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Online agency market share dwindles again

The market share of online and hybrid agents reduced further during the second quarter of 2023, new figures show.

Analysis from property data company TwentyCi shows the market share of hybrid and online agents for exchanges was 6.4% in the second quarter of 2023, down from 6.5% in the first three months of the year and well below the peak of 8.2% in 2019. 

Purplebricks, Yopa and Strike remained the dominant brands, together representing over 70% of all activity. 


TwentyCi suggested the challenges faced by Purplebricks in 2023 and its acquisition by Strike, have “undoubtedly weakened the brand.”

These types of business continue to congregate in the lower value categories, but even among properties below £350,00, online market share has fallen by 0.3%, according to the report.

The failure by online agents to be adopted by sellers of higher-value properties will inhibit their ability to establish significant market share in London and the South East, where property value and density are at their greatest, TwentyCi warned.

TwentyCi also expressed surprise at the performance of online agents given the economic environment.

It said: “With the pressures faced by the housing market and households facing cost of living challenges, you might be forgiven for thinking that this would encourage sellers to seek out the opportunity for lower fees from the onlines.

“Yet our analysis tends to indicate the opposite. It is possible that in uncertain times, sellers particularly those concerned with higher-value transactions, are seeking out the advice and expertise of established agents to guide them through the choppier waters.”

The figures were included in TwentyCi’s Property & Homemover Q2 2023 report.

The document also showed sales agreed during the period increased by 14.5% to 305,000, while almost seven in 10 properties listed in 2023 have sold, despite prices remaining well above pre-pandemic levels.  

New instructions are also on the rise, 11% higher than in the first quarter of 2023, resulting in 445,160 new properties coming to the market during the quarter.

A proportion of these are a result of mortgage stress, TwentyCi said, but there is a” significant and solid core level of activity.”

Mortgage challenges are also reflected by the increased level of fall-throughs, up 10.3%, while the number of withdrawals went up by 0.4% during the quarter.

The number of exchanges has also dropped by 12.5%, but TwentyCi said this reflects the lower level of sales agreed at the end of last year.

Colin Bradshaw, chief executive of TwentyCi, said: “There has been no shortage of speculation declaring doom for the housing market.

“The economic backdrop does, of course, remain a concern and all eyes should be on whether inflation slows and so interest rates stabilise, but the signs are that the owner-occupied market is proving remarkably resilient.” 


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