In a trading update this morning Countrywide said that in the third quarter this year, its estate agency revenue was down almost £10m compared with the same time last year.
It also looks to have paused its digital roll-out, pending evaluation.
Estate agency revenue was £47.8m, compared with £57m in the same quarter last year. However, transaction levels were up compared with the first two quarters of this year, with Q3 revenue up 2% on the second quarter.
Its total group revenue was £175.1m, up 2% on the second quarter but 7% down year on year.
It said: “This represents a resilient performance in London sales and lettings and in financial services, and a solid performance in business-to-business, offsetting the effects of slower housing transactions across the UK.
“Despite the sustained challenges in the estate agency market, our cost actions are delivering. As in previous years, the final quarter remains important and we currently expect our results for the full year to be towards the lower end of the range of market expectations.”
Countrywide said its digital proposition has now been rolled out to over 50% of its network “and generally delivers a net benefit in market share”.
It added: “We are continuing to evaluate our position in the markets that benefit from the digital offering before rolling out this proposition to the rest of the network.”
In July, Countrywide said that its digital offering was available in 50% of its branches and that it remained on track to “broaden our digital capability”.
This morning’s trading update continues: “Year on year revenue for Q3 in London was down 5% while the UK estate agency declined 23%, reflecting the strong comparatives in Q3 2016 prior to the full effect of the market uncertainty which affected the fourth quarter of 2016.”
Third quarter lettings revenue also declined, down from £49m in the same quarter last year to £47.3m.
Business to business revenue was up, with Countrywide renewing its partnership with Nationwide as its primary provider of valuations and surveys.
Countrywide CEO Alison Platt said that Countrywide has a “clear strategy” founded on being the provider of choice for property services in the UK, and that the group’s focus on cost remains unabated. She said: “We are mobilising the next phase of our cost transformation programme.
“The market for housing transactions remains challenging and is likely to be down overall compared with 2016.
“As in previous years, the final quarter remains important and we currently expect our results for the full year to be towards the lower end of the range of market expectations.”