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Savills Sees Potential In East London Market

Savills have expanded their market coverage in East London by buying established residential and commercial estate agency and property and land management firm Currell. Currell was established in 1990 and has offices in Islington, Clerkenwell, Hackney, Hackney Wick and Victoria Park, South Hackney. The existing Currell name will be retained for several months before being integrated into Savills. Savills say that the ‘acquisition is seen as a key strategic opportunity for expansion.’ James Sparrow, Chief Executive Officer,…

Purplebricks Revenue Soars, But There’s A But

Purplebricks has announced a 75% rise in revenues in its Interim Results for the six months ended 31 October 2018. Group revenue rose to £70.1m compared to £40.1m in H1 2018. UK revenue was up by 39% to £48.3m, a 25% rise. The company said international business now represents 31% of group revenue. It added that it has net cash of £103.1m and a UK hybrid market share of 74%. However, Purplebricks reported a group operating loss of £25.6m, a substantial rise from a £11.4m loss in the previous year. Michael Bruce, Group CEO,…

Purplebricks ‘Not A Genuine Disruptor’ Says Investor

Online agency Purplebricks is not likely to prove itself to be a genuine disruptor as its business model is not revolutionary enough, says an investment expert writing for an influential financial blog. Roland Head adds that there is currently not enough information to know whether the firm will hit its growth targets. Indeed, that in the near term the outlook for the firm’s stock seems to be worsening. He explains the reason for this downgrade in fortunes is that the group’s international expansion has been ramped up and so…

Emoov Crowdfunding Investors May Sue …. By Crowdfunding

Investors who used crowdfunding to invest in the failed online agency Emoov are reported as considering legal action to recover their losses. The basis of any claim seems to be that the investors were misled over the financial state of the company at the time of the crowdfunding round. Earlier this year CEO Russell Quirk forecast 550% revenue growth by 2019 and that the business would return a profit by 2020-21. A flotation had also been suggested. However, it seems some investors now believe the company was running out of…

Purplebricks Offers Lifeline To Stranded Emoov Customers

Purplebricks may be about to offer a rescue package to the customers of failed online agency Emoov, which could even see them offered some kind of financial compensation. Speaking to his Twitter followers this morning Purplebricks’ founder and CEO Michael Bruce said: “I was very sorry to hear that @emoov has had to go into administration. Sad news for the staff and of course for customers who will be wondering what’s going on. @purplebricksUK we will do what we can to help all of these customers and ensure they're not out of…

Emoov Was Unsaleable Anyway Says Analyst

Emoov, which entered administration yesterday, was unlikely to be sold as a going concern anyway – says an estate agency analyst. Speaking to website Estate Agent Today analyst Andrew Stanton suggests that there is little or no value in a pay-upfront business model. Stanton told EAT: “Why would buying Emoov and Tepilo be a strategic move? For anyone? “All you are buying is a company with lots of vendors on their books, but the cash has already been extracted from them upfront – and has been lost in the company's losses. So…

Emoov On The Brink?

Emoov could be on the brink of entering administration – but that does not mean it will disappear. The online agency – which only merged with Tepilo this spring to create a business worth a claimed £100m but which recently put itself up for sale – is reported to be close to appointing administrators. Administration won’t necessarily see the brand disappear, however. It is said that a pre-pack administration could be in the offing with a slimmed-down Emoov living on to fight another day. It is thought that founder and CEO…

Purplebricks CEO Worried About Unaffordable Mortgages

Michael Bruce, the founder and CEO of Purplebricks, has said that he is concerned that lenders are returning to the pre-credit crunch days of granting mortgages that borrowers may not be able to repay. Speaking to his Twitter followers in recent days Bruce has said: “Warning signs are here. Reports in The Times and the Daily Mail reveal the return of massive home loans with some eye-watering sums being borrowed. “YES, British people have powerful aspirations to own their own home, which is natural and a great thing. BUT,…

LSL Revenues Rise, But Says Market ‘Subdued’ And 2019 ‘Uncertain’

In its latest Trading Update LSL Property Services says that its revenue rose 3.7% to £270.5m in the ten months to 31 October. Estate agency revenues rose overall, although a rise in lettings was tempered by a fall in residential sales activity in a "challenging London market". Revenues from surveying and financial services both increased. The board said that it anticipates the full year 2018 Group Underlying Operating Profit will be "in line with its prior expectations." The company added: “Market activity levels have…

Carry On Working Or It’s Curtains, Emoov Tells Staff

Emoov will only survive if everyone carries on working as normal, senior management are reported to have told the up-for-sale agency’s staff. Jack Malnick, Emoov’s National Sales Manager, apparently told staff in an email: “If we don’t show up for work, don’t answer the phones, have the tough conversations, book viewings and valuations (and go to the ones we book) then we don’t have a business, we won’t get bought and we won’t get paid.” He added : “The only way of us all getting get paid and Emoov surviving is if we all…

The People With Power At…Purplebricks

Some people reading this may be shocked to find out that it’s six years since the Bruce brothers launched their fledgling hybrid estate agency, watched by an amused industry and a curious public. Looking at the duo today, the hair is a little thinner, the skin no longer so flush with youth, and the hard work and rumoured partying culture at Purplebricks beginning to show a little. But love them or loathe their assault on the UK market, and the downward pressure they’ve applied to many high street agent’s commission rates,…

Purplebricks CEO Bids Hooroo Mate

The CEO of Purplebricks’ Australian arm Ryan Dinsdale is to leave his post, it has been announced. After a transition period Dinsdale will leave in March 2019. He will be replaced by the company’s Chief Operating Officer (and former Rightmove executive and high-flying sales czar) Neil Tavender, who joined the company in August. Purplebricks’ share price fell to an all time low of 162p on the news, but has since rallied. Purplebricks’ latest Trading Update blamed the ‘challenges’ its Australian business has experienced on the…

