High street agents seeing off online rivals in battle for market share

Online agents sold 7.6% of homes that went to exchange in the first three months of this year, meaning that high street agents still have over 92% of the market.

Exchanges overall were up by 7.4% compared with the same period last year but down on the last quarter of last year, with the market characterised by an ongoing shortage of new listings.

Data firm TwentyCi said that new property instructions were down 5.3% year on year.

The firm said of the 7.6% online agents’ market share, that while it was up from 7.2% at the end of last year it was “still a long way from the heady 20% market share forecast by several online agents on their inception”.

It added that most of the properties sold by online firms were lower value and in the north of the UK.

A table of online agents’ market share by region shows growth of over 50% in Scotland, and of over 6% in the north-east, but market share drops in southern regions, particularly in London. The most sizeable market share is in the west midlands, at over 10%, and the lowest in the east of England at just over 4%.

TwentyCi went on: “Unless online agents are able to penetrate the market in the south and engage with higher-value home owners, their growth and market share will continue to be capped.”

TwentyCi found that in the first quarter of this year, online agents’ market share was 9% in exchanges of property less than £200,000; 7% in properties worth between £200,000 and £350,000; 4.6% in properties between £350,000 and £1m; and 0.85% in homes worth over £1m.

Over the year, market share had grown only in the cheapest properties (up from 8%).

In its latest quarterly report out today, TwentyCi also documents the overall housing market. It said that the only regions in the UK where average asking prices continue to grow are the midlands, and Yorkshire & the Humber.

The largest annual falls were 4% in both London and the south-east.

The report also paints a vivid picture of the rental market in major cities, with nearly 70% of all property listings in London being for rental properties.

In other cities, the average proportion of rental listings was 50%.

Below, how the market looked during the year to the end of March


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  1. Mark Connelly

    The irony being that the areas with the least to save are the areas that have embraced them most.

    1. ArthurHouse02

      Would this indicate that those selling for the first time are hooked in by all the “promises” yet more experienced homeowners know to use a high street estate agent.

      1. cyberduck46

        “most of the properties sold by online firms were lower value and in the north of the UK”



        1. htsnom79

          First Brexit and now onliners, seems some parts of the country are easily seduced by something shiny  ( and stupidly against their own self interest )

          1. Property Pundit

            Morning David Lammy.

            1. htsnom79

              Morning Jacob

          2. cyberduck46

            >First Brexit and now onliners, seems some parts of the country are easily seduced by something shiny


            Well Scotland voted to remain in the EU so I’m not sure that theory works.




            1. htsnom79

              Don’t get the point, are the Scottish more or less likely to go pay to list?

              As far as EU are concerned the Scottish sentiment is always more socialist and collective coupled with their animus for all things English  ( hat tip Andy Murray ) and I salute them for it. Better together, defo not with onliners though, no matter how deeply you drill down into it granular 5h1t is still 5h1t.

        2. Woodentop

          Therefore the commisery saving was negligible, if any.

  2. Ryan Baker

    Well well… the areas where home sellers pay higher selling fees have reverted back to the good old estate agent …there is definitely a solid reason why so… you just can’t beat the face to face interaction and the personal service an estate Agent gives.

  3. Paulfromromsey87

    Good to read something that supports what we already know.  This article goes to the front page in my Market Appraisal presenter.

  4. WiltsAgent

    Pretty much reflects their impact on my patch, at best 5% of the market for sales and near enough 0% for letting, I have seen one letting board of theirs in 3 years. It’s obvious they need to spend more money so come Mr & Mr Bruce, spend more and then we can all wave goodbye to you in August rather than October. Unless, of course you can mug another ‘investor’ for cash to keep your rapidly sinking ship afloat.

  5. agent37

    If a recent article suggested online had 5% of listings but this suggests 7% of exchanges, are they converting higher than the high street?

  6. Hillofwad71

    Well not much growth for Ewemove in the land of sheep  Wales as the Cardiff franchise as just shut down with a paucity of instructions The other office in Wales , Chepstow had shut down previously


    W Midlands looknig a bit spartan too with  the second city Birmingham devoid of sheep  .The Birmingham franchise has  just closed  after Kidderminster shutting down last year Hinckley now the nearest franchise to Birmingham


    In London Ewemove have recently lost franchises at Croydon Lainon Park Streatham and Walthamstow

    Furthermore a number of nervous franchises with just a handful of instructions  and  a worrying amount of debt  according to Companies  House t

    The grass isn’t always greener  !

  7. Property Poke In The Eye

    Talking about online have you shown Purple Bricks the love this morning and clicked on their google adverts to speed up the burn rate.. 😉

    1. htsnom79

      Hmmmm, mixing my movie metaphors, if we could turn their trustpilot minions to the dark side and get them to click Google ads rather than deleting bad reviews like they are striking into a fish, gone by early August


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