The share prices of Countrywide and LSL Property Services diverged yesterday in response to both agency groups being downgraded by influential City consultancy Jefferies.
The consultancy moved each of the agency groups from ‘Buy’ to ‘Hold’, citing a raft of what it called “strong headwinds” in the residential market - Brexit uncertainty, the falling pound, fall-out from stamp duty rising at the higher end of the market, and wider economic volatility likely in the coming year.
The announcement from Jefferies - carried on EAT yesterday - came in a note to investors shortly before trading started on the London Stock Exchange.
Within 20 minutes Countrywide’s price fell sharply to 187.1 - a drop of well over 10 points on its closing figure the previous day - and during the day slipped further. It eventually closed down 16 at 186.0.
Just over two and a half years ago, Countrywide’s share price was valued at over 685.
LSL Property Services briefly rose by over one per cent in early trading but then slipped a little: even so, it closed down only 0.25 at 194.50.