Estate agent and housebuilder shares are being demolished after the Autumn Statement

 
Emma Haslett
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Shares in the estate agent fell as much as 12 per cent today (Source: Getty)

Shares in some of the UK's biggest estate agents dived today ahead of the Autumn Statement, in which the chancellor is expected to scrap fees for letting agents.

Foxtons' share price was down a whopping 14.8 per cent at 104.5p in mid-afternoon trading, after Philip Hammond scrapped letting agents' fees, saying landlords should pay instead.

Meanwhile, Countrywide fell 5.6 per cent to 193.2p, and LSL Property Services fell 3.7 per cent to 209.4p.

Housebuilders were also hit hard, with Berkeley Group falling 3.9 per cent to 2,443.5p, and Crest Nicholson was down 2.9 per cent at 438.8p.

It hasn't been the greatest year for Foxtons, whose shares have fallen 42 per cent in the past 11 months. In the third quarter it reported a fall in revenue due to "reduced activity" in the market following the Brexit vote - and in this context it's also worth noting its lettings revenue grew "modestly".

After the Brexit vote in June the estate agent issued a profit warning, saying it expected full-year group revenues and adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, deprectiation and amortisation to be "significantly" lower than last year.

"We said in our first quarter update that we expected the first half to be challenging ahead of the EU referendum," added chief executive Nic Budden.

"Since then recent sales volumes have been slow as uncertainty and higher stamp duty has led many buyers and sellers to sit on their hands. The result of the referendum has increased uncertainty and is likely to mean that these trends continue for at least the remainder of the year." Today's announcement is unlikely to help.

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