Raine and Horne

Above: Ned Raine’s leadership transformed real estate sales in the 1950s and 1960s at Raine & Horne. Opposite top left: Historic Theatre Royal on Bligh Street, demolished in ‘71, with visible Raine & Horne auction sign. Opposite top right: From $130,000 to today’s value: Sydney’s evolving real estate market. Opposite left: Ink and paper: The pre-tech era of real estate correspondence. Opposite right: Raine & Horne secures prestigious listing of the magnificent ‘Caerleon’ estate in Bellevue Hill, 1962. fuelled by a shortage of accommodation, comparable to today. By 1933 for instance, nearly half of all new dwellings in Sydney were flats. And, as Australia recovered from the Depression, Sydney became gripped by building fever. Voracious demand for land saw Raine & Horne active right across Sydney, in coastal areas from Coogee to Malabar, and even country regions as far afield as Bowral. When World War II was declared, Ned Raine was again quick to enlist, though this time, at age 44, he was not deployed overseas. As men were called to arms, Raine & Horne – like so many businesses of the day, experienced heavy staff shortages. For a property-based company estimated to have the largest rent roll in Sydney, the war years—with its restrictions on land sales and rent control—proved challenging for the firm. Scores of American troops descended on the city, and entire buildings often had to be vacated at a moment’s notice. The tenants of the Grace Building in York Street (now The Grace Hotel) for instance, arrived one morning to find their belongings stacked on the streets outside as General Douglas MacArthur and his troops commandeered the splendid Neo-Gothic building. With the war over, Ned introduced a new incorporated body - Raine & Horne Pty Limited, to replace the company established in 1928. And in 1952, the company’s long association with the Cooper Estate finally ended. By that stage, Raine & Horne had handled the sale of subdivisions worth more than £4.5 million, and the areas that once lay within the estate had developed far beyond Sir Daniel Cooper’s wildest imagination. In 1959, ten years before he passed away, Ned Raine became a Founder of the Real Estate Institute (REI). In its journal of April that year, the REI delivered a glowing report of Ned, describing both his achievements in business, and as a contributor to the broader Sydney community: “Ned Raine is … very well known in the City for his versatility and experience, although his interests are not merely City interests. Much of his work and that of his Company is in conjunction with suburban and country agents. He has developed the auction side of his business … but is also widely known as a valuer, being retained in many leading cases, where his ever-practical approach has often won the day. Always willing to adapt himself to changing conditions and methods, he went to England in 1956 and studied overseas trends in Real Estate. In addition, business interests often take him interstate to country centres. Under Mr Raine’s guidance, the company has one of the largest city managements. Mr Raine has always been keenly interested in the progress of industries in this State, and has been instrumental in his company’s growing reputation for the sale, management and valuation of industrial properties. He is a Real Estate agent for the Boy Scouts, and since 1928 for the Salvation Army, for which he always had great affection because of its work with the AIF. Until recently a keen golfer and tennis player, his main hobby is now beach fishing, and none know the New South Wales coastline better.” As the 1950s, and Ned’s career, wound to a close, another significant change would come to Raine & Horne. A third generation of the Raine family – Ned’s son Max, was poised to bring new ideas, fresh passion and a burning drive to innovate the business at a time when the world was rapidly changing. 32