London estate agent chain Foxtons said business picked up “significantly” in the third quarter, but admitted that rents had fallen due to weakening demand.
Group revenue for the three months to 30 September was £28.5m, down 10 per cent compared to last year.
Foxtons’ share price fell more than four per cent this morning as it announced that lettings revenue during the quarter fell eight per cent to £19.5m, despite the pick up in activity.
Average revenue per tenancy was lower due to fewer high value short-term lets and a reduction in overseas student tenants and corporate relocations.
Foxtons said sales revenue reached £6.9m, a drop of 18 per cent, due to depressed levels of exchanges following the nationwide lockdown.
However sales activity boomed due to pent-up demand and stamp duty relief, meaning September revenues jumped 9 per cent on last year.
Foxtons’ sales commission pipeline was up 30 per cent, it said. However, transactions are taking longer to progress and economic uncertainty is driving higher normal transaction fallthrough rates.
Foxtons chief executive Nic Budden said: “Foxtons has made good progress in the third quarter, during which we were able to capitalise on increased levels of market activity, driven by the decision to build back capacity soon after the lockdown ended.
“We have successfully re-built the sales commission pipeline to its highest level in 3 years, delivered a resilient lettings performance and progressed our lettings book acquisition strategy.
“Although the London residential market has gained momentum, we remain cautious as economic uncertainty causes more sales transactions to fall through and is putting downward pressure on rents.
“During these uncertain conditions, the energy and commitment of our people to go the extra mile enables us to deliver exceptional customer service whilst keeping our customers and employees safe.”