Online agents taking 10% market share at lower end for first time in ‘significant win’ for sector

Online agents are taking 10% market share for properties under £200,000 for the first time, the latest TwentyCi report says, describing it as a “significant win” for the sector.

Covering the last three months of 2019, the report says that nationwide, overall online agent market share of listings remains steady at 7.9% for a fourth consecutive quarter.

However, in some regions – the north-west, midlands, and Yorkshire & the Humber – online market share is over 10%. The highest market share is in Yorkshire & the Humber at 12.33%. The region with the lowest market share is the south-west, with 4.5%.

The report shows that as house prices rise, online agent market share dwindles to the point at which the sector does barely any business in properties over £1m, with just 1.1% market share.

Colin Bradshaw, chief customer officer at TwentyCi, said that winning 10% market share in cheaper properties was significant for online agents, “yet again demonstrating their appeal to the lower-value end of the housing market”.

He went on: “However, for Purplebricks to achieve its stated goal of 10% market share, a significant penetration into other regions of the UK and for properties greater than £200k is essential.

“Polarisation of its proposition will inhibit the strategic objective.”

The new TwentyCi report, published this morning, also finds that overall property exchange volumes increased slightly year on year by 0.8%, with 928,234 homes exchanged in the 12 months to the end of the year.

Yearly new instruction volumes in the 12 months to December 2019 were down: there were 1,673,845 new instructions, a fall of 3.4%.

The report also notes 225,069 fall-throughs and 798,110 withdrawals to change agent or to withdraw from the market.

The report does not go beyond the end of December but says that the ‘Boris bounce’ has yet to materialise, although it does suggest that “a significant and material change to the market could occur in a relatively short space of time”.



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  1. OnlineEA

    With only three serious players in the online / hybrid model left, it will be surprising if they don’t join forces. Purplebricks, Express Estate Agency and Yopa could have a far more serious go esp if PB starts to offer no sale no fee as the other 2 already do.

  2. GPL

    Express Estate Agency???

    Don’t get me started on that!


    I was marketing a Development of 3 Conversions and arrived for an Open Viewing to find 1 letter in each property with the same pre-printed nonsense from EEA – blah, blah, blah “……and we have buyers waiting for your type of property……” and then inserted was a price range conveniently around the price I was marketing each conversion for.


    In my experience EEA is nothing more than a business built on mailshot fakery. The fact that the consumer is so gullible on occasions certainly doesn’t make EEA any kind of Estate Agent.


    EEA is built upon not much more than mailshot marketing, based on my experience of dealing with their Fake “We have a Buyer for you” Letters.


    1. Woodentop

      And they value below market value with the spin to the vendors it will get more interest and they can get a bidding war with “Offers over”. My experience with these vendors was in the opposite direction.

    2. PeeBee

      And let’s not forget that they coincidentally share offices with a company by the name of ‘sell-quick’ – whose letters coincidentally drop onto the same doormats within days of those from Express…

      …both companies coincidentally having two identically-named Directors registered to boot!

      love “coincidences”, me!!

  3. EAMD172

    Market share of what? Available properties for sale? New instructions? Properties sold? Does anybody actually know how many properties they actually sell? Out of the nearly 1m exchanges how many were PB? Come on PIE please print stories with full detail otherwise the maths is meaningless. L

  4. BryanMansell

    I thought Housesimple would have been mentioned as their 0% fee offering in York’s has had an impact

    1. WiltsAgent

      You’re right, the only way they can make the significant win of 10% market share is where they offer to sell for nothing.

  5. Woodentop

    Who would have thought that, the saving would have been for the more expensive vendors?

    1. Retiredandrelaxed

      This is especially the case when you consider that if PB only sell (complete) around 50% of their (paid) instructions, their unsuccessful sellers will have lost the whole fee for no result and then pay again, if they instruct a no sale, no fee agent. In comparative terms the wider picture is that PB’s fees are twice that of a NSNF agent for a lower priced property in the northern regions highlighted in the report

      1. Property Pundit

        Buy cheap, pay twice.

  6. DerekSharpham

    This business is not sustainable. The sellers who don’t sell (40-50%?) and still have to pay the fee, don’t just dislike Purplebricks, they HATE them.

    you can’t have that many unhappy customers wandering around…


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