– Zoopla launches major new research report – The State of the Property Nation – providing comprehensive estate agent and consumer views on the property landscape in 2019.
– The outlook for the economy is the top concern for agents, replacing a lack of stock for sale.
– Agents are less positive than consumers on the outlook for the economy and the property market. However, on balance they remain positive on the outlook for their business.
– When asked about revenues, the majority of agents expect income to grow or stay the same in 2019 – this is across all business lines except for income from lettings.
– In order to meet the challenges ahead, agents are planning to increase use of technology and marketing, offer more help and advice to vendors and landlords, and look to new sources of revenue.
Eighty one percent of estate agents expect revenues to grow or stay the same in 2019 despite growing concerns over the economic outlook, according to major new industry analysis from Zoopla.
The 2018 State of the Property Nation report, which surveyed 6,000 consumers and 660 estate and letting agents, covers a wide range of important insights into the factors that impact the world of property professionals.
When asked about the greatest challenge facing their business, almost two thirds (64%) of agents cited the current economic and political situation, followed by a pressure to lower fees (51%) and then insufficient stock (49%) – see figure 1 below.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit has led to a slowdown in house price growth and 39% of agents expect prices to fall over the next 12 to 18 months.
Hometrack, which is a part of Zoopla, predicts an average UK house price inflation of 2-3% in 2019 on flat sales volumes, while the lettings market continues to register more new lets than housing sales.
Despite the economic uncertainty, the majority of agents remain optimistic that they will grow or sustain revenues across all business lines next year, with the exception of letting fees (see figure 2 below).
With a tenant fee ban on the horizon, almost four in ten (38%) letting agents expect revenue from lettings to decrease in 2019 while only 56% think they will rise or stay the same. However, agents are more confident over growing revenue from property management services.
Zoopla asked agents how they plan to respond to the challenges ahead. The top three areas that agents are planning to focus on in 2019 are:
- increase their use of technology and marketing
- increase their advice to and engagement with sellers and landlords
- look to expand their service offering
Charlie Bryant, Managing Director of Zoopla’s property division said, “The annual State of the Property Nation report has captured the sentiment of thousands of consumers and estate agents over the last three years and provides an in-depth snapshot on the property market and the business of estate agencies.
“The political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit is understandably influencing consumer behaviour which is having a knock-on effect for agents in parts of the country. However, despite the obvious challenges, the majority are well-positioned to grow their business.
“From this year’s research we’ve seen strong alignment between our offering and how agents plan to improve the quality and volume of their leads and, ultimately, their instructions. The priorities for 2019 include increasing their use of technology and marketing, providing more advice to landlords as well as vendors on price and rent, and also broadening their range of services to help offset any downward pressure on fees.”
Bryant concludes: “Whether it’s better data and market insight, improved technology for back-office efficiency, smarter portal and software tools to boost vendor leads and generate additional revenue streams, Zoopla has a breadth of solutions agents need to succeed and keep ahead in a dynamic market environment.
“We’re 100% agent focused and investing more than ever. It matters to us that every agent performs and we remain intent on offering the best value property solutions to help them stay ahead of consumer demand.”
Zoopla is launching the report via a live webinar to agency customers on Friday 9 November. The webinar will be hosted by Channel 4 presenter, Phil Spencer, who will also be joined by Mark Easton, BBC News Home Editor, Richard Donnell, Data and Market Insights Specialist at Zoopla, and Lesley Dunn, Zoopla’s Sales Director for national corporate and online estate agency partners.
Visit advantage.zpg.co.uk to view the full report and a recording of the webinar.