Purplebricks is biggest agent in UK while Connells overtakes Countrywide, says mystery new league table

New league tables of estate agencies have appeared on the internet, showing Purplebricks on the top of the leaderboard while Connells has overtaken Countrywide in terms of listings as the UK’s largest estate agent.

However, it is not known who has placed the league tables online and who made EYE aware of them.

We have made repeated attempts to ask them to respond but without success.

Various sources that we thought might have provided the information have denied this is the case.

We have also seen other new statistics, not provided online or anywhere in the public domain, which show somewhat different figures, but nevertheless show Purplebricks firmly ahead of any other single-brand agent.

There is absolutely no suggestion that Purplebricks itself has tried to lodge this information with us, and the language used does not tally with anything Purplebricks has previously released to us.

Robert May, one of those we asked about the mystery league table, told us last night that it was nothing to do with him.

He said: “I can see no practical use in such a league table. It is of no help to vendors choosing an agent to successfully sell their home.  It might have some value to someone but I can’t think who. Listings is vanity, completions is sanity.”

Despite the anonymity and our being unable to vouch for the tables we show below, we thought they looked interesting enough to share with readers.

Our unknown correspondent tells us: “We have spent a considerable amount of time producing the three estate agency league tables as of December 2017.

“We are trying to provide some transparency to the amount of current property available (not including Under Offer, SSTC, commercial or new build) properties for sale with the major players in the industry.”

The last time anything similar was published was in 2009, when Estate Agency News was still published. Its methodology was to do with physical size of each company by number of branches: http://www.estateagencynews.co.uk/league.asp

The latest methodology looks to be completely different and goes by property listings on Rightmove, Zoopla, OnTheMarket, Scottish portal S1Homes, Irish websites Property Pal and Property News, and Home.

If the assessment is accurate, then Purplebricks is the largest single estate agency brand by listing – a claim that Purplebricks itself makes.

It is followed by Your Move, with two Connells brands in third and fourth place, followed by haart.

By estate agency group, Connells beats Countrywide into second place, with Purplebricks in third.

The third league table shows that Purplebricks also tops the list of hybrid/online agents – and by the kind of margin which enabled it to claim this month that it now has 74% of the online/hybrid market share.

The notes that follow the league tables are made by the compiler.

Estate Agency Brand Table

This table shows the top 20 estate agency brands in the UK by number of available properties in Dec 2017.

Rank Estate Agency Brand Available Properties
1 Purplebricks (Hybrid/ Online) 14,514
2 Your Move (LSL) 6,498
3 William H. Brown (Connells) 5,509
4 Connells (Connells) 4,657
5 Haart (Spicerhaart) 4,579
6 Reeds Rains (LSL) 4,372
7 Hunters 4,216
8 Foxtons 3,624
9 Express Estate Agency (Hybrid/ Online) 3,043
10 Savills 2,614
11 Bairstow Eves (Countrywide) 2,410
12 Bridgfords (Countrywide) 2,234
13 Chancellors 2,161
14 Knight Frank 2,064
15 Hamptons (Countrywide) 2,038
16 Pattinson Estate Agents 1,889
17 Farrell Heyworth 1,797
18 Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward 1,770
19 Winkworth 1,693
20 Dexters 1,642

 

Estate Agency Group Table

This table shows the top 20 estate agency groups in the UK by number of available properties in Dec 2017.

The brands for all estate agencies have been combined into groups. For example, Ward & Partners, Cubitt & West, Douglas Allen and Pittis are combined to give a grand total for Arun Estates.

Rank Estate Agency Group Available Properties
1 Connells 19,554
2 Countrywide 19,285
3 Purplebricks (Hybrid/ Online) 14,514
4 LSL 11,547
5 Spicerhaart 6,459
6 The Property Franchise Group 4,311
7 Hunters 4,216
8 Foxtons 3,624
9 Arun Estates 3,206
10 Express Estate Agency (Hybrid/ Online) 3,043
11 Savills 2,614
12 Chancellors 2,161
13 Knight Frank 2,064
14 Pattinson Estate Agents 1,889
15 Leaders Romans Group 1,850
16 Farrell Heyworth 1,797
17 Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward 1,770
18 Winkworth 1,693
19 Dexters 1,642
20 YOPA (Hybrid/ Online) 1,640

 

Hybrid/ Online Estate Agency Table

This table shows the top 20 hybrid/ online estate agencies in the UK by number of available properties in Dec 2017.

