Douglas Elliman saw its revenues and losses soar in the final quarter of 2021, according to its first earnings report as a stand-alone publicly traded company.
According to the fourth quarter earnings report, the company saw consolidated revenue of $334.2 million during the three-month period ending Dec. 31 2021 — an increase of 25 percent, or $66.8 million, from the same period the previous year.
The company’s EBITDA — a measure of its earnings before expenses such as taxes and interest used to gauge profitability — was at $21.3 million, an increase of 28 percent or $4.6 million from the previous year. At the same time, it saw its losses continue to increase in the fourth quarter, with operating income at $19.2 million, a 44 percent increase from the same period in 2020.
“Douglas Elliman’s strong performance during our first quarterly reporting period as a stand-alone public company is a testament to the hard work of our agents and employees and represents a solid platform for our continued growth,” Howard Lorber, Douglas Elliman’s CEO, said in a statement. “We are extremely proud of the enormous success we achieved in 2021, including record-shattering sales, and we believe we are well-positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the U.S. residential real estate market to continue driving value for all stakeholders.”
The company also included information on its full-year 2021 performance in the report, which showed that its consolidated revenue increased 75 percent to $579.2 million in 2021, its EBITDA soared 402 percent to $110.7 million, while its losses went up to $102.1 million.
The earnings report is the brokerage’s first as a standalone entity following its spinoff from parent company Vector Group to trade on the New York Stock Exchange as ‘DOUG.’ The move was seen as a strategic boon to woo investors who may have been wary of investing in Vector Group, which also owns the tobacco company Liggett Group. The company’s stock currently sits at $7.18 a share.
In the third quarter, Douglas Elliman’s subsidiary Douglas Elliman Realty saw its transactions grow to 8,307, an increase from the same period of 2020 when it logged 7,551 transactions. Transaction value surged to $12.6 billion for the third quarter, compared to $10.4 billion from the previous year, a rate of growth Lorber attributed to the frenzied state of the United States housing market.
“The growth in our markets is further strengthened by increased mobility driven by the continued migration to low-tax states as well as COVID-related remote work flexibility leading to increased demand for greater space,” Lorber said on a call with investors on March 1. “This strong demand combined with low inventory has resulted in significant price appreciation in many regions, particularly across our luxury markets.”
The pandemic has ended up being a blessing in disguise for the market, Lorber said.
Howard Lorber | Photo credit: Douglas Elliiman
“COVID, I’m sorry to say with so many people who passed away from it, did help the marketplace given the type of living that people are looking for,” he said.
Lorber also credited the strong performance of the luxury market in New York City — the company’s largest market — for boosting their revenues, with record prices being recorded in Manhattan. The CEO speculated that new political leadership in the city, such as real estate-friendly Mayor Eric Adams, could be part of the reason luxury buyers are flooding the city.
“I think that people have a renewed good feeling about the city,” he said. “Probably a big part of that is the change in government. It’s yet to be seen how far that’s going to go, but I think, surely, a fresh face that is saying the right things is much better than what we were living with before as the mayor. So we’re pretty bullish on New York City.”
Lorber predicted the strength of the luxury market would continue to drive profits in 2022, as would its expansions into the red hot Texas and Florida markets.
“We believe this momentum can continue for the residential real estate industry, in particular for Douglas Elliman, because of our strong presence in leading luxury markets,” he said.
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