Estate agent insolvencies up 57%
Over the last 12 months to June the number of estate agent insolvencies increased 57%, from 49 to 77 firms.
According to research from accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy LLP the increasing number of estate agents becoming insolvent is due to prolonged stagnation in the property market.
Wilkins Kennedy says that the need for High Street estate agents’ local expertise has also declined in recent years, due to the growth of online property information portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.
With online searches allowing buyers to gain all the information they need independently without the help of an estate agent it is harder for smaller agencies to compete with their bigger rivals’ stronger online presence and bigger marketing budgets.
Anthony Cork, partner at Wilkins Kennedy, said: “While most people do still sell through agencies, the internet means securing a sale is now much less about knowledge of the local market and the ability to price a property correctly for the right buyer.
“This makes it harder for smaller agencies to compete with the more financially robust, and well established larger chains.”