TOP 10 AGENCIES SLASH AN EIGHTH OF BRANCHES
THE top 10 estate agency groups in the UK slashed their office numbers by more than an eighth during 2008.
That is the stark statistic revealed by our exclusive annual League Table focusing on the branch number of the country’s estate agency groups during the calendar year just ended.
The 399 branches closed by the leading 10 groups between them last year represented 12.7 per cent of their previous complement of offices.
Countrywide again lead the table, for the 15th year running, with a total of 1,104 offices, down 72 on the start of 2008.
But the biggest closure totals were made by the Halifax, with 84, and LSL Property Services — parent company of Your Move and Reeds Rains — with 82.
Spicerhaart also reported more than 50 closures, while 45 former Humberts offices were lost during the year as that chain suffered financial problems and saw some 34 branches rescued by Chesterton. Of the 50 agency groups featured in the table, no fewer than 29 of them reported a reduction in office numbers, with 16 unchanged, and just five showing an increase.
Venmores of Merseyside, Burch-ell Edwards of the Midlands and Dedman Property Services of Essex are among other agencies which hit trouble in recent months amid the economic downturn.