Savills reported this morning an “extraordinary rebound” since May as regional markets outside London delivered its strongest performance since the 2008 financial crisis.
The estate agent said profits topped expectations in 2020 but the firm hesitated to give guidance for the new year amid Covid-19 uncertainty.
Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the group delivered a “resilient” full year performance which it said “reflects a robustness and geographical diversity”.
Due largely to its performances across the UK, predominantly in the regional markets outside London, the group finished the year with more than £160m net cash, compared to £28.5m in 2019.
Mark Ridley, CEO of Savills, told City A.M. recently he expects a continued resurgence for the property industry.
Ridley said: “Once the pandemic has passed, we do expect footfall and spend to recover. We are already seeing record sales recovery in some markets and there will be pent up consumer demand.”
The real estate giant has adopted several operational and financial initiatives to reduce the impact of lockdown cycles and travel restrictions throughout the pandemic.
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Its strategy was to minimise discretionary expenditure while maintaining staffing levels to ensure smooth service to global clients.
With the operating environment currently restricted in most markets, the board refused to give future guidance at this stage.
A spokesperson for Savills said: “The pace and efficacy of mass vaccination programmes and consequent reductions in lockdown and travel restrictions will dictate the rate at which transactional markets recover from here to reflect underlying demand.
“However, in general terms, we expect transactional activity to remain suppressed in the first half of 2021 with improvement commencing in some individual markets in the second quarter followed by progressive recovery through the second half of the year.”