Amid much speculation over the last few months concerning Countrywide estate agency group’s declining share price (since the end of April) it is rumoured that a number of its branches are set to close. The Countrywide estate agency network boasts the largest network of estate and letting agents across the UK. It has 60 brand names nationally with over 700 offices including those in the South East. Under its umbrella falls some notable names in the South East such as Gascoigne Pees, Ashton Burkinshaw, John D Wood, King and Chasemore as well as Hamptons. There are other agencies too that operate in different parts of the far south west, west of England as well as the Home Counties. Last week Estate Agent Today (EAT) was made aware of imminent or actual branch closures amongst the brands of Stratton Creber in the far south west, King & Chasemore in the south east and Taylors in the west. There has been continued press speculation that many offices were pinpointed for closure at the end of last week.
In the last annual report, which was issued in March 2019, Countrywide announced that they would be reducing their number of branches from 714 to around 600 over the next two years.
Coutrywide have yet to comment on the closures and to state what if any further closures there may be in the future. From the latest reported accounts at the end of April, Countrywide reported a three percent drop in income during the first quarter of 2019, to £140.3 million, a fall of £5 million. The company also recently reported a pre-tax loss for 2018 of £251 million.
Countrywide, already suffering from big losses on the stock market saw this loss continue last week when their share price tumbled another 8% to just 4.51p per share. This was a decrease of 95.5% compared to the previous year.
The team at Pavilion Relocation wonder what is causing this crisis in the estate agency business throughout the country and in particular London and the South East. Some of the contributing factors to this decline are sure to be placed at the “Brexit Store” and one of the other factors is that London house pricing is on the decline due to an increasing lack of foreign investment in London properties which is causing a ripple effect into the home counties and even further afield in some cases.
For information or help in finding your next home whether renting or buying contact us at Pavilion Relocation Ltd on 01892 257001