Rank Hybrid/ Online Estate Agency Available Properties
1 Purplebricks 14,514
2 Express Estate Agency 3,043
3 YOPA 1,640
4 HouseSimple 1,458
5 EasyProperty.com 1,075
6 eMoov.co.uk 1,031
7 Tepilo 1,027
8 Springbok Properties 862
9 Doorsteps.co.uk 836
10 EweMove 613
11 House Network 605
12 Hatched.co.uk 302
13 Open House Estate Agents 252
14 Excel Estate Agency 228
15 Settled 217
16 Sell Simple Estate Agency 189
17 sellmyhome.co.uk 150
18 SOLD.co.uk 96
19 GetAnOffer 94
20 WeLocate 58

 

Here are some of the key findings and general comments:

  • The tables have been generated based on data from December 2017. This is the end of the quietest quarter of the year so available properties are expected to be at its lowest point due to seasonality
  • Connells are (maybe surprisingly to some) the largest estate agency group in the UK with narrowly more properties than Countrywide
  • Purplebricks now comfortably the most prominent For Sale board in the country
  • Connells’ main brands appear to be faring better than Countrywide’s
  • Two hybrid/ online estate agents, Purplebricks and Express Estate Agency, are in the top ten in both Brand and Group tables
  • Other heavily backed hybrid/ online estate agents are struggling to gain momentum
  • Many of the largest traditional estate agencies have seen a huge drop in available listings over recent years, no greater examples being Countrywide, Connells, LSL and Spicerhaart
  • easyProperty’s listings were taken from their website and then cross-referenced with the major property websites to see if they are currently available for sale. We are confident that the figure of 1,075 is an accurate figure.

http://www.ealeaguetables.co.uk/

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42 Comments

  1. ValueCounts31

    Most comprehensive league table I’ve seen yet. Although they’ve missed out British Homesellers with 340 properties available and Scot House Move 77 properties available  (zoopla data)

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    1. PeeBee

      Not comprehensive then, is it, if they’ve missed out such big players in the Call-Centre Agency League Table…?

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      1. ValueCounts31

        Most comprehensive doesn’t mean comprehensive enough. Does it. On a separate note a portion of these hybrid/online/call centre agents aren’t fixed fee or even low fee providers.

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  2. Simon Bradbury

    These league tables may not be of any interest to the general public – but they make fascinating reading for us ” estate agency nerds”.

    Can the author please stand up and take a bow?

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    1. Robert May

      This isn’t actually very good at all Simon. When it was described as my quality work  I was concerned who was sharing my data. As soon as I saw it I relaxed.

      It does not factor in the duplications  or re-lists or the properties being added and removed on a daily basis to skew the statistics.

      My thoughts are this has been produced to show  either one agency is doing well or to promote the concept online agency is  doing better than it is. Either way this is amateur compared with our reporting which is down to type and outcode level clean listings free of portaljuggling distortions.

      We can identify the best agents to sell  an ex local authority 3 bed semi in Gorwell Estate Forches or Derby right through to country homes with land, fishing rights and a manege But the main aim of our reporting is to auto-hide  any attempts to breach CPR of BPR from our listings. This doesn’t do that and as such has no value other than to the authors or those they are attempting to schmooze.

      Who has a go at me on this will be an indication who’s behind it

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      1. cyberduck46

        Robert,

         

        You tweeted the other day showing a company with 15296 properties for sale on Rightmove and 15272 of them were listed as “Clean For Sale”.

         

        With such a small discrepancy would you not agree that most people are better off using free data which includes all these “doppelgangers”, “bats out of hell”, etc.?

         

        I know you want to sell your software but are you not misleading people by making a big deal about very little?

         

         

         

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      2. Simon Bradbury

        I bow to your very considerable knowledge Robert and thank you.

        Have you any idea who specifically may have produced these figures?

