Brexit: Foxtons profits plummet 64% amid ‘unprecedented’ economic and political uncertainty

Revenues were also down sharply, registering a 15 per cent drop to £58.5m in the six months to 30 June

Ben Chapman
Thursday 27 July 2017 14:39
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Foxtons is seen as a barometer for the London market
Foxtons is seen as a barometer for the London market

London-focused estate agent Foxtons saw profits plummet 64 per cent to £3.8m in the first half of the year amidst “unprecedented” economic and political uncertainty over Brexit.

Revenues were also down sharply, registering a 15 per cent drop to £58.5m in the six months to 30 June.

Income from property sales saw a particularly marked downturn, falling 29 per cent compared to the same period last year cent to £22.2m, while lettings revenues slipped 2 per cent to £32.1m.

The fall in sales was exacerbated by a surge in transactions in the first half of 2016 as buy-to-let investors brought forward purchases to avoid a new stamp duty surcharge, Foxtons said.

The estate agent’s distinctive green and yellow branded minis have become a symbol of London’s booming property market in recent years, but on Thursday it issued another warning about the impact of Brexit on the capital.

“Due to its unique global nature, London continues to be more negatively impacted by these external shocks than the rest of UK,” the company said. It predicted that transaction volumes for the full year would be lower than in 2016.

Average rents fell 5 per cent in the period due to a reduction in overseas demand and “inflationary pressure on wages”, the estate agent said.

Chief executive Nic Budden said: “Our performance has been resilient in the context of a London property market that has been further impacted by unprecedented economic and political uncertainty.

“We have several new and exciting initiatives under way designed to build our lettings portfolio and strengthen our customer offer further.

“While conditions remain challenging, we are confident that these initiatives, together with the strength of our network, our balance sheet and our brand, will support long-term growth for our shareholders.”

The latest results follow a dire 2016 for the company, in which profits fell 54 per cent.

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