Foxtons Revenue Flat As Lettings Prop Up Sales

In its Q3 Trading Update Foxtons Group Plc has reported group revenue was flat in the quarter ended 30 September. Overall revenue was the same as in 2017 at £35.1m. However, sales revenue fell from £10.3m the previous year to £9.9m, mirrored by a decline in mortgage broking revenue from £2.3m to £2.1m. Lettings proved more resilient rising from £22.5m to £23.1 compared to 2017. The report said Foxton’s ‘enhanced offer and improved resourcing enabled us to capitalise on demand in what remains an attractive market.’ Confirming…

Chain Busting Estate Agency Nested Raises £120m For Expansion

Nested has secured an injection of equity capital and also raised debt funding to take the agency to what its founder describes as ‘the next level’. Northzone, backers of Spotify, Trustpilot and Zopa – and Balderton, which backed the GoCardless team as well as companies like Revolut and CityMapper – have provided £20m in equity capital. The remainder has been raised in debt finance from an institutional investor. The latest funding follows £45m raised in 2016 and 2017. Nested, founded in 2015, calls itself the ‘first ever…

Agent Evolution: The Story Behind The New Property Viewings Model

The upmarket hotel coffee bar in central London where DealMakerz.co.uk is interviewing former Douglas & Gordon executive director Ed Mead is full of old-school suited and booted business people. Clipped accents and tailored suits float around the venue’s plush surroundings. But these days Ed sticks out where he used to blend in; he’s dressed more like a tech start-up CEO than an estate agent, sporting chino slacks and a casual jumper. And in many ways, he is one now. Ed has been running property viewings platform Viewber…

Purplebricks ‘Good Progress In A Challenging Market’

In its latest six-monthly trading update Purplebricks say that it remains on course to meet previously forecast revenue for the year of between £165-185m. In the UK, Purplebricks say that it has continued to make good progress in the last six months with year-on-year revenue growth of approximately 20% driven by double-digit growth in instructions along with a continuation of increasing average revenue per instruction. It has continued to win UK market share, with 74% of the online/hybrid sector in October, despite a…

Exclusive: Yopa CEO Speaks About Fall Of Hatched And Becoming The Next Purplebricks

Hybrid estate agency Yopa is not one for playing by the rules. The company's adverts poke fun at itself and have featured an unusual mix of celebrities including ageing disco legends the Village People and Olympic gold medallist Mo Farrah. This unconventional approach continues at its London offices. While taking a lift to meet the new CEO Ben Poynter, a small bulldog follows me in and, as we are hoisted skyward, it bares too many teeth at me for my liking. We spill out into a reception area dominated by a neon effigy of my…

Influential Investor Blog Backs “Third Portal” To Smash Purplebricks Share Price

Influential investor blog The Motley Fool has backed the so-called ‘third portal’ OnTheMarket to smash Purplebricks’ share price, suggesting the relative newcomer ‘could do very well’. Writing for TMF, experienced private investor Alan Oscroft outlines his theory and why he thinks OnTheMarket could be set to shine, while Purplebricks needs to address some fundamental issues. Purplebricks …. Purple Patch ? Oscroft says that Purplebricks’ share price seemed to be following something of a predictable pattern, where people were…

Exclusive: Ryan Serhant On UK Property, Purplebricks and Portals

Once a shy hand model with zero sales experience, Ryan Serhant has made a name for himself as one of the top real estate agents in the US. As well as raking in hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of sales each year, Serhant is now a TV star, successful author and social media hit. He appears as a co-star on Million Dollar Listing New York and was the star of the 2018 spin-off show, Sell It Like Serhant. His book of the same name came out this year and made several national bestseller lists in its first week. With such an…

Knight Frank Partners Enjoy Bumper Profits As Agency Shakes Off Prime Slowdown

The partners at Knight Frank are set to bring home record profits after the estate agency managed to shake off the downturn in the premium home market. The high-end agency, which has 70 equity partners, made a record £166.7 million of annual pre-tax profits in the year to 31 March 2018, equating to £2.38 million per partner. This is well ahead of the vast majority of the UK’s top 100 law partnerships and only slightly below the £2.5 million per partner made by "magic circle" law firm Slaughter and May, The Times reported.…

Does The Housing Market Really Need Cash Tenancy Deposit Alternatives?

Deposits have been a contentious issue since the late 1990s when the then Labour government woke up to their widespread misuse by rogue agents and landlords. Despite a report in 1998 by Citizens Advice that documented widespread pilfering of deposits, it took until 2007 for regulations to be introduced. It’s a system that has worked well for 11 years. But more recently the high cost of renting means deposits can run into thousands of pounds and put even wealthy renters under financial strain. No government is likely to…

Is Humberts’ Flight From The High Street The Future Of Estate Agency?

In July this year 176-year-old estate agent Humberts revealed it was making a journey ‘away from the high street’ with five new regional hubs replacing many of its non-franchised traditional offices. Although this was a shock for some, Humberts’ hubs in Poundbury, Tunbridge Wells, Cirencester, Exeter and Bath are a result of a seismic changes within the UK economy and the property industry driving agents to think afresh about their business model. These include rising rents, high business rates, competition from online…

Former Tory Councillor Quirk Presents Housing Proposal At Labour Conference

Russell Quirk, the founder of hybrid estate agency Emoov and a former Tory councillor, believes the key to fixing the UK’s broken housing market is to create a publicly-owned housebuilder with the government and taxpayer as its shareholders. Speaking at the Labour Party Conference on Sunday, Quirk said the government is failing to build its annual target of 300,000 homes by quite some margin and housing remains disproportionately expensive to the average homebuyer’s earnings. Social and affordable housing has all but…