The Property Ombudsman, the largest and longest-established of three official redress schemes for agents, has recorded a significant rise in membership from the sales sector - including a 25 per cent increase in online agents.
Details of TPO’s interim report, for the first half of 2015, have now been released and shows an overall 16 per cent increase in members over the comparable period of 2014. Some of this has come from lettings agents, which have been obliged to join a redress scheme since last October.
However, the number of sales offices registered as members of TPO has risen from June 2014‘s figure of 12,655 (including 204 online-only agents) to a June 2015 total of 14,452 (including 253 online-only agents).
There has also been a dramatic rise in the number of buying agents in TPO - again in response to new regulations - increasing from 433 in the middle of last year to 619 by the end of June this year.
The good news for the sales sector is that a detailed breakdown of enquiries to TPO - many of which are disputes with agents - shows that the number regarding sales agents in the first half of this year was down from 2,828 in 2014 to 2780 this year.
The full TPO report is here.