Foxtons’ profit fell by 65% in 2017 – a result it attributed to a slowdown in the London property market.
The London-based estate agent made pre-tax profit of £6.5m, down from £18.8m in 2016 and £41m in 2015. Sales revenue fell by 23%, income from its lettings business dropped by 3%, while mortgage revenue fell by 1%.
Nic Budden, chief executive of Foxtons, said: “Sales activity in the London property market is near historic lows and this had a significant impact on our overall performance in 2017.
“Looking ahead, we expect trading conditions to remain challenging during 2018, and our current sales pipeline is below where it was this time last year.”
But Russell Quirk (pictured), chief executive of online estate agent Emov.co.uk, blamed Foxtons’ declining profit on an old-fashioned business model.
He said: “Foxtons have today attributed their 65% fall in profits and a decline in year-on-year revenue to the state of the capital’s property market.
“While it’s true there has been a reduction in sales volume over the last year, the fall is simply not substantial enough for them to hide the company’s continuous decay behind.
“Foxtons persistent fall from grace is largely a result of their failure to address the current structural threat to their business, as they remain stubbornly ignorant to the evolution of the online and hybrid model and its growing prominence within the marketplace.”
He added: “We’ve seen listings in London increase year-on-year and I’m sure we aren’t the only ones in the space to do so.
“If Foxtons wish to make any meaningful attempt to salvage their diminishing business model, they must pivot to offer the London consumer a fairer fee, better service levels and a more integrated approach where technology is concerned.”