More than 5,600 new estate agents founded in 2021

A new study using Companies House data has revealed that 5,618 new estate agency businesses were founded in 2021. 

The research by Yell Business found that 15% of all new businesses launched during 2021 were in real estate.

Of the 718,441 companies started up to and including November 2021, 109,570 of those were within real estate, sitting behind only the retail and professional services sectors and highlighting the knock-on effect of the UK’s property boom. 

Of those new ventures founded within the industry, some 31,948 were in property development and trading, while 5,618 that registered with Companies House were new estate agents. 

Yell’s research also revealed where budding entrepreneurs could find the biggest opportunities within the sector. This was achieved by analysing the Google search demand for the likes of ‘London Estate Agent’ versus the actual number of businesses offering the particular service in each area.

Key areas where demand outweighs supply in the property sector 

Business type   Top three locations based on searches per listing 
Property to rent  
  1. Falkirk (262.50)   
  1. Newcastle upon Tyne (261.59)  
  1. Belfast (259.11)  
Estate agent  
  1. Worcester (56.19)  
  1. Hereford (44.90)  
  1. Gloucester (38.29)  
Lettings agent  
  1. Hereford (22.00)  
  1. Kirkwall (16.00)  
  1. Kilmarnock (13.53)  
Property management  
  1. Llandrindod Wells (5.36)  
  1. Milton Keynes (4.34)  
  1. Nottingham (4.28)  
Property to buy  
  1. Kirkcaldy (4.82)  
  1. Stevenage (2.76)  
  1. Milton Keynes (2.46)  

Claire Miles, chief executive officer of Yell, commented: “With the challenges of the last two years, we might expect to find that fewer people were deciding to take the leap into the world of starting and running their own business. However, the data clearly shows that it has potentially inspired more people to take ownership of what they do for a living and finally make the dream of running their own business come true. It certainly has when it comes to the property sector!

“With the background of the pandemic and numerous economic and supply chain challenges, it’s really encouraging to see that the entrepreneurial spirit of the UK is continuing to grow year on year.  We look forward to working with some of these new business owners in the property market in 2022, to help make their venture a success”.

“The extensive analysis also highlighted which areas of the UK had seen the highest number of businesses launched per capita, and somewhat surprisingly the Welsh coastal town of Llandudno ranked as the most entrepreneurial location, showing that big business doesn’t just start in the city.”



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  1. Barnabus

    Quite and amazing statistic in what was already a competitive industry, it will be very interesting to see if more, less, or the same amount, fold in the second half of 2022. I can’t see how the current number of agents is sustainable and think it will be survival of the fittest.

  2. frostieclaret87

    Two observations:

    1 – it is far too easy to enter the industry

    2 – watch how the latecomers once again undermine the genuinely good agents by slashing fees and cutting the service to the bare bones

    Both of these could be avoided by regulation and qualification requirements. It’s frankly madness that any Tom, Dick or Charlotte can open a business to sell your most valuable asset with no meaningful qualification.

    1. 456Lets

      Why are they latecomers?  Just because they have recently started their own business?  What’s to say they haven’t been in the industry for years and have now decided to go out on their own, and what’s wrong with doing that?  Should estate agency be left to the corporates and multi offices providing poor customer service, and in some cases, operating a cartel of price fixing fees?  Its called fair market competition.

  3. Diogenes

    How many were phoenix companies? Just a thought.

  4. James White

    The notion that all new agents/agency owners don’t have experience or qualifications is an often unsubstantiated claim.

    Many a long serving Estate Agent has no formal qualifications – indeed what is a formal qualification anyway? A PropertyMark one? Or a College of Estate Management gong or an RICS stamp?

    To be a lawyer for example a voluntary body’s in house certificate is not enough…….

    Good luck to anyone starting their own business, it is a tremendously difficult thing to do……..

    P.s. make sure you get a qualification


    1. whatdoiknow58

      Sorry James you like many other individuals are confused by an individual or company in this Country using the title of lawyer as assuming they are a qualified member of the law society for example or a practicing solicitor. This is actually not the case anyone can in this country call themselves a lawyer without any qualifications whatsoever. This can be confirmed via the Solicitors regulation authorities own website. This myth is perhaps not helped by the term being used across the legal profession in the USA for example whereby anyone calling themselves a lawyer who is not professionally qualified is committing a crime.

  5. frostieclaret87

    Amazing how many of those who oppose regulation don’t have any qualifications. Wonder what they are afraid of? Perhaps they are the reason why estate agents have such a dire reputation?

  6. WiltsAgent

    Good luck to those willing to take the plunge and start up on their own. As for qualifications I am very proud of both my O levels which have been all I have needed for a 30 year and counting career in Agency.


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