Purplebricks will take 10% market share in both the UK and Australia, analysts at consultancy firm Hardman & Co said yesterday.
However another analyst, Anthony Codling of Jefferies, traded verbal punches with Purplebricks boss Michael Bruce, with Codling noting that yesterday’s trading update did not provide sales figures.
Codling said: “Once again Purplebricks has chosen to major on growth in instructions without telling us how many homes it has actually helped to sell.
“We continue to be surprised that this simple question is left unanswered.”
But Bruce claimed Purplebricks is selling more homes “than ever before”.
He said: “We are selling lots of houses and giving great service. I am happy at the level of properties we are selling.”
The Hardman & Co report to investors said that the hybrid agent is “rapidly closing in” on becoming the third largest UK agent.
Last November Purplebricks laid claim to fourth place, putting itself behind Countrywide, Connells and LSL, and ahead of Spicerhaart, Foxtons, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, and Savills.
Hardman & Co said that Purplebricks will become the UK’s third largest agent by the turn of this year.
It also believes Purplebricks will achieve break-even point in the UK in the second half of next year.
In Australia – where Hardman & Co describes the opportunity as “that large” – it thinks Purplebricks will chalk up an £11m loss in the first two years before making a profit in 2020.
The report also drew attention to Purplebricks’ business model, saying that a sale occurs when the seller instructs Purplebricks and is not contingent on a house sale.
The report summarises Purplebricks as a “disruptive model” continuing to make solid UK market share gains, and offering service “some 75% less expensive – and better – to the clients”.
Hardman & Co also noted that a significant share ‘lock-in’ holding period expired recently, with the remaining lock-in expiring late this year.
This could, for example, mean founders and backers selling shares, and releasing more of them on the market.
When Purplebricks launched on the stock market last December it was with a £240m valuation but only 20% of that figure was made available for trading.
Yesterday, shares in Purplebricks bounced up and down in value, ending the day up 3.25p at 135p.