Online letting agency Apropos has claimed that the government’s latest insolvency figures prove that, like other high street businesses, the traditional estate agency sector is in long-term decline.
Latest insolvency figures show that 485 property businesses failed last year as Brexit and other economic and political factors whipped the industry.
These figures, which cover sales and letting agents but also other property businesses such as short-lets and holiday lets, are 10% higher than the ten-year annual average of 448.
The platform’s CEO David Alexander (left) says this proves the UK high street has been in trouble for some time and that the aftermath of the pandemic will hasten this process as the initial lockdown and subsequent measures have a “disastrous effect on the viability of many businesses,” he says.
“For retail and real estate there has been a major shift away from bricks and mortar premises to online and it is unlikely this will be reversed.
“Sales and letting agencies have been slow to respond to the changes in consumer demand that has irrevocably moved future demand online.
“I do believe that the pandemic will force many companies in my sector to adopt entirely online strategies supported by local individuals and teams.
“Virtual viewings, as a concept, would have been laughed at a year ago but are now the norm.
“Our business has experienced a substantial increase in activity in the last four months with completed rentals up 30% in July alone and the number of new properties coming to our business achieving a record high after 40 years in the sector.”