Foxtons warns of slowing London property market


Foxtons said it expected sales activity to “remain subdued” in the first half of 2015, as concerns about the global economy and the upcoming May general election hold people back from buying.

The London-focussed estate agent said lettings increased by 1.7pc last year, but sales volumes were down by 3.7pc. That compares to a 27pc increase in sales the year before.

Chief executive Nic Budden said 2014 was a year of “contrasting halves.” The housing market was buoyant in the first six months of last year, but dragged in the second half.

Revenue rose by 3.4pc to £143.9m in the year to 31 December 2014, while profit before tax rose 8.2pc to £42.1m.

However, that was a sharp slowdown on the same time a year ago. Last year, the company posted a 57pc jump in pre-tax profits to £38.9m, in its first set of annual results since its listing in September 2013.

“Whilst we expect property sales activity to remain subdued at levels comparable to those seen in late 2012 and early 2013 until greater political and economic certainty returns, the long term fundamentals of the London market remain sound and attractive,” said Mr Budden.

Foxtons was recently hit by a sweeping reform of stamp duty that disproportionately affected wealthy property buyers in the capital.

In December, a new graduated tax property system came in that lightened the stamp duty load for those buying a home worth less than £925,000, but meant greater taxes for those at the top end of the market.

For those purchasing homes worth more than £2m, stamp duty increased from 7pc to 12pc – the equivalent to £50,000 at the £2m mark.


Britain’s housing market has been slowing since the middle of last year, when regulators tightened mortgage lending rules.

House prices fell in February for the first time in five months, figures from mortgage lender Nationwide recently showed. House prices dropped by 0.1pc last month, compared to a 0.1pc rise in January.

♦ Mapped: 10 years of Britain’s house price boom (and bust)

London prices fell 1.1pc in December, the latest month for which data is available.

The average property price in London is £458,283, according to figures from the Land Registery. The average property price across in England and Wales is £179,492.

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