Franchise network Belvoir says a combination of Brexit and stamp duty have unsettled the housing market - although despite this the company has recorded a strong six month period marked by substantial growth.
In its interim figures to the City, Belvoir says it has added substantially to its network of outlets (up 109 on a year ago), chiefly thanks to the acquisition of Northwood which added 86 new offices.
Management service fees were identified in the figures as a key indicator of the success of the franchise owners, increasing by 46 per cent to £2.6m.
The group’s adjusted profit before tax increased 69 per cent to £1.3m, and the number of managed properties increasing significantly from 37,000 to around 54,000.
“We are now firmly positioned as the largest property franchise Group in the UK and Belvoir is well placed to benefit from consolidation in the sector both as individual franchisees and as a franchisor” says the firm.
Locally the firm says its strategy is to assist franchise holders to purchase local lettings outlets while the group as a whole pursues a strategy of acquiring larger franchised networks.
Mike Goddard, chairman of the group, says the period covered by the figures - to the end of June - has not been plain sailing however.
“Both the sales and the lettings markets have been unsettled during the first half of the year due to the changes to the tax regime and stamp duty for buy to let landlords and the uncertainty leading up to the EU referendum. However, the underlying demand for property continues, and, although organic growth has been tempered during the period, opportunities for the group to grow through acquisitions and consolidation of the marketplace continues to accelerate” he says.
The figures reveal that 50 per cent of staff at Belvoir - hitherto perceived as very strongly skewed to the letting sector - are now trained to offer estate agency.