Foxtons has blamed a 10% drop in revenues during the post-lockdown months on the conveyancing logjam and higher than normal fall-through rates caused by the economic uncertainty.
It has reported revenues of £28.5 million for July, August and September down from £31.7 million last year, which the company says is also down to fewer customers exchanging, which it claims is a ‘hangover’ from the lockdown.
Nevertheless the company, which has 60 branches across London, enjoyed a promising post-lockdown revival as valuations, instructions, applicant numbers and viewings all ramped up and all its staff returned from furlough.
Its sales pipeline, based on the value of properties ‘under offer’, has also been rebuilt and is now 30% higher than the same time last year.
But despite this, the lockdown hit its already-struggling business hard – lettings revenues dropped by 8% year-on-year to £19.5 million as the both the short-lets and overseas student rental markets died.
Sales revenues reduced by 18% year-on-year but the company says it has begun to feel the increased sales transaction levels feed through with an increase in revenues of 9% last month year-on-year.
Nic Budden, CEO (left), says: “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.
“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.”
In April the company asked investors for £22 million to get through the Coronavirus pandemic.
Anthony Codling, CEO of Twindig, comments: “Foxtons results seem at odds with the high-level optimism implied by national house price and housing transactions data and point to a fragile housing recovery beneath the bravado. At the moment Foxtons seems to have two in the bush rather than one in the hand. “