         

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        1. Robert May

          The domain was registered last week, with no details of the owner.  It doesn’t much matter who produced them it is their purpose.  As above, my conclusion was it is someone trying to promote an agency or the whole pay to list industry.

          Whoever it was has inadvertently strengthened the need for there to be a full audit of  the numbers being produced and for the auditing process itself  to be investigated.

          Limited companies have to be audited but any number connected to any of the  listed firms mentioned in that report have to be correct accurate, especially if this is an attempt to influence the share price of any of them or to influence investors in firms not listed  but seeking investment.

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    2. P-Daddy

      Ok hands up….it was the Stig!

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  3. TwitterSalisPropNews53

    As a conveyancer, this league table does not reflect the activity of the estate agents we see across the UK.

    The very best agents we see are independent ones  -whose reputation is key. The public have moved away from chains, and brand names, where the latter used to be assumed as an assured performance badge.

    Best price and customer experience have taken over as the goal.

    Pick a village/town/city, and then ask “Which estate agent is likely to care most, to outperform the others?”

    Do you pick an estate agent who will have central HQ targets to flog their financial products and simply offer the world to get you on their books, or do you pick one who will impress you so much, you tell everyone you know.

    Sure, we still see some expensive properties instruct the usual high value brands, but that is a mistake to automatically associate brand with performance.

     

    Best bet? Ask your conveyancing solicitor who they would recommend, as they know who the best ones are, they work with them all.

     

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    1. AgentV

      I agree wholeheartedly with this. The problem is that as a very small agent, we are often outgunned marketing wise by the high volume agents.
      Very few people in our area do much research when it comes to choosing an agent, they just look at the number of boards up, or the 6 pages of newspaper advertising (which is to sell the agent, not the 200 properties they have on their books).
      As someone who has always cared passionately about getting the best possible sale prices for his clients, it can be very demoralising when it’s so difficult to get that message across to more potential vendors.
       

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  4. AgentV

    Considering that PB is supposed to be made up of individual small businesses, if we had a network of say 2,000 independent agents, still individual but operating under an overall collective ‘umbrella group’ identity, wouldn’t that then be the largest agent in the country?

    Just imagine the collective marketing power, particularly for generating new business, this  network could then have.

    All we would need is a few independents to commit to get it started. It wouldn’t even need any spend at this stage.

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  5. AnotherPlanet365

    So, putting it another way

    14,514 Homesellers have paid circa £1000 (not factoring in extras!), which equates to £14,514,000 – nearly £15 Million Pounds – only to find that they and their home sit there Unsold

    It’s scandalous!

    The Headline in my opinion should read “Homesellers duped into paying almost £15 Million Pounds with the expectation of having their home sold by Purplebricks, only to find their home remains Unsold whilst Purplebricks has either banked their money or locked them into a loan that they have to pay whether their home is sold or not!”

    It’s a modern day scandal in my view. One looks at it and envisages a rather large inverted pyramid with Purplebricks balancing all those Unsold Homes! When will it all come crashing down?

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    1. MrLister

      So PB have 14,000 odd homes up for sale. or as you put it “sitting there unsold”. The other agents (maybe including you) have 90,000 odd thousand “sitting there unsold”. And then there’s the thousands of agents who aren’t on the list and all their unsold properties. What’s your point? Well actually we can see the point you’d like to make.

      As high street agents we need to sit up and take notice and stop pretending that everyone is being conned by PB. They’re not. What these tables show us is that vendors want something different. We might not like it, but they do. Nobody is getting duped, vendors know what they’re getting when they employ Purplebricks. They don’t want to pay high street commissions and they like the convenience of the PB model and the personal service. We need to up our game and face facts, not twist the facts to paint PB as something that they’re not just to make us feel better.

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      1. AgentV

        the convenience of the PB model and the personal service.

        Mr Lister, are you insinuating PB gives a more convenient and personal service than you do as a high street agent?

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        1. Property Pundit

          You wouldn’t believe he claims to be a High Street agent would you (with a partner who is a PB ‘LPE’)?

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          1. AgentV

            Property Pundit

            Wasn’t it the lady who was the high street agent with a partner at PB? Do you think this bit about high street agent is all made up?

