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Estate Agents Closing Shop - Facts & Figures

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There's a poll at the end of the story asking people why they think closures are happening. Strangely, overpricing stock for sale isn't an option...

Exclusive: estate agencies closing - data shows how many and where



Data prepared for the BBC and shared with Estate Agent Today gives a snapshot of how estate agencies, lettings agencies and chartered surveyors are suffering as the housing market becomes increasingly challenging.

The Local Data Company - which is an authoritative consultancy looking at different retail and High Street activities - was asked by Radio 4 consumer programme You & Yours to see how many physical branches of agencies and chartered surveyors were operating in 2017, and how many of them were still operating this year.

The LDC figures show:

- In 2017 there were 14,021 branches that were primarily estate agencies but by July this year that figure dropped to 13,588 (a 3.09 per cent fall);

- In 2017 there were 2,212 branches that were primarily lettings agencies, and this had dropped 4.25 per cent to 2,118 last month;

- Looking at offices that described themselves primarily as chartered surveyors, the 2017 figure of 420 had dropped 5.95 per cent to 395.

The data collection doesn’t take account of whether the branch closures were as a result of market forces or, possibly, consolidation as larger companies snap up smaller ones. 

However, we do know that some agencies closed offices, not always with much publicity at the time: for example, yesterday’s trading statement from LSL Property Services revealed that it had closed eight offices in the second half of 2017.

The LDC data also does not refer to online or hybrid agencies but it does provide a regional breakdown of branch closures - below:

For estate agencies...

East Midlands: 2017 829 / 2018 801;

East of England: 1,307 / 1,271;

Greater London: 3,753 / 3,669;

North East: 414 / 392;

North West: 1,309 / 1,264;

Scotland: 490 / 470;

South East: 2,257 / 2,195;

South West: 1,318 / 1,267;

Wales: 456 / 451;

West Midlands 1,013 / 969;

Yorkshire and the Humber: 875 / 839.

For letting agencies...

East Midlands: 2017 205 / 2018 196;

East of England: 137 / 134;

Greater London: 364 / 348;

North East: 69 / 65;

North West: 207 / 203;

Scotland: 167 / 164;

South East: 286 / 273;

South West: 261 / 236;

Wales: 109 / 104;

West Midlands 129 / 126;

Yorkshire and the Humber: 278 / 269.


For chartered surveyors:

East Midlands: 2017 30 / 2018 26;

East of England: 32 / 30;

Greater London: 66 / 67;

North East: 11 / 10;

North West: 34 / 40;

Scotland: 45 / 43;

South East: 55 / 51;

South West: 56 / 52;

Wales: 9 / 8;

West Midlands 35 / 31;

Yorkshire and the Humber: 47 / 47.

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Nice find! Are we to take the figures from "2017" as from the beginning, middle (July) or end of the year? Is the sample period effectively 0.5, 1 or 1.5yrs? Obviously this makes a massive difference to the numbers. 

Not surprising to see a fall across the board (or primarily lettings agents taking a greater hit than those who mostly do sales) - was a but surprised by the hammering taken by surveyors though...

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4 minutes ago, Nabby81 said:

I have the opposite where I am, loads of them opening up they are rivalling chicken shops and betting shops for volume on the high streets 

I hope they are not lowering the tone too much for chicken shacks and drug laundering FOBT bookies.

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Why the fux is the BBCfunding an article into the pros/cons of EAs?

I dont remember it paying for an investigaion into Tesco till workers, <insert anyother business>

EAs/CS are a numbers business business.

If they are stupid enough to be party to a process that raise prices ahead of wages, what in fux sake do they expect the number of transactions to do?


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19 minutes ago, spyguy said:

I hope they are not lowering the tone too much for chicken shacks and drug laundering FOBT bookies.

Least the chicken shops / bookies don't cover the town with signs advertising their services to sell your home to London buyers on their books ..

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The reason EA told people that home prices were going up was because of supply and demand......they are now themselves feeling the pain of supply and demand not working to their favour.......the percentage fee taken has been reduced to well under 1%......fewer homes on the market to sell with grester competition on the rental management side.....😉

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I read yesterday that Foxtons had made its first operating loss, though apparently still has IIRC £11m odd cash in the bank. 

How far that will go with so many branches to fund, when sales are few and far between, not to mention cutthroat competition re fees, is anyone's guess. 

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Stress testing debt CW due payable 2020?.....foxtons looking through the window always looks brightly coloured, very rarely do I see anyone sitting in the modern coloured furniture, staff or customers......quite possibly they are all showing and viewing?😉

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