressed investor sentiment on the Australian property market after the Covid-19 outbreak and suffered a 27% fall from 21st Feb 2020.

I find the current valuation as an attractive entry point for one of the top companies in Australia because of its strong network effect and the unique real estate advertising structure in the country.

REA enjoys a dominant market position, benefiting from strong network effects, economies of scale, and high switching costs for its real estate agents. Its first-mover advantage, combined with prudent management and continued reinvestment in the business, has allowed it to build an almost unassailable network effect that is crucial to any Internet platform. It continues to command substantial pricing power through its premium products due to the real estate marketing structure that is unique to Australia, whereby vendors pay for advertising, instead of agents. That, combined with the continued substitution of traditional newspaper advertising for online advertising, gives REA substantial headroom to grow its share of the real estate advertising market.

The Australian online real estate advertising market is dominated by the duopoly of, owned by REA Group, and, owned by Fairfax Media. However, REA Group dominates the Australian online real estate advertising market with 3 times the traffic of and 19 times the traffic of the third-largest provider.