A trading statement from Countrywide this morning continues the decline shown by the agency group in recent years.
It says total income in the sales and lettings business for the full year is expected to be circa £360m, down 14 per cent on 2016, “reflecting a disappointing fourth quarter performance.”
Total Countrywide group income for the full year - including non-agency activity such as financial services - is expected to be circa £672m (2016: £737m), with quarter four income of circa £164m (2016: £179m).
Income in the UK business is expected to be circa £205m, down 17 per cent year on year, and in London is expected to be circa £155m, down 10 per cent.
Lettings income - which has saved the day for many agencies - is expected to be down four per cent in Countrywide’s case, at circa £169m, driven by an eight per cent decline in the UK, with London lettings revenue flat year on year.
The statement - which unusually does not include any quote from chief executive Alison Platt - adds that the group’s business to business activities, including commercial property arm Lambert Smith Hampton, is expected to deliver strong growth for 2017.
It adds that: “Financial Services delivered a resilient performance overall with double digit income growth across the combined Buy to Let Business, Mortgage Bureau and Mortgage Intelligence channels offset by lower transactional volumes from estate agency.”
The company will announce its preliminary results on March 8.