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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Foxtons shuts another office, relocating team to nearby branch

Estate Agent Today can reveal that Foxtons has closed another London agency office - this time at Barnes in the borough of Richmond on Thames.

Yesterday it was reported that the agency’s flagship Park Lane office was closing and instead its nearby Marylebone branch would handle prime central London business.

Now EAT has found that Barnes has also shut with enquirers by telephone being told by Foxtons staff that the Barnes office is closed and its business is now being handled by the firm’s Putney branch.

A statement from the company to EAT this morning says: “Foxtons has always used leading technology to support an efficient business and superior customer proposition. By investing in industry-leading technology we’re able to increase the reach of our branches, which is why our Barnes team has recently moved into our branch in Putney. Our business is built to serve customers better, and our technology means we bring together the right people with the right homes, wherever they are.”

The Barnes closure is believed to have happened some weeks ago but to have been unreported until now. The decision to open in Barnes was taken by Foxtons relatively recently in early 2015 - it was one of five branches opened at the time, with the others in Walthamstow, West Hampstead, Ruislip and Bromley. 

In 2015 Foxtons chief executive Nic Budden commented: "We are very excited to take the next step in our expansion strategy with the launch of these new offices. With years of experience operating in these areas from our neighbouring offices, we now look forward to offering our unparalleled expertise and knowledge to the local communities”.

A rival agent operating in the Barnes area, who wishes to remain anonymous, told EAT that this closure was in some ways more telling than the Park Lane decision.

“In Park Lane the decision was strategic - rents would have been extremely high so it was logical to close and base activities in a nearby office. With Barnes, however, it was a bad decision to open and the branch always struggled for business. This closure is a sign of failure.”

The announcement about Park Lane did little to alter stock market investors’ views of Foxtons.

Its share price closed yesterday relatively unchanged from its opening price but analysis by Hargreaves Lansdown shows that the company has lost around 18 per cent of its value over the past year and over 77 per cent over the past three years.

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    My local branch in North London seems to rarely have more than 3 properties under offer. Is that one sale a month? I guess their lettings must keep them going. The model they use..we get you a higher price, only works when prices are going up.

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    Foxtons needs to cut 420 staff at a cost of 8m/12m to protect the bottom line
    I do not expect them to roll back into a small profit and then be in a position to build on this for 2 years
    its simply a case of showing the stock exchange a more robust position as they actively pace the bottom
    of the market "hence they been slow to act " the market will continue to feel this in the real economy
    67 branches and the head office costs should be 750 staff not 1170 in year 3

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    Everyone needs to adjust their cost base to the new market Purple Bricks will be blood red into continued losses leading the sector down real sales volume has all but collapsed and we are in a new low with a long period walking and trying to survive the bottom

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    External Buyers will return " after the " Brexit " in fighting is over " with real prices down 7% in bubble areas with the fall in sterling 23% a natural 30% discount will prevail rate rises are a mistake and are just being used as a political tool in case of a no deal scenario
    Damages in bringing the real economy to an ill timed stand still "a mistake" if you are loosing 15m a years from your sales driven housing related purchases
    15m must be removed from your cost base which in the end is more robust less staff and staying in Business to be in better financial shape moving forward "with no help from the Government expected"

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