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            1. PeeBee

              AgentV

              Nope – ‘MrLister’ is the person.

              Or, at least, his alter-ego, ‘P J’ was the one who first made the claim.

              Lister slipped up with it a week or so ago. 

              Until then, you would be excused for having thought they were two different posters spouting similar 5h!te.

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      2. AnotherPlanet365

        2 points MrLister

        There is no requirement to “make us feel better”.

        The Purplebricks Consumer does NOT know what they are getting, they are misled into thinking they are getting an Estate Agent – they are not, they think they are saving money – they are most often not.

        The Purplebricks Consumer sitting there UNSOLD have effectively burned circa £1000 for Zero, Zilch, Nanna!

        Let’s imagine you are my client. If my company doesn’t sell your house I rightly don’t get paid – that is performance payment in action. Purplebricks starts from the point of NOT having sold your home and very often will NOT have sold your home however WILL have relieved you of £1000 or more – in fact we are led to believe nearer £1500 on average.

        For clarity MrLister you are naive at best if you trot out the following statement as fact – “vendors know what they’re getting when they employ Purplebricks”. Insert the word “think” and then we have a more accurate statement, then we can start to look at the power of marketing and how a Service is portrayed as one thing when it is another.

        Ponder this MrLister – I’ll charge you a £1000 because I promise I can make you fly! You love that idea and I’m promising you something that others can’t provide. I then take you to the White Cliffs of Dover and shove you off, whilst shouting “Fly, You Can Fly” – Hey Ho, You couldn’t! but I don’t care because I have your £1000.

        I’ll leave you with this MrLister “You know what your getting when you employ MrICanMakeYouFly.com”  – really?

        Oh, and “PB Personal Service?” I’ll not stop laughing at that remark for the rest of the day – having endured their transactional communication and sorting out their calamitous/unprofessional transactional service I know that I would receive better service from a ball of dough!

         

         

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  6. J1

    And you are telling me that after spending like they have firms like Yopa, House Simple and Tepilo have only achieved these figures???

    Time to give up

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  7. LettingAgent-PropMan84

    Would be interested to see the stats for the whole of 2017…

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    1. AgentV

      It would also be good to see the totals including SSTC and the ratio of sold compared to available.

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      1. Alison Murray

        Agree 100%, this would give a far more rounded view of each firms performance.   Would be good to see Land Reg stats for actual completions across the year.    Don’t get me wrong, I love stats, lists, data etc but why only show December figs?  There’s a rabbit away here….

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  8. AnotherPlanet365

    What it does confirm is the business model of getting paid upfront to simply list a Homeseller’s Property – Purplebricks need not care one jot whether they sell that home or not, as the statistics show

    Purplebricks are bursting at the seams with listed Property, not having to care whether it sells or not.

    Pity the poor Purplebricks Homesellers – Imagine 14,514 people paying £1000 Upfront for a sledge because the shop owner told them it was a dead cert it would snow, however the snow never came!

    “Purplebricks aren’t just for Christmas – you’ll remember that worthless £1000 plus spent for Life!”

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  9. RealAgent

    And here is the league table for Lettings:

    …………

    8014 My Mum – properties let 5

    8015 PurpleBricks –  properties let 4

    ….

    8020 Easy Property – properties let….err what are they?

     

     

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  10. J1

    Pity the shareholders who are supporting some on line agents’ vanity projects where each instruction is costing around £1000 in marketing spend

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  11. jamesBee

    FAKE NEWS, and  limp journalism

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    1. Peter

      PIE should have a policy of verifying the source or validity of the information. Without such scrutiny, confidence in the accuracy of the article is low.

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      1. Ajax

        The story makes clear from the start that the veracity of the information has not been established

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        1. AgencyInsider

          So, let’s take a wild guess at where you work, Peter and jamesbee. Is it Dexters, YOPA or WeLocate?

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          1. Peter

            The company I work for is not even on the list, thankfully.
             

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        2. Peter

          I just don’t see the point in puplishing something under this criteria. I want to have confidence that what I am reading is accurate. 
          I do not know if this is fake news or not, neither does PIE, so I will not apply any weight to the article.

