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Knight Frank reports 20 per cent drop in exchanges since the EU referendum

Helen Cahill
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Knight Frank sold the Grade I listed Wolterton Hall to a private purchaser (Source: Knight Frank)

Estate agent Knight Frank said today it experienced a 20 per cent fall in the number of exchanges on its high-end UK houses since the EU referendum.

In its results for the year, Knight Frank reported profit before tax fell by 4.7 per cent, from £160.1m last year to £152.6m this year. Turnover increased four per cent to £460.9m.

"While the EU referendum result clearly contributed to a downturn in pricing, sentiment and activity volumes, our experience confirms it is important not to overstate this impact," chairman Alistair Elliott said.

Read more: House prices in Chelsea have fallen by 10 per cent this year

"In the prime UK residential sales market there has been a 20 per cent fall in the number of exchanges since the referendum compared with the same period last year."

He said that in the UK commercial property market, two transactions were aborted due to the Brexit vote, but many still went ahead "albeit at a slower pace, as investors took time to assess the changing economic environment."

Read more: House prices rebounded this month, hitting first-time buyers

The fall in group profit was mainly due to the company taking on new staff, Elliott said.

"We have been increasing our recruits strategically - more in the last year than for a long time," he said. "There is inevitably a lag between that and productivity reaching the levels we would like. There is also an ongoing requirement to constantly invest in the technology and digital arena."

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