Saturday, May 28, 2022

Brexit hitting London property market

London property market

Foxtons sales at ‘record low levels’ as London’s property market stalls and Brexit dampens buyer confidence

Brexit is hitting confidence in London’s property market, estate agent Foxtons has warned, as it revealed its sales volumes remain at ‘record low levels.’

The London-based estate agency said the capital’s housing market remains ‘very challenging’, posting revenue for the last quarter of £23.8million, down from £24.5million a year ago.

The group’s sales revenue came in at £7.1million over the period, down from £8.2million, while lettings revenue increased from £14.3million to £14.6million.

Foxton’s latest trading update, which comes ahead of the group’s annual general meeting, comes months after the firm scrapped its 2018 dividend and reported a drop in core earnings.

Shares in the estate agent group are down 2.5 per cent or 1.5p to 58.5p. A year ago, the share price was hovering at around the 74p mark.

Foxtons said conditions in the London market remained ‘very challenging’, and that there had been no change during April.

Sales volumes continue to be at record low levels and ongoing Brexit uncertainty is impacting consumer confidence, the group said.

Last year Foxtons swung to a loss as it suffered from the slower house sales market.

The closure of six branches in London also contributed to the loss, though the company anticipated cost savings in the current year as a result of the move.

The group has previously insisted it has no further plans for branch closures, despite the high rate of estate agent disappearances from the high street.

In recent years, London’s property market, particularly the top end, has been struggling. Stamp duty surcharge hikes, sky-high prices and, potentially for some, uncertainty surrounding Brexit, have taken their toll.

While this may be bad news for sellers, prospective buyers could use the challenging backdrop to their advantage and drive home a deal with a sizeable discount off asking price.

In its latest house price index published today, Rightmove said property prices in London remain down year-on-year.

Compared to a year ago, homes in outer London are 0.9 per cent cheaper, whereas prices in inner London have fallen by 3.8 per cent. Homes in Greater London were, on average, £16,157, or 2.5 per cent, cheaper than they were a year ago, and cost, on average, £621,589.


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