Online estate agents maintained a 7.2% share of all exchanges in the final quarter of 2018, maintaining the share it enjoyed in the third quarter of the year, according to data firm TwentyCi’s Property and Homemover Report – Q4 2018.
This was a slight fall from last summer’s high of 7.6%. In total, this represented house sales of 20,775 properties.
However, in some regions of the UK, market share was up by almost 50%, demonstrating extremely strong growth and the popularity of such services in some areas. But it’s worth noting that this growth wasn’t consistent across the UK.
There were clear regional differences in the recent success of online estate agencies. In London, market share fell by 16%, with a fall of 19% in the South East and 9% in the South West.
In the West Midlands, there was a fall of 1.5% and there was a small reduction of 0.7% in the East of England. Wales, too, saw market share decrease, with a reduction of 2.4%.
However, these losses were balanced out by impressive gains elsewhere. In Scotland, the increase was almost 50%, with the North East and Northern Ireland seeing increases of 38% and 34% respectively.
In other regions of the UK too, market share rose. In the North West, this was by 9%; Yorkshire and The Humber grew by 8.5%; and in the East Midlands by almost 6%.
There were also differences in market share when it came to house prices. The market share in higher priced homes fell. In properties priced between £200,000 and £350,000 it was by 4.3%; by 3.3% on properties priced up to £1 million; and just 0.6% in homes worth over £1 million.
Again this was balanced out by increases in the market under £200,000, which saw a 4% rise in market share compared to the same period the previous year.
Colin Bradshaw, TwentyCi’s chief customer officer, says: ‘The unexpected demise of eMoov and the recent results of Purplebricks suggests the building of an online proposition continues to be challenged by the ability to win customers and build brand awareness especially in southern regions.
‘Similar to the dot.com boom of the early 21st century, without a reduction in customer acquisition costs the current model remains significantly flawed. It remains a paradox of this market that online agents are doing better in the north where properties are generally cheaper compared to the south, however based on their fixed fee structures one might have reasonably expected this to have been the other way around.’
Overall, the story for online estate agents is very much a mixed bag, with falls in some regions balanced out by impressive gains in other areas of the country.
Currently holding their own in terms of consistent market share, it seems that online estate agents must work harder to secure higher value properties and conquer those regions that are south of Watford Gap if they’re to continue to grow and flourish.