Estate agency and property
services group Countrywide Plc have put five branches up for sale by auction
and are looking to rent them back from the purchaser, a report says.
The affected branches,
operated under various Countrywide brands, are at Airdrie, Bridge of Weir,
Castle Bromwich, St Mawes and Whitby.
Countrywide is hoping to achieve around £800,000 in total from the sales.
Estate Agent Today reports
that Countrywide says these branches are being sold since they are not a
property investment company and that the capital can be redeployed more
effectively. It says that these are the only branches of which Countrywide owns
Countrywide has been struggling of late in a difficult market for estate agency, reporting decreasing sales and increasing losses – amounting to £218m in 2018 – and necessitating a recapitalisation and the implementation of a ‘back to basics’ turnround strategy. Although the company may argue otherwise it’s difficult to see this as anything but a way to raise some extra cash – cash which, in the scheme of things, won’t go all that far at all.