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Online agencies fail once again to push market share above five per cent

An analysis of the market share of online agents shows they are on 4.8 per cent - virtually unchanged from the position a year ago.

The Advisory, a consultancy that monitors housing market trends, says that in the two weeks to last Friday, January 31 2020, online agents recorded a 4.8 per cent share. This was based on 90,933 homes coming to market in that fortnight period.

In the two week period before January 31 2019 the share was an almost identical 4.58 per cent. That was based on 99,519 homes coming to market in the fortnight in question.

Other factors were very similar too.

For example, in the two week period this year, 2020, Purplebricks had 2,843 new listings; in the same period of 2019 in was 2,843.  Purplebricks’ share of there online sector was 71.9 per cent this year and 69.4 per cent in 2019.

It’s a similar story in principle for Yopa; 466 listings in the two week period of 2020 and 450 listings in 2019.

But the big exception is Housesimple which, according to The Advisory, had just 311 new listings in the fortnight under analysis in 2020. A year earlier it had 411. “Housesimple seems to be going backwards” was the description included in The Advisory’s note to journalists about the analysis.

Housesimple, which in June 2019 announced it was listing some homes for free, claimed in December that it was the second largest estate agency in some parts of the UK. Also in 2019 it recruited an external marketing firm to operate “across a PR, social and content brief to support the national roll-out of its new ‘sell your home for free’ service.”

Gavin Brazg, founder of The Advisory, says: “The online estate agency sector continues to bump along at the circa. five per cent of market share mark.With Purplebricks market share of new listings (last 14 days) being 3.12 per cent of the entire market, they are going to need to pull some big rabbits out of some big hats in order to get to their stated goal of 10 per cent market share. 2020 will be an interesting year.”

  • Chris Arnold

    In my humble opinion, the underlying reason for lack of uptake with online is the lack of trust. There is no message, other than "we are cheaper", which in itself, does little to instill trust.
    We have seen it with the likes of the old eMoov whose strap line was "We're starting a movement." How inspiring was that?
    Trust is created by vendors understanding who is behind the brand and ascertaining whether there is affinity. The easiest way is to prove your worth through story, and for those of a more courageous nature, through personal brand.
    Until that step-change in marketing, agencies will be perceived as the commodity and face-to-face interactions will win. Online needs to get their 'story' straight in order to grow.

  • icon

    I'm not shocked by those figures at all to be honest - I own an EA and the best product we provide for our client's knowledge. We know exactly how much to put a property on the market for and within a few 100 pounds how much it will value at. We actually earn our money and pay for ourselves - This is something online EA's do not/can't provide. The person who you have an appointment with is a "contract signer" - Do not mistake this person for an Estate Agent because they are not! Certainly not a "Property Expert"? What is one of those anyway?? PB, Yopa, Housesimple and the like are a way to get your property on the internet - Simple as that. If you want to achieve the BEST price for your property then chose an agent in your area - Yeah sure it might cost 3k in selling fees, however, the agent will probably get you 5k more than what the online agents can get - putting an extra 2k in your pocket!

  • icon

    These figures are devastating for the three main online-only brigade especially Housesimple, who seemingly can't even give their offering away. Will be surprised if any of the three are still around this time next year.


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