Almost 2,500 estate and letting agency firms have gone bust in the last five years.
In England and Wales, 2,181 went out of business, with 265 business failures in Scotland since 2013.
The figures were researched by Scottish agent DJ Alexander, whose managing director David Alexander told publication Insider that there were a number of factors in play including the general slowdown of the high street, where the likes of Marks & Spencer and Debenhams have told of a large number of store closures.
He said: “Clearly online competition has had a dramatic impact on the high street with its lower cost base and its generational and cultural shift from on-street to online shopping.”
He added: “The generational and cultural change is enormous. For most people under 40 the idea of wandering from shop to shop in city centres is alien to them and they conduct many of their purchases on their phones, tablets or computers.
“This situation is only likely to continue and we can see that high street outlets such as estate agents are suffering as a result and will continue to suffer over the next few years.”
Alexander said that rents and business rates have also played a part, while a further issue for letting agents is the way the property investment market has been hit by tax changes, resulting in a thinning out of smaller landlords.
Alexander, whose business has branches in Edinburgh and Glasgow, said more people would look online for a one-stop shop for their property needs.
He went on: “The loss of the high street estate agent does not mean less service. In fact it means more, with a greater focus on the needs of the client.”
He said it was a brave new world, where estate agency will continue to exist, but not in the same way.
He said that there will be more closures as the market adjusts.
The full piece is at: https://www.insider.co.uk/news/dj-alexander-estate-agents-bust-12971168