A City consultancy has noted every property advertised on Rightmove in recent months and will track them throughout 2017 in a bid to understand sales patterns and agents’ approaches to using portals.
Jefferies - a City firm with a growing interest in the residential sector, and in the past used by ZPG and Countrywide to assist their stock market activities - says it has details of every home listed on Rightmove since November 2016 and will track all of those properties through to the Land Registry database during 2017.
“We hope that this will definitively prove which agents are most effective at selling homes. We are also tracking the price of homes from initial listing to completed sale, and the time taken to sell” says a note from Jefferies’ analyst Anthony Codling.
Jefferies says the exercise will also put more light on so-called portal juggling - delisting and relisting homes toi suggest they may be new to the market, and to give the impression that an agency is busier than it may be in reality.
“The practice [of portal juggling] is widespread across the industry, although overall it is more prevalent among the hybrids than the traditional agents” says Codling, citing data showing that while the hybrid agency sector has only about four per cent market share, it “accounted for 30.5 per cent of the top 50 juggled properties.”
Codling continues: “When we look across the market at agents that have juggled 10 or more properties, the hybrids account for 41 per cent of all the juggles (10 times their four per cent market share), while the traditional agents, with 96 per cent market share, account for 59 per cent of juggles.
“Our own research shows that Purplebricks' sale agreed/listing ratio is 89.5 per cent, whereas Countrywide's is 60.2 per cent, LSL's 50.6 per cent and Foxtons' 48.8 per cent. These are very big differences in performance. Could there be a link between portal juggling and the success of an estate agent?” asks Codling.
He suggests that the result of the Jefferies analysis in 2017 may produce an answer.