London boosts Winkworth

LONDON estate agent Winkworth expects to beat its 2010 profit targets

after growing revenues 20 per cent in the first nine months of the year, it announced yesterday.

Its third quarter trading update said it saw “further strong performance” in the three months to September, despite relatively low transaction volumes and a weaker pricing environment.

Broker Finncap forecasts-pre tax profits of £1.1m for the end of 2010.

The franchise chain’s existing offices grew property sales by 42 per cent year-on-year from reduced levels. Six new offices were opened this year, including one in Highbury.

Chief executive Dominic Agace said London remains a prime property market and Winkworth’s best performing offices were those that “leverage off London.”

Winkworth has 58 London offices and is “expanding into markets that look to London for their buyers,” he said.

Agace expects prices in prime markets to rise by five per cent next year due to low interest rates and a weak sterling.

Currency weakness is making London attractive to international buyers, who now make up 70 per cent of applicants to buy London properties, he said.

A supply shortage in the rental market, fuelled by a lack of buy-to-let mortgage approvals, is expected to increase rents by five per cent in 2011.