Foxtons says London property transactions at "historically low levels"

 
Jessica Morris
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Foxtons plans to open five to 10 new branches each year (Source: Getty)

Upmarket estate agents Foxtons has said strong house price growth and stamp duty charges mean the capital's property transactions remain stuck at "historically low levels", pushing its focus towards outer London.

Foxtons has opened seven new branches in the last year, most recently in high growth, outer London areas.

"We are in a strong position to capitalise on market growth currently being seen in outer London areas through the organic expansion of our branch network," Nic Budden, chief executive, said.

The company added that it remains on track to open between five to 10 branches each year, with a pipeline of new sites secured for the next 18 months.

Read more: House prices for London's most expensive properties dented by new stamp duty rules

Chancellor George Osborne cut stamp duty on most home purchases in December. But the amount paid by those buying the most expensive homes, including many of the pricier properties in central London, rose. Consequently sales of the most expensive London homes have remained sluggish, even as the uncertainty surrounding the General Election faded.

Foxtons said revenue rose just 1.6 per cent to £114.5m anually in the nine months ended 30 September.

But it reported revenue growth of 8.8 per cent to £43.5m annually for the three months ended September 30. Property sales commissions rose 12.8 per cent to £18.5m, as residential lettings added 3.3 per cent to £22.6m.

"Although we expect any recovery of the property sales market to be slow due to low current levels of stock, we enter the fourth quarter with a £1bn sales pipeline which is well above the same point last year and based on current market conditions, we remain broadly on track to meet full year expectations," Budden added.

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