EYE NEWSFLASH: Davis Tate confirms significant branch closures


Davis Tate in Sonning Common

Southern Homemove, which was set-up earlier this year, has closed five Davis Tate branches, just six months after acquiring the business from LSL.

Southern Homemove, which was only registered with Companies House in March this year, purchased 23 of LSL’s branches run by Goodfellows, Hawes & Co, Lauristons and Davis Tate, which covers the property market across Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

LSL announced soon after the deal was agreed with Southern Homemove in May that its remaining estate agency network of 183 branches would become franchises.

An update statement to the City from LSL on 10 May read: “As part of the steps taken to affect franchise agreements, these companies have been acquired by a new franchisee, Southern Homemove Limited, in return for a long-term royalties franchise agreement and de minimis consideration for assets transferred”.

Matthew Bates, joint managing director at Davis Tate, says that following consultation with colleagues at Southern Homemove, he, and fellow joint MD, James Elliott, made the ‘strategic’ decision to close five Davis Tate branches, with the remaining seven offices staying open.

Burghfield branch

The company has confirmed that five Davis Tate offices were closed last Monday – in Burghfield, Shinfield, Sonning Common, Didcot and Wantage.

Bates told EYE: “James [Elliott] and I undertook a strategic review of the business after the takeover from LSL earlier this year.

“We feel that while small branches do work, we have a better chance of competing in the market with larger, merged branches.

Bates has confirmed that Southern Homemove has entered into discussions with affected colleagues and that they are “being offered opportunities elsewhere in the company”, primarily in the lettings division, after the decision was made to retain the entire lettings portfolio.

“We are inviting all affected staff to apply to work in our lettings division, but we cannot rule out redundancies as there are simply not enough positions available for everyone impacted by this change”.

Bates says that he is not aware of plans to close any of the offices operated by Goodfellows, Hawes & Co, or Lauristons.

“This was a decision made internally at Davis Tate,” he added.

EYE has approached Southern Homemove for comment.


This article was updated at 2.40pm. 



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  1. Taliesin84

    Withering on the vine with that announcement!

  2. AcornsRNuts

    They never do this AFTER Christmas, always just before.

    1. AgentBen

      There is never a nice time to do this, and it is horrible for all involved. I feel there is also a sense in doing it before anyway, it gives the employee a chance not to overstretch on Christmas spending.

      1. AcornsRNuts

        Christmas is six weeks away so any stretching has probably been done apart from buying food and possibly drink. I recall Darlows doing similar.

        1. AgentBen

          I take your point, my opinion is likely skewed as I start and finish Christmas shopping on the 24th. Then again I am fortunate my wife starts the same in January.

  3. Southie

    If memory serves at least 3 of those offices were owned by the former owners before LSL. It appears that those areas that used to be big growth areas are no longer producing. Truth is most territories could be supplied by neighbouring branches

  4. 40yearvetran08

    LSL did an appalling job of running thriving businesses they took over, the problem with LSL was that they did not have an estate agent on the board, when you are running an estate agency business that is just crazy and insulting to all the hard working staff that have given their all to make them successful. The brands LSL purchased were all good local estate agents who knew how to operate in their local market . LSL of course knew better, Helen Buck who was in charge came from Sainsbury’s and clearly knew sweet FA about selling houses but she was paid handsomely to run it into the ground. Unfortunately by the time they bailed out the damage was done and moving into a tough market just made it worse. I feel so sorry for the staff at Davis Tate but I suspect Southern Homemove were really left with no alternative.

    1. AcornsRNuts

      So they did the same as John Lewis by putting someone with no experience of the industry in charge. Madness!


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