0800 644 6080
Call FREE from Landline and Mobile
Est. 1989

Almost 1 in 5 Estate Agents ‘At Risk of Insolvency’

Written by: Keith Tully

Published: 25th August 2017

estate agent windowAlmost one in every five estate agents around the UK are facing seriously tough financial challenges and are at risk of becoming insolvent.

That’s according to research carried out by the law firm Moore Stephens, which is convinced that 19 per cent of all traditional estate agents around the country are currently exhibiting signs that indicate they are at risk of going insolvent.

A key part of the problem for many traditional estate agents is understood to be that they’re struggling to maintain profitability in the face of growing competition from online-only estate agents. 

While traditional estate agents typically have relatively high overheads, including office rents and staff costs, their online competitors are able to keep their costs considerably lower as they focus on certain sectors of the market.

Adding to the challenges estate agents are facing is that fact that potential house buyers can now view any number of properties via websites and mobile apps, such as those of Zoopla and Rightmove, without needing to liaise directly with any local agency experts.

Furthermore, fewer houses are now being sold on an annual basis, as compared with a decade ago.

Official figures suggest that while there were roughly 1.7 million properties sold across the UK in the year 2006/7, that number was down by almost a third to 1.2 million during 2016/17.

According to Moore Stephens, a relatively high number of British homeowners are now preferring to improve and add extensions to their current homes rather than invest the time and money it takes to move into a new place.

All of which is adding up to a challenging operational environment for traditional estate agents and many are now seemingly in serious financial difficulty.

“Traditional high street estate agents’ profit margins are being squeezed from both sides – from cut price online competitors, to their larger counterparts on the high street – who are forcing them to up their spending or give up the race,” says Mike Finch from Moore Stephens.

“Many areas across the UK are oversaturated with estate agents, and competition is becoming too much for some smaller businesses.”

Keith Tully

Keith Tully

Join Keith Tully on Linked In Follow Keith Tully on Twitter

Keith has been involved in Business Rescue since 1992, during which time he’s worked for both independent and national firms. His specialties include company restructuring matters and negotiating with HMRC on his clients behalf.

Meet our Team of Experts
Director Support - Business suffering from Cash-Flow Problems?
If your company is financially distressed, we also offer the below services:
Business debt recovery

  • Recover Unpaid Invoices of £5k+
  • Expert Credit Control Services
  • Stop Late Payers & Bad Debts
Visit Site
Time to pay experts

  • Get Breathing Space with HMRC
  • Support with Business Tax Arrears
  • 35 Years HMRC Negotiation
Visit Site
UK Business Finance

  • Rejected for a CBILS Loan?
  • Get Emergency Business Funding
  • Supporting 1000+ UK Companies
Visit Site
Who we help
  • Company Directors
  • Finance Directors
  • Sole Traders
  • Accountants
  • Small Businesses
  • Large Businesses
  • Partnerships
Contact our team
Jonathan Munnery
Gillian Sayburn
Julie Palmer
or Find your Nearest Office

Here at Real Business Rescue we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See PRIVACY POLICY

Business Rescue Advice for Directors
Free Guide for Limited Company Directors
Business Rescue Advice for Directors
  • How to manage company cash flow problems
  • Advice on dealing with HMRC
  • Understanding rescue and closure options
  • And much more...
Free Guide Download
Dealing with your Insolvent Clients
Business Rescue Guide for Accountants
Dealing with your Insolvent Clients
  • Helping you advise insolvent clients
  • Spotting signs of client distress
  • Exploring business rescue options
  • And much more...
Free Guide Download
Our numbers speak for themselves
Number of UK Offices
Directors Helped
Licensed Insolvency Practitioners