Foxtons’ sales revenue tumbles by a third

Tough quarter for the London estate agency

Foxtons has reported that its sales revenues fell dramatically over the last three months, by around a third to £12.2m in the three months to 30th September, from £18.5m in the same period a year earlier.  The quarterly results “reflect a continuation of reduced activity in the London property sales market”.

Total revenues are also down, by a still-chunky but less headline-grabbing 14%, as the marked slowdown in London’s property sales market since SDLT changes and the Brexit vote hit home. Lettings, however, seem to be forging on, with Foxtons reporting a small revenue increase from £22.6m to £22.8m from that side of the business over the last three months compared to 2015’s numbers.

As reported back in July, a profit slump caused the firm to rethink its ambitious expansion plans, but seven new branches have launched this year, with another two now lined up for Q1 2017.

And there are more investments afoot: the “MyFoxtons” online portal launched last month, allowing vendors, buyers, tenants and landlords access to a lot of relevant info about their property without the need to speak to anyone from the firm; a sort of online agency within a full-service offering. Customer feedback so far has, the firm says, been “very good”.

Despite the big revenue drop, Foxtons says that it should be able to deliver annual results “in line with market expectations” thanks to “continued tight cost control”.

Foxtons CEO Nic Budden: “The long term fundamentals of the London property market remain very attractive and represent a huge opportunity for growth with nearly £3bn in total sales and lettings commissions on 2015 volumes.  We have built Foxtons to withstand sales market cycles with our lettings revenue comprising over half the business. We are pleased with the response we have seen to the strategic initiatives which we have implemented to grow our lettings business, and also the successful launch of the new MyFoxtons portal.”