Countrywide warns of London stall as profits drop

Ryan Fowler

July 28, 2016

london stock exchange

Countrywide, the UK’s largest lettings and estate agency group, has warned that its profits are set to drop as the property market in London stalls following Brexit. 

Countrywide said there had been a slowdown in May and June and since the vote commercial and London residential transactions have stalled.

However it said the decision to leave the EU had a “less pronounced impact” on other operations. One of those is other operations is Countrywide Mortgage Services which is one of the UK’s largest mortgage brokers employing over 650 mortgage consultants.

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Alison Platt, Countrywide’s CEO, said: “As we stated in our last Trading Update on 26 April, we took a cautious view of the months leading up to the EU referendum and beyond. In the event, we saw a slowdown in our retail and London residential businesses and, since the EU referendum result this has become more marked in London, the South East and expensive prime markets.

“The rest of the country has fared somewhat better and our lettings business and mortgage trends have been largely unaffected.

“This period of uncertainty will inevitably impact the level of transactional activity in the second half of the year and, although it is too early to quantify accurately, we will not meet last year’s result at the EBITDA level.”

The property giants half yearly report saw a 25% dip in adjusted pretax profits for the first half of 2016 and led it to warn of more challenges ahead.

Shares in Countrywide have dropped by almost 5% at the start of trading.