Estate Agent Statistics UK

Estate Agent Statistics UK
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The UK’s real estate market is constantly evolving, with agents helping buyers and sellers find their perfect home, which might make you think about estate agent statistics UK.

When you buy or sell a home, estate agents play a vital role, but how many of them are there? These, and other questions, are examined by the Property Road team (Last updated, February 2024).

Here’s our UK estate agent statistics roundup, including:

So, let’s get started…

UK Estate Agent Statistics (Editors Picks)

  • Number of estate agents: There are approximately 23k-53k estate agents in the UK.
  • People employed by estate agents: There are around 150k to 155k people employed by UK estate agents
  • Industry Size: The revenue generated by all estate agents is £12.9bn.
  • New estate agencies launched every year: There were 5,618 new estate agency businesses launched in 2021.
  • Stock Levels: The average estate agent has around 30-40 properties for sale at any one time.
  • Sale Speed: On average, it takes around 25 weeks for an estate agent to sell a property.
  • Fees: Typically, estate agents charge between 0.75-3% of a properties final sales price.
  • Asking Prices: Only 28% of properties end up selling for (or over) their asking price.

Regulation Of Estate Agents

There’s also an interesting briefing paper from the Commons Library about the regulation of estate agents in the UK.

It says that agents play a crucial role in buying and selling property, and their work is defined by the Estate Agents Act 1979 (EAA 1979). They must also comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

This paper makes clear that estate agents are not required by law to be qualified or licensed. This means that determining exactly how many estate agents are working at any given time is very difficult.

Since 1 October 2008, estate agents must belong to an approved redress scheme. That will either be the Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme.

Literally, anyone can set up as an estate agent – hence the plethora of online agents – but we have tried to offer accurate figures (at the time of writing) for those wanting to know more about UK property market statistics.

How many estate agents are in the UK?

While the question, ‘How many estate agents are in the UK?’ sounds straightforward, the answer is anything but.

According to Statista, there were around 52,900 estate agents working in the UK in 2023. However, this figure appears to include auctioneers and is significantly higher than most other reports.

Most other sources state the figure to be nearer the 25k mark, including:

  • IBIS World who confidently says that in 2023 there were 23,621 estate agent businesses – an increase of 2.6% from 2022.
  • However, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics from March 2021 reveals there were 22,145 real estate agencies that employed 154,880 people – including owners.

Also, Trading Standards reveals that in 2020, a membership audit of The Property Ombudsman had 15,755 member agents, of which 8,933 were companies and 6,833 were branches (note there is a discrepancy here in the official figures as 8,933 + 6,833 equals 15,766 NOT 15,755).

What is the estate agency industry worth?

It is estimated that the estate agency industry is worth 12.9 billion pounds

IBIS has calculated that the revenue generated by all estate agents is £12.9bn. This is a sector that has 27,965 businesses and employs 150,446 people.

How have estate agents performed in the UK?

IBIS has looked at the figures and says estate agents have, since 2017, seen a mixed bag performance-wise.

It says that the Covid lockdown hit house sales when buyers couldn’t visit properties, followed by the economic downturn in 2022 means estate agents are finding things tougher.

Agents also had to deal with the rise of online and hybrid estate agents, so competition for business was stiff.

What is the future for estate agents in the UK?

After the Covid lockdown ended, estate agents saw revenues soar as people began to move home once more. But with rising inflation and mortgage rates, the cost-of-living crisis, and fears over the economy, agents are starting to feel squeezed, IBIS says.

Are estate agents in the UK regulated?

As explained above, estate agents in the UK are not currently regulated. And while the UK is moving towards a registration scheme that would introduce a ‘regulated qualification framework’, Government research reveals the membership numbers for various professional bodies:

ARLA Propertymark (Association of Residential Property Agents)

Letting agents – individuals

9,600 individuals

Guild of Property Professionals (GPP)

Letting and sales agents – independent

800 firms

NAEA Propertymark (National Association of Estate Agents)

Sales agents – individuals

7,200 individuals

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Letting, managing, and sales agents – firms and individuals

2,000 firms

Note: Membership in these organisations is voluntary, and an agent might be a member of more than one.

Are more estate agents starting up in the UK?

After covid, it does appear that more estate agents set up in business – including online offerings. Yell Business analysed Companies House data and found that 5,618 new estate agency businesses were launched in 2021.

How many properties do estate agents sell on average?

On average, each estate agent has a stock of 40 properties.

According to Statista, the average stock per estate agent in January 2022 was 40 properties. The peak for stock numbers was at the end of 2020 when there was strong home-buying sentiment – but numbers have fallen since to match the decline in buyers.

This is underlined by Propertymark, who say that member branches have 33 properties for sale on average.

How long does it take to sell a property with an estate agent?

The process of selling a property with an estate agent can take between four and six months. Zoopla says it takes 25 weeks on average to sell a home in the UK.

Property experts say that in a ‘hot’ market, when properties sell quickly, the time is four months, but when things cool down, the time is six months from listing a home to finding a buyer and completing the conveyancing process.

What is an estate agent’s average commission?

Some online agents will promise to sell your property for nothing, while other online agents will quote from £1,000 up to £15,000 for a very expensive home.

High street agents will offer to sell for a commission of between .75-3%. This figure does vary, and you can negotiate on this – we explain more about this in another article.

Do houses sell at or above their asking price?

According to a report published by Propertymark, no. They say that with rising mortgage rates, the UK now has a buyer’s market – in fact, around 72% of all sales at the end of 2022 saw a sale being agreed upon at less than the asking price.

Propertymark says that’s because competition has dropped by more than a third – there were 11 buyers for every new property instruction at the start of 2022, but that fell to just 7 buyers at the end of the year for every new property that was for sale in a member branch.

What is the average house price in the UK?

According to the UK government’s house price figures, the average house price as of November 2023 was £284,950. This represented a fall of 2.1% over the previous 12 months and a 0.8% monthly fall.

UK property market statistics

Essentially, the UK’s property market statistics are constantly changing, and while the housing market looks set to see prices fall, a lot depends on demand. The figures show that prices are healthy, and there are still lots of estate agents who are vying for your business.

The UK has seen the number of estate agents increase to match a rising market, but time will tell if those firms are still thriving after the UK heads into recession and buyers hold off from investing.

As a seller, it’s worth finding a reputable estate agent with a strong track record who can help you find a buyer willing to pay the asking price – or close to it.

Authors

  • Steve Lumley

    Steve Lumley has years of experience writing about property. His output has covered everything from property investment, news for landlords and student tenants to articles on how to run a successful portfolio and starting out as a property investor. He has also written several books on the subject.

    View all posts
  • Paul James

    Paul James, is a marketing expert with a passion for property. As well as being a property investor, Paul has also worked within the marketing departments of some of the UK’s leading estate agents. Paul is the founder of Property Road.

    View all posts
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