Foxtons signs

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London-focused property agent Foxtons has swung to a loss and says the housing market within the capital is in a “extended downturn”.

The corporate reported a lack of £17.2m for final yr, partly because of the prices of closing six workplaces. It made a revenue of £6.5m in 2017.

Foxtons added that Brexit uncertainty was “impacting shopper confidence”.

Individually, the Nationwide said the UK market remained “subdued”, with costs up zero.four% in February from a yr in the past.

‘Additional deterioration’

Foxtons mentioned annual revenues fell 5% to £111.5m, with the weak point in property gross sales being offset barely by a “resilient lettings efficiency”.

The property agent was pushed into the pink by one-off costs of £15.7m, which included the prices of closing six workplaces: Beckenham, Enfield, Loughton, Ruislip, Park Lane and Barnes.

Foxtons mentioned it was in a position to cowl 85% of London from 61 branches and had no present plans for additional closures.

“Our efficiency in 2018 was impacted by an extra deterioration within the gross sales market, with transaction ranges falling for an additional yr from their already low ranges,” mentioned chief government Nic Budden.

Nonetheless, the corporate mentioned that in the long run, London remained “a extremely engaging property market”.

Weaker sentiment

The Nationwide mentioned that home costs in February dipped zero.1% from the month earlier than, with the typical property now costing £211,304.

The Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner, mentioned: “Indicators of housing market exercise, such because the variety of property transactions and the variety of mortgages permitted for home buy, have remained broadly secure in current months, however survey information means that sentiment has softened.

“Measures of shopper confidence weakened across the flip of the yr and surveyors reported an extra fall in new purchaser enquiries over the identical interval.

“Whereas the variety of properties coming onto the market additionally slowed, this does not seem to have been sufficient to stop a modest shift within the stability of demand and provide in favour of consumers in current months.”

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