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General election and legislation driving agency sales - claim

Extra tax and rising costs drove agency acquisitions last year and more are expected in 2024.

Agency broker Atomic Consultancy has said it has more than 7,000 buyers registered, with firms particularly keen on rental portfolios.

Atomic said it has already facilitated 68 deals totalling more than £20m since launch two years ago, with a further £10.5m currently in the pipeline for the first quarter of 2024.

Some of the main factors for selling up last year were recruitment, retirement, cost increases hitting profitability, legislative requirements, tax changes and a refocus on sales operations while capitalising on lettings values.

Atomic said it is working with professional investment funds who recognise the returns on investment offered by lettings portfolios, while international buyers also want to enter the rental sector.

For 2024, Atomic is predicting large portfolio exists of owners with four-plus offers and £3m-plus lettings portfolios.

It also predicts some agents will sell before a General Election in fear of tax changes, while it also suggests self-employed agents building lettings portfolios could become acquisition targets.

Laura Cooper, acquisitions director at Atomic, said: “We’re seeing the same factors which influenced activity in 2023 continue.

“Along with some additional aspects which are driving activity even further.” 

Lucy Noonan, founder of Atomic Consultancy, added:  "With all the moving pieces, navigating the acquisition landscape can be complex.

"The consistent message we hear is the immense value of seeking expert advice before making any decisions."


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