Disputing Claims: Record Year for Estate Agents or 12 Percent Fall?


Estate agents in Suffolk and Norfolk have declared that business was much swifter for them in 2018 than in 2017. However, an annual report on performance of the industry shows that transactions dropped by a whopping 12%.

Accursing to Sowerbys’ Norwich manager, Jonathan Wood, their office made record sales in August, 2018, as compared to the same period the previous year. He said that October, 2018 was even much better, as compared to October, 2017. They experience a surge in their November sales. Jonathan attributed their office’s remarkable performance to reasonable pricing, pin point instruction and brand, with property finder UK services showing great growth.

He acknowledged that one has to work the market in order to achieve the desired results. According to him, Brexit hasn’t had a very major impact on the industry, saying that it only made people a bit nervous, causing them to bring forward their sales. For players in the industry, the message is clear: Brexit or no Brexit, people have to keep moving.

The 12% Fall in Sales

According to the latest statistics by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 8,182 properties exchanged ownership in Norfolk by the end of July 2018. This is a 12% drop in property sales in the same period the previous year. In Suffolk, the trend was the same. Property sales totalled 6,603 over the same period, representing an 8% decrease. In Norfolk, the first six months saw the sale of 928 new homes, representing a 13% drop in home sales over the same period of time the previous year.

Opinions from Market players

For Paul Le Grice, business has been swift the year. The Abel Homes’ Managing Director, whose company operates in both Norfolk and Suffolk, was quotes as saying that they made 10% more sales in 2018 than in the same period in 2017. According to him, Brexit has only led to reduced reservations, as well as hesitation due to uncertainty.

Mr Grice said that his company has no plans to scale down operations. Prices are not letting up, a strong indicator of the quality of homes they are building. The low maintenance, energy efficient homes mean that owners are full control of costs. The fact that Abel homes is opening up new sites for 2019/is evidence that they have nothing to fear about Brexit.

For Joanna McIntyre, his company, Musket McIntyre, whose operations span across Norfolk and Suffolk, experiences a slight drop in transactions in the first half of the year. He said that the latter half of 2018 has seen a rise in business, with more properties released into the market, and plenty of offers from buyers who are on the move.

Joanna does not, however, solely blame the drop in sales to Brexit. He also mentioned increase in stamp duty and challenges with finding the initial deposit, especially for first time buyers. He added that some home owners only want to adjustments to their homes to create more space.

Having looked at both sides of the coin, it is evident that the real estate market is still buoyant, inspire of the Brexit winds, among other political headwinds. Industry players are confident and are not letting up, and this this is great for the industry.