Vendors are handing over “hundreds of millions of pounds a month” in commission to agents because of rising house prices.
The claim comes from online agent YOPA, which bases its claims on ‘typical’ high street fees being 1.8%.
YOPA says that based on Land Registry house price and transaction figures, agents were making an average of £3,431 for every sale at the start of this year.
The Land Registry’s latest transaction figures are for January, when 77,170 properties were sold across England and Wales.
That month, the Land Registry quoted an average price of £190,658 which YOPA says means that £20.7bn of homes were sold, equating to more than £250m paid in high street agency fees.
According to YOPA, that is almost five times the amount they were paying 20 years ago when the average property sold for £59,278, netting estate agencies an estimated average commission of £1,067.
Property sales totalled £3.1bn in January 1996, according to Land Registry figures, which equates to £56.9m in fees to estate agents.
YOPA, which describes itself as a hybrid agent and charges a fixed fee of £780, says that high street agents still command around 95% of the market.
Daniel Attia, chief executive, said: “We launched YOPA because we recognised that the quality of service being offered to the customer by high street estate agencies simply doesn’t match up to the fees they charge.”
According to Stephen Hayter of the UK’s largest conveyancer My Home Move, the majority of high estate agents charge less than 1.8%, with a third charging 1% or less.