Despite challenging marketing conditions, the number of estate agents in the UK has risen this year.
Data taken from Companies House shows that between January and this month, October, there was an increase of 547 estate agents – more than offsetting the number going out of business.
Companies House does not publish the names of companies that are dissolved.
This figure can only be found by comparing reports from different months (each report lists roughly 4.2m companies) and comparing them to see who is missing.
This mammoth piece of research has been done by a new company Propdex.co.uk
It has found that 1,646 firms calling themselves ‘estate agents’ have disappeared this year.
It also found that 1,007 are in official trouble, for example in administration or under notice to strike off.
New firms – companies under three years old – are the most likely to have gone under so far this year, but it is notable that 468 much older firms have also folded in the same period.
Is the rise in agent numbers due to start-ups? Not necessarily, says Propdex.co.uk
It found that 2,416 companies calling themselves “estate agents” were incorporated this year, implying that 10% of the total of nearly 22,000 are either complete newcomers, or older firms re-registering to move their tax liabilities around.
There is a graphic showing the current composition of the industry here: https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/118202/
The research shows that there are currently 21,641 estate agents in the UK, of which 1,007 are in trouble.
In January, the total was 20,087, of which 866 were in trouble.
The numbers also include a regional breakdown. You can download the figures via this link: Companies House (estate agents) regional tab
Propdex.co.uk is a new company.
The main players are Richard Spiegal, who has worked for the last 16 years in the Spanish property market (both independently and for kyero.com), and Matt Powlson, who is an engineer, mathematician, and retired RAF Wing Commander.
Their first public report was only issued last week, using stats from HM Land Registry to show price changes by postcode in England and Wales.
They will continue to produce this monthly, but are also expanding into other types of statistics in the industry. Today, EYE has published this first example.