Online agents Purplebricks and Yopa both gained more market share after rivals Emoov and Tepilo went into administration early last month.
That is according to data collected by independent website Property Road which gives consumer advice on home-related subjects such as DIY, buying and selling, and finding an online estate agent.
The site – which launched in January last year and favours online over high street agents – has analysed Zoopla listings in 2018 for 16 online firms. Its simple methodology was to take a snapshot of each agent’s active Zoopla listings on the last day of each month.
It found that, according to Zoopla, Purplebricks extended its ‘vice-like grip’ by growing its share of the online market in 2018 by 6.2% to 59.3%.
Yopa became the second largest online agent, growing its market share to 15% at the end of the year, up 5.4% from last January.
Purplebricks itself claims much greater market share of online agency, in excess of 70%, but the Property Road data was drawn solely from Zoopla listings.
Even so, the gap between Purplebricks and other online agents is enormous – Purplebricks had over 15,000 more listings on Zoopla at the end of December than its nearest rival, Yopa.
After Emoov and Tepilo went into administration on December 3, the Property Road study found that out of the online agents it tracked last year, six of them posted 96.4% of online agents property listings in December.
They were: Purplebricks, Yopa, Express Estate Agency, House Network, Doorsteps and HouseSimple.
Property Road also assessed each of the 16 online agents, giving them a review based on value for money, customer support and ease of the sales process.
In each of these three areas Property Road scored the agent out of ten, and then averaged the scores for the purposes of a league table.
Yopa came top, with 9.6, HouseSimple came second with 9.5, and Doorsteps third with 9.2.
SellMyHome was in fourth place with 9.2, house network fifth with 9, Settled and Purplebricks tied with 8.2, easyProperty scored 7.8, and in tenth place came Express Estate Agency with 7.1.
It rates Yopa highly because it offers both a fixed fee and no sale, no fee, and includes a For Sale board as standard. However, it does say that Yopa’s fees in London are high.
Its rating of Purplebricks contains pluses – strong brand, and fixed price means customers know how much they will pay – but also negatives: ‘Customers reviews vary wildly’; does not offer no sale, no fee; and pay later option ‘is tied into taking their conveyancing service’.
Paul James, owner of Property Road, said that after Hatched had been closed down, with Emoov and Tepilo subsequently entering administration, larger online agents had stamped “their authority on the market”.
James said: “It’s difficult to call what will happen in 2019 but it’s likely that the larger brands will continue to dominate and we’ll see some of the smaller firms closing up shop or being acquired by those with the deepest pockets.
“That said, don’t rule out more big-name casualties as the online agents continue to try and find a sustainable model that appeals to consumers over the traditional high street offering.”
The full study is here: