As first reported in Estate Agent Today, Foxtons is reported to have closed four more branches across London, backing up widespread industry speculation that the agency is retrenching further in the capital.
The company has delivered a string of relatively poor results to investors in recent years and has suffered multiple falls in income from sales and, latterly, lettings too. Last year it closed six branches, as we reported here. Industry reports this morning suggest the latest closures – happening this month – are in Barnet, Muswell Hill, Surbiton and Richmond.
The company’s website says it has 60 branches remaining across London.
To add to its problems, earlier this autumn it had a shareholder revolt leading to management changes and a revised bonus structure for senior figures in the agency.
In its most recent trading update, delivered in late October, Foxtons’ fortunes continued to wane thanks to the difficult London market.
It said sales revenue had dropped another 15 per cent in the third quarter thanks to “ongoing political uncertainty continued to weigh on volumes and prices in the London residential sales market. A combination of lower volumes, falling prices and fewer high value sales meant that sales revenue for the quarter was down 15 per cent to £8.4m (Q3 2018: £9.9m).”
On the lettings side of the business – until recently growing, in some form of balance to the long-term deterioration in the company’s sales performance – the statement revealed a four per cent drop in revenue.
The firm said at the time: “Improvements to our lettings offer and our decision to not increase fees to landlords following the tenant fee ban has enabled us to grow market share, improve revenue from landlords and increase the penetration of our property management services. Notwithstanding this pleasing progress, as expected the tenant fee ban which came into force on 1 June 2019, resulted in lower revenue for Q3, down four per cent to £22.1m (Q3 2018: £23.1m).”