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Estate agencies - who's gone bust in ’09

publication date: Jan 4, 2010
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Estate agency closuresConfirmation of the impression of estate agents closing on every high street across the UK came today with the publication of Boom and Bust – a review of estate and letting agents.

The research was carried out by The Local Data Company which tracks 705 centres on a variety of market topics. It finds that 142 estate agents – 15.8 per cent - have closed in the year to October 2009.

The larger chains have closed most branches 171 according to The Local Data Company – Halifax lost 45 branches, nearly 31 per cent of its branches. Bairstow Eves lost 44, which is 20 per cent of the total number of branches while Your Move closed 34 and Haart locked the doors on 25 of its offices.

There is little evidence that any particular region is worse hit than another, although Bairstow Eves’ cull saw the loss of 14 Greater London branches, 10 in the South East and 7 in the East Midlands. The Halifax axe fell on 16 branches in the South East and 9 in the North West, with more closures likely following their sale to LSL.

Bad news for hundreds of estate agency staff and even that is not the full picture of the impact that this recession has had on estate agency. There are many offices in all areas of the UK where the branch has remained open for business but staff numbers have been drastically cut.

Many of those made redundant will be moving out of the industry but some souls are brave enough to go for another job in agency, or even start their own, as reported in PROPERTYdrum’s October issue.

The Local Data Company says that there are now 9167 estate and letting agencies in its 705 tracked centres, comprising 6243 or 68.1 per cent independents and 2924 or 31.9 per cent multiple branch companies.