Given all the records created last year for property sales you would have thought being one of the Newark estate agents would be great news. If the biggest operator in the space is struggling then how does that filter down to smaller operators?
The Financial Times has reported that Purplebricks swung to a half-year loss, as a shortage in the supply of new homes coming to market and higher staff costs weighed heavily on the online estate agent. The group reported a pre-tax loss of £12.9m in the six months to October, after reporting a profit of £4.3m during the same period in 2020. With demand for housing having run hot for most of the past two years, pushed up in part by the stamp duty holiday introduced in July 2020, a shortage of new listings is now affecting the group. New instructions were down almost 40% compared with the same period a year earlier.
Purplebricks receives a commission up front when homeowners list their properties. But the number of homes coming to the market has reduced drastically over the past year and was likely to keep the number of new instructions below previous levels over the next six months, according to analysts at Peel Hunt. “Things have improved in January; we have seen improving market supply. But we’re still seeing significant demand outweighing supply . . . I think there’s a way to go,” said Vic Darvey, Purplebricks’ chief executive. Homeowners are reluctant to put their properties up for sale before they have found a new place, said Darvey, but with demand running hot, finding anywhere is proving challenging. “We’re having nearly 25 viewings per property, that’s up 30 per cent from January last year . . . Things are moving very quickly. Around 20 per cent of offers are from customers who’ve only viewed the property via a 3D virtual tour,” said Darvey.
With the marketplace becoming ever more complicated and delays ever longer it may be a time to move away from Newark estate agents and change the way you sell your house, perhaps go for a more straight forward approach. So, contact us for a no complicated, easy process to help you move on to where you want to be.