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Plunging Market Forces Agency Branch Closure

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Plunging market forces agency branch closure

Last updated 19:48, Thursday, 31 July 2008

PLUNGING house sales have forced Smeatons Estate Agents into major changes, including the closure of its Maryport branch.

The company is also reviewing the future of its Workington office and is to concentrate its business on its Main Street, Cockermouth and Keswick offices.

Owner Bob Smeaton yesterday said that sales had dropped by about 80 per cent for the first half of this year and blamed the plummeting market on banks which he said had almost stopped giving mortgages.

The Maryport office, which employed one full-time and two part-time workers, was opened in 2001 by Mr Smeaton who has been an estate agent in West Cumbria for 30 years.

He said that in all that time the situation had never been as bad as now.

He said: “Official estimates suggest that transactions are running at about 40 per cent of last year but the reality is that our transactions are about 20 per cent of what they were.

“And it is almost entirely due to the fact that the banks are so reluctant to lend mortgages.”

Mr Smeaton said that the three Maryport employees had been made redundant.

The company is also investigating its options for the future of the Workington office.

Mr Smeaton said Maryport properties would still be displayed in the Maryport office window but would be served from Cockermouth.

http://www.timesandstar.co.uk/news/business/1.213688

OOPS..looks like they have failed to file there returns and are now over due at Companies House.

The WebCHeck service is available from Monday to Saturday 7.00am to 12 Midnight UK Time

Name & Registered Office:

SMEATONS ESTATE AGENTS LIMITED

39 STATION STREET

COCKERMOUTH

CUMBRIA

CA13 9QW

Company No. 05132281

Status: Active

Date of Incorporation: 19/05/2004

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Company Type: Private Limited Company

Nature of Business (SIC(03)):

7031 - Real estate agencies

Accounting Reference Date: 31/08

Last Accounts Made Up To: 31/08/2007 (TOTAL EXEMPTION SMALL)

Next Accounts Due: 30/06/2009

Last Return Made Up To: 19/05/2007

Next Return Due: 16/06/2008 ***OVERDUE***

Last Members List: 19/05/2007

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I am surprised at how long it is taking for EAs to begin closing down branches. With 80% of their business gone and the hoped-for Spring Bounce a straw long since blown away by the wind of recession it is odd that few, at least around here, have closed. I pass by them every day and they are always empty, no cars in the customer parking and no buyers being worked into a frothy frenzy by a spotty EA "professional" telling them they had better get in quick and offer 10% over asking or be beaten by another buyer who has booked a viewing after them.

If 80% of their business has gone you would expect at least 50% of their branches to be closed by now. But then again--they have long leases to pay for on their branches don't they and who is going to sublet a high street shop front when consumer spending is tanking also? Cue: hideous evil genius laugh.

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Just noticed that Smeatons are no longer listing on Rightmove.

Rumour from one of the ex employees is that the have changed from being a LTD company to a privately owned business. Wonder if the creditors of the LTD company will get paid (if there are any)

The funny thing is they seemed to be selling more than any other agent in the area.

Also Cumberland Estate Agents don't seem to be on Rightmove any longer - it's starting to bite now.

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I am surprised at how long it is taking for EAs to begin closing down branches. With 80% of their business gone and the hoped-for Spring Bounce a straw long since blown away by the wind of recession it is odd that few, at least around here, have closed. I pass by them every day and they are always empty, no cars in the customer parking and no buyers being worked into a frothy frenzy by a spotty EA "professional" telling them they had better get in quick and offer 10% over asking or be beaten by another buyer who has booked a viewing after them.

If 80% of their business has gone you would expect at least 50% of their branches to be closed by now. But then again--they have long leases to pay for on their branches don't they and who is going to sublet a high street shop front when consumer spending is tanking also? Cue: hideous evil genius laugh.

More Charity Shops then, RB!

On my Saturday walk to the supermarket, I used to count the Estate Agents, and Charity Shops I passed,

and then work out the ratio! I think it was a good economic indicator for the next year!

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I am surprised at how long it is taking for EAs to begin closing down branches. With 80% of their business gone and the hoped-for Spring Bounce a straw long since blown away by the wind of recession it is odd that few, at least around here, have closed. I pass by them every day and they are always empty, no cars in the customer parking and no buyers being worked into a frothy frenzy by a spotty EA "professional" telling them they had better get in quick and offer 10% over asking or be beaten by another buyer who has booked a viewing after them.

If 80% of their business has gone you would expect at least 50% of their branches to be closed by now. But then again--they have long leases to pay for on their branches don't they and who is going to sublet a high street shop front when consumer spending is tanking also? Cue: hideous evil genius laugh.

I get the feeling that a lot of them did actually believe their own hype and that it would all soon be over. Interestingly, whilst out for a walk this afternoon in Swansea I went to pop into a couple of EAs, who are normally open on Saturdays, only to find them closed and signs in the window explaining that they were now closed on Saturdays.

A little sign but a sign nonetheless of the apparent dearth of buyers.

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