Online agents increase market share

Online agents increased their market share last year, based on exchanges, but are struggling to return to the peak level recorded pre-pandemic, fresh data shows.

According to TwentyCi’s 2022 Property & Homemover Report, the market share of online agents was 7.3% in 2021, up from 6.7% in 2021, but below its 2019 peak of 8.2%.

Online agents are struggling at the upper end of the market, with market share in the £1m-plus market stood at just 1.1% last year, while homes within the £350,000 to £1m bracket reached 5.3%.

When it comes to properties valued at £200,000 or lower, online agents enjoyed 9.2% market share, while this dropped to 7.8% when it came to homes valued at up to £350,000.

Purplebricks, Yopa and Strike remain the dominant brands, according to the report, together representing over 70% of this sector.

The report stated: “The subdued performance of these agents in the last two years, in a seller’s market, where demand outstripped supply, seems counter-intuitive.

“Where the fixed-fee lower-cost model arguably ought to have prevailed, our analysis shows the opposite, as vendors consistently opted to stick with traditional agents. This is most pronounced in the higher value brackets, where online agents appear to have reached a ceiling.”

Regionally, online agents have enjoyed the greatest success, when it comes to market share, in Yorkshire and The Humber and the North West.

The market share of online brands was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 11.3% followed by the North West at 10.2%.

However, online agents have not performed so well in southern regions, including inner London, where market share has dropped to less than 5%.

The TwentyCi report raises serious questions about how online agents will fare in a more challenging market.

“The failure to be adopted by sellers of higher-value properties will inhibit these agents in establishing a significant market share in London and the South East, where the property value and density of housing are greatest,” the report added.

Other key findings from the report include the fact that there were 1.2 million sales transactions within the owner-occupier market in 2022. This is a fall of 14.3% since 2021, but in line with 2019.

This is far from a freefall that many predicted. With the supply of houses coming onto the market now back to normal levels downward pressure on prices will continue and a similar number of transactions are expected in the coming year

Homemover Wave: As of January 2023, there are currently 1.36 million household progressing through the owner-occupier home moving journey with 308,699 households actively wanting to move through to 270,216 households settling into their properties. This represents a significant opportunity for the economy as homemovers have been identified as one of the most valuable groups for businesses.

This is particularly true during the current cost-of-living crisis when other key consumer groups are tightening their purse strings, whilst homemovers will be actively spending money on transforming their new homes.

The report also reflected on the housing emergency for renters as a shifting market means more homes for buyers, but not for renters. See below.


UK faces chronic shortage of rental homes, alarming new data shows



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