- Market sentiment improves
- 55% of agents optimistic for 2020
- 52% expect stock supplies to start meeting demand
- 40% are diversifying services to bolster revenues
Zoopla’s rather grandiosely-named report says that agent confidence in the market has reached a three-year high, having surveyed 6,000 people and 650 agents across the UK.
It found that agents’ confidence levels are up, with 55% feeling ‘very confident’ or ‘somewhat confident’ in the strength of the market during the next year after a three-year consecutive decline in agent confidence, down from 79% in 2016 to 51% in 2018 – from the last market peak to the tangible slowdown that has characterised the market in recent years against a backdrop of protracted political uncertainty.
Agents in the north are registering the highest levels of confidence in market performance for 2020 at 57%, while agents in the south come in at 53% – up from 46% recorded 12 months prior.
Over half of agents (52%) expect to see an increase in the supply of stock coming onto the market over the next 12-18 months – a net increase of 20% since 2017. 45% of agents believe that there will be an increase in the number of property transactions that take place across the year ahead.
Diversification of revenue
54% of agents expect to derive increased income from property management fees, 50% from property sales and 45% from lettings fees in 2020.
The report also signals that agents will continue to benefit from diversifying their revenue streams and that securing relationships with third party suppliers bolsters the core business proposition. 43% of agents believe that there is scope to increase earnings by recommending mortgage lenders or brokers, and 42% by recommending legal services.
Greatest market challenges
The economic and political landscape, as well as current stock levels, were cited as immediate market challenges; however, the ‘Boris Bounce’ may reshape market dynamics.
There remains a tangible nervousness around prospective legislative changes, with 47% of agents unclear on the realities of the new government’s housing policy.
Meanwhile, lower fees and discord around Stamp Duty penalties are affecting business performance for a third of agents.
“The annual State of the Property Nation findings bring a compelling insight into all facets of the market,” says Andy Marshall, COO at Zoopla. “The study provides a barometer of agent mindset, and our findings show, on the whole, that agent confidence in the market is on the up for 2020.
“It’s little surprise that the so-called ‘Boris Bounce’ has already started to reshape the market in the immediate term – particularly amidst reports of improving consumer confidence following the decisive election outcome.”