Foxtons warns London property market remains 'very challenging' as revenues slide

Oscar Lopez
Foxtons has reported a drop in revenue

Foxtons posted its first quarter update this morning, with the real estate company seeing a £4.2m drop in revenue compared to the same period last year.

Shares slipped in early trading and were down slightly by mid-morning.

The figures

In the first quarter of 2018, Foxtons' revenue was £24.5m, compared to £28.7m in the first quarter of last year.

This comprised of sales revenue of £8.2m, down from £11.1m this time last year, lettings revenues of £14.3m down from £15.5m, and Alexander Hall mortgage revenue edging down from £2.1m to £2m.

Why it’s interesting

Foxtons’ results come at a difficult time for the London housing market, with numerous studies in recent months showing a drop in London house prices and a dip in the number of housing transactions.

A survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) published last week revealed that 65 per cent more property surveyors saw London prices fall during April rather than rise, the weakest reading since February 2009.

Those surveyed by Rics also predicted that house prices would continue to fall in the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics published in April showed that average house prices in London fell by almost £5,000 in the 12 months to February.

What the company said

“Conditions in the London property market remain very challenging,” the company said. “Foxtons entered 2018 with a lower sales pipeline compared to the same point last year and this resulted in lower levels of activity in the quarter.”

Foxtons said that the company’s lettings, which reported revenues dropping from £15.5m down to £14.3m were impacted by a slow January and the timing of the Easter weekend.

“Whilst the sales pipeline has begun to improve it remains below where it was this time last year,” the company said. “The performance of our lettings business improved towards the end of the quarter and throughout April.”