Savills buy stake in online estate agent YOPA

Estate agents Savills have bought a minority stake in so-called hybrid agents YOPA for £16 million.

The primarily online estate agents launched earlier this year and offers to sell homes for a fixed fee of £780.

YOPA was founded in 2014 and has since developed its technology-led business model, which was launched in hybrid form in January 2016. It comprises digital technology to link the activities of sellers, buyers and YOPA’s own franchised local property agents, who are further supported by a dedicated customer service centre.

YOPA will continue to operate independently, under its existing brand. The size of the stake has not been specified.

Jeremy Helsby, Group Chief Executive of Savills, said: “We have followed the rapid advance of the online ‘hybrid’ estate agency model over the last year. This investment broadens the Group’s access to the UK residential sector by enabling us to take an interest in the high volume segment of the market, comprising over 1 million transactions annually, to which Savills has had little exposure to date.

“We have been consistently impressed by YOPA, whose technological edge, dedication to transparency and focus on the client at the heart of the sales process all resonate strongly with our core values and the way we do business.”

Online competitor Purple Bricks floated on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market in December. Since then, its shares have risen 33 per cent, to 126.6p.

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