London house prices: Foxtons' share price climbs as estate agent ups dividend, saying 2016 property market looks "encouraging"

 
Catherine Neilan
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Property slowdown? What property slowdown? Foxtons is upping its dividend by 13.4 per cent for the year after revenue grew across the board.

The figures

Turnover at the London-focused estate agent grew four per cent to £150m in the year to 31 December against a wider backdrop of property transaction levels dropping by around 11 per cent.

Sales volumes were also up four per cent, with the business growing market share. EBITDA for the group is expected to be in line with last year's £46.2m, with margins above 30 per cent, thanks to "particularly encouraging" growth in the second half.

Mortgage broker arm Alexander Hall grew revenues by 32 per cent.

Foxtons' share price rose 2.6 per cent on the news.

Foxtons Foxtons | mobile image

Why it's interesting

Foxtons might be growing ahead of the market, but it's also noticing some interesting shifts in trend - particularly in the rental market, where tenants are digging their heels in amid price hikes.

"As indicated in our Q3 statement, the mix within lettings shifted towards renewals with a record number of tenants extending their tenancies resulting in a lower level of new lettings stock availability in the market," the firm said.

For the year ahead, the estate agent admits it's "too early to predict" exactly which way things will turn, but it notes there is an "encouraging sales pipeline" and "a strong lettings book".

In short

The outlook is not emphatic - but neither is it gloomy.

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