Renters being forced out of London, Foxtons boss warns

Guy Gittins says a lack of available properties means tenants have to look outside of the capital for their next home.

foxtons

Foxtons boss Guy Gittins warns that tenants will be forced to leave London because they can’t find a property to rent.

Guy Gittins, Foxtons
Guy Gittins, CEO, Foxtons

He said availability and not rising rents was the most serious issue affecting PRS in the capital.

“We absolutely don’t welcome this but people are going to have to move,” Gittins told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

People will “have to compromise on the property type or location,” he said.

Gittins said supply not meeting demand was the real problem. “The main issue is not affordability for the majority of the market – it’s the stock issue,” he said.

The “unhealthy” supply and demand challenges were down to recent policy decisions, and predicted current market conditions would continue for two to three years, he warned.

Failings

Foxtons gave an honest assessment of failings that prevented the company from performing to its potential, as it released its full-year results this week.

The London agency reported revenue up 11% to £140.3m with growth across all businesses: 17% in lettings, 8% in financial services, but only 1% in sales.

Douglas & Gordon lettings, acquired in March 2021, delivered £5.3m of operating profit in 2022, and a 35% return on capital.

Gittins, who took over the reins at Foxtons in September, said: “My operational review is complete, whilst Foxtons has strong foundations, core operational failings have throttled historical performance and prevented significant unfilled potential from being realised.”

The company announced earlier this week it had acquired Atkinson McLeod, a lettings agency in East London, for £7.4m.


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