SYDNEY: Online classified adspend in Australia grew 10% in 2013 to A$780m and is expected to slow down to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1% until 2017 when it will reach A$1.13bn, new analysis has predicted.

While this represents a steady overall rate of growth, the Australian Online Classified Markets 2014 report from consultants Frost & Sullivan expected continued variances in performance among the market's different segments.

For example, real estate online classified expenditure, which posted 24% growth in 2013, is forecast to carry on with 12% CAGR over the next three years as the market benefits from low interest rates and new housing construction.

Expenditure on employment classified, however, fell -4% last year and the report expected that it would record further negative growth in 2014, partly because of the state of market but also a trend towards using social media and job aggregators.

These include LinkedIn, which has grown strongly in Australia and is expected to establish itself as "a viable alternative to traditional recruitment websites", the report said. 

And as mobile penetration deepens in Australia, Frost & Sullivan predicted the majority of online classified views will be conducted on mobile devices within the next three to five years. This will continue to place downward pressure on online classified adspend.

Warc's Consensus Forecast expects the growth of Australian advertising expenditure to be 3.6% in 2014, buoyed by a 17.2% rise in internet expenditure, while total annual adspend in Australia is forecast to surpass US$14.5bn by the end of the year.

Data sourced from Frost & Sullivan; additional content by Warc staff