Savills has this morning talked up its investment in onliner Yopa, which it claims is the sixth largest estate agency in the UK.
In a report to shareholders, Savills appears not to have followed in the footsteps of LSL Property Services - another large traditional agency - which last week wrote down the value of its own investment in Yopa by a startling 61 per cent.
Indeed, Savills appears to have slightly increased the undisclosed sum it has put into Yopa.
In the company's trading figures for 2018, released this morning, chairman Nicholas Ferguson speaks of Grosvenor Hill Ventures, the investment arm of Savills: “Our largest investment to date is in YOPA, the digital hybrid residential UK estate agent, which has grown to become the 6th largest UK estate agent. During the year Grosvenor Hill Ventures made a small additional investment in YOPA to support this growth and also in VuCity, which is a digital city modelling platform, initially focused on optimising development and planning applications for developers, architects, planners and local authorities.”
In its report on its own High Street high-end residential agency results, the company says that in 2018 it performed well, “growing market share in challenging conditions.”
Exchanges of existing properties were one per cent up on 2017, offsetting a two per cent fall in average sale value.
“Our Prime Central London residential business performed well with, the number of properties exchanged growing by four per cent despite average values transacted declining by four per cent. Of particular note was the substantial increase in transactions with capital values in excess of £15m, which increased by 43 per cent year-on-year” the company tells its shareholders today.
Outside London - which represents 54 per cent of Savills’ second hand agency residential revenue - exchanges and capital values transacted were both flat year-on-year “with strong performances in the North, Scotland and the Cotswolds offset by weaker markets elsewhere.”
Revenue for new homes in 2018 was much as in 2017 although average transaction values and the number of exchanges both increased by two per cent.
Including its Capital Markets investment and Build To Rent activities, Savills UK residential transaction sector recorded a six per cent decrease in underlying profits to £17.6m with the underlying profit margin down to 13.4 per cent from 2017’s 14.5 per cent.