U.K. property brokers shut down outlets
Britain’s largest property brokers are cutting jobs, closing branches and raising capital even as homes sell for record amounts. While some companies have blamed Brexit and tax hikes for a drop in transactions, high values have put off many other buyers.
Demand for housing dropped to a six-month low in February, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The widening gap between home values and wages means brokers including Countrywide Plc. and Foxtons Group Plc. are closing fewer deals while being undercut on fees by online companies.
“It’s handy to blame this downturn on Brexit and property tax changes, but prices were overstretched relative to incomes prior to these changes,” JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Tim Leckie said by phone.