Savills has reported a bumper 2017 including a 7% jump in profits at its UK residential operation to £18.7 million, in stark contrast to many of its competitors including Foxtons.
Group revenue, which includes both its residential and commercial property activities, increased by 11% to £1.6 billion on which it made a profit of £140 million last year, up 3.5% on 2016.
Outgoing Group Chief Executive Jeremy Helsby (pictured, left) says a “resilient” performance by the UK residential team was “key to this result”.
This business grew its turnover by 4% to £128.9 million, helped by more high-value property transactions in both UK resales and new homes and an increase in fees charged, all of which helped offset 3% fewer sales overall in the UK.
Savills also says it sold 4% more properties within its ‘core’ London market, driven by plummeting prices in the capital which have helped re-start activity.
The company has also revealed its latest proptech investments via its Grosvenor Hill Venture outfit, which it used to invest in online agency YOPA in June 2016. Savills claims YOPA is now the 10th largest agent in the UK, although it doesn’t reveal by what yardstick.
The latest tech investments are in Proportunity, an Artificial Intelligence-based house prices and mortgage sourcing firm, and VuCity, a 3D urban modelling and mapping tool designed to hasten planning applications.
“Emerging technology continues to be a focal area in the real estate industry and also for our business,” says Savills’ Chairman Nicholas Ferguson (pictured, right).
One other part of the Savills empire doing well last year was its letting and residential property management operations. The two increased their revenues by 8% last year while profits grew by 4% to £11.7 million.