The estate agency sector is close to being hit by a fall-through per minute as an industry veteran warns that the sector is in ‘crisis mode’ due to the level of sales collapsing amid the cost of living crisis.
Analysis of TwentyEA data by Bryan Mansell, founder of proptech firm Gazeal, has found that there were 27,950 sold subject to contract (SSTC) listings that went back on the market during November in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
That compares with 22,426 in the same month last year.
On 1 December, there were 3,343 new listings, 3,368 price reductions, 4,700 SSTC properties and 1,101 fall-throughs.
There are 1,440 minutes in a day, suggesting there is a fall through for almost every minute across the agency sector.
On the same day, there were 3,500 properties withdrawn from the market, higher than the level of new listings.
Mansell, who has held senior roles with Your Move, Countrywide and Foxtons, said he can’t remember the fall-through statistics being this high since the financial crisis.
He told Estate Agent Today: “Agents may not see this now as they have pipelines coming through from three to four months ago but this will hit their commissions and their bottom line.
“This is a crisis. People are worried because of the economic situation.
“When agents get an aborted sale it will now possibly take longer to find a new buyer, this is going to shatter people’s dreams.”
Mansell said he recognised agents may not recognise this locally and could highlight seasonal factors, but said they should be prepared in case things don’t change in the new year.
He suggested that agents are going to find things tougher in the second quarter of next year, adding: “The industry is asleep.
“We are all focused on getting the technology right and getting things done faster, but that doesn’t matter if people then pull out of purchases.”
Mansell added that this isn’t about pushing Gazeal’s reservation agreements, he said: “Whether it is a reservation or someone else I am not overly bothered.
“Agents should be thinking of their customer first and looking at alternative methods of sale that provide certainty.”