Thursday 29 July 2021 12:24 pm

Foxtons' best results in five years prompt real estate giant to reinstate dividend

Estate agent Foxtons has delivered its best results in five years, boosted by a pandemic-induced resurgence in London’s property market after years of weak results.

The sales and lettings agency announced it made £66.9m in revenue in the first half of 2021, a 66 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2020 and 29 per cent for 2019.

With £5.2m in profits, Foxtons reinstated its ordinary dividend with a payment of 0.18p per share and announced a £3m share buyback programme to return excess capital to its shareholders.

This will appease investors who were displeased earlier this year by the company’s decision to pay out bonuses to executives despite a sharp fall in the share price.

Sales of houses and flats jumped by 86 per cent, compared to the first half of 2019. Market activity was stimulated by the incentive provided by the government’s stamp duty holiday, phased out at the end of June. The tax relief allowed buyers to save up to £15,0000 when buying a property.

The company’s acquisition of rival Douglas & Gordon, the family-owned London estate agents, for £14.3m was announced in March. The investment paid off as its portfolio of almost 3,000 tenancies brought in £7.2m in revenue.

Foxtons also acquired next-generation property site Boomin for £3m. It shows their commitment to technological transformation in the property sector says the company.

“The combination of political stability and easing restrictions has seen positive momentum return in the market and we are delighted that thousands of customers chose Foxtons to sell or let their property,” said chief operating officer Nic Budden.

“This enabled us to grow revenues and market share in both sales and lettings, further strengthened by the acquisition of D&G, demonstrating the attractiveness of our customer proposition.” 

Foxtons said that the second half of 2021 is “likely to be quieter than the first as the stamp duty relief tapers, but we believe there are signs of sufficient underlying confidence in the market to support a more sustained recovery.”