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  12. surrey1

    It’s no good being big if you don’t know what you’re doing with it.

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  13. GeorgeHammond78

    And as we all know Big is of course always Best, so says Grimm’s Big Book of Fairytales. Roll on April the 1st when we can read some real news.

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  14. olddognewtricks58

    Do we really care? I for one certainly don’t. Let’s focus on our businesses and ensure that we are profitable. I couldn’t care less who is larger. Market leader in our area, that’s all that matters! Merry Christmas

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  15. WGC

    As Alfie Solomons found out in Peaky Blinders last night big doesnt always xxxx small !

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  16. Woodentop

    The brands for all estate agencies have been combined into groups. For example, Ward & Partners, Cubitt & West, Douglas Allen and Pittis are combined to give a grand total for Arun Estates.

     

    This clue would suggest it is someone with more privileged knowledge than the average data collector to know this. Why the need to go to all this time and trouble for nothing and then go into hiding. A whodunit would say “Who is to gain”?

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  17. AnotherPlanet365

    One certainly wouldn’t like to think there is any “underhand” motive for releasing such information which cannot be properly verified or its source scrutinised to confirm its integrity/motive etc.

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  18. Property Paddy

    I’ve gotta say Mr May your comment “Listings is vanity, completions is sanity.” doesn’t mean anything to PB they charge upfront !!

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    1. Robert May

      I knew someone would pick that up. if everyone who listed sold that would be great and correct but with the pay to list model those who don’t sell with a pay to list intermediary has  a greater motivation to say use an estate agent rather than waste your money like I did.

      Parting with cash and getting nothing for it leaves a far worse taste than an agent charging nothing for their failure

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  19. PeeBee

    I actually think there are a couple of interesting stats in these tables.

    Oh – I’ve seen numbers (and more…) displayed like this before.  Someone’s basically taken a great idea they’ve seen a snapshot of and turned into something very, very ordinary and open to rampant misuse.

    The numbers themselves may well be thereabouts correctish based upon what the individual Agencies elect to have listed on their respective choice of portals – but as is being seen to happen, a company can lose or gain a shedload of “listings” in a day which will do nothing other than skew the figures if they are taken at the time that this activity is taking place.  Now we can’t say that this would be the case with this particular source – but we also cannot put total faith in the hope that this isn’t the case, either.

    Speaking so as to say from my anonymous soapbox, it is understandable that anonymous sources are treated with less degree of credibility than those who put their name to their work – although the likes of Messrs. Pryor, Mealham and others of similar opinion that anonymity should be criminalised with a mandatory death penalty have yet to provide a reasonable counter to my suggestion that it is not who the person is that makes a statement; it is what is said that counts.

    There is however the question of agenda.  A bit like an opinion – everyone has an agenda.  Which raises a few questions:

    Is the person’s (or group of people… company… etc) agenda obvious?

    Is there another agenda hiding behind what appears to be the person’s agenda?

    What value does the agenda have to that person?

    What gain do they want to make by satisfying their agenda?

    And the list goes on.  If you know the person, then you might be able to work out the agenda.  Or the person/group/company might play a better game of poker than you do and beat you with a handful of nothing.

    It’s a pity – or a flashing beacon – that the person/people behind the work didn’t want to ‘endorse’ it for the Pryor’s… and PeeBee’s, for that matter… of this world by signing their name to it.  Now we are looking for that agenda.

    SO – let’s look at the really interesting numbers. For the purposes of ease of reading I’m going to round up/down to the nearest 500 or 0.1 percent.

    According to the figures (and assuming they are all present and fairly correct), PB have 14500 ‘available’ listings.

    That’s 74.2% of the sum of Connells – who claim a sale every 7.5 minutes (source: Connells Group website).  Last claim I seem to remember from the PurpleFolk was “a sale agreed every nine minutes 24/7”; and that their “Conversion from instruction to sales agreed 83%” (source: PurpleBricks end-of-year Results presentation 29/6/17).  At the time of that report, they stated that they had 14248 available properties.  Taking the figure in the above results, that would suggest an increase of some 266 properties to their stable in a near 6-month period.

    Doesn’t seem a lot for a company that are supposedly smashing doors out of walls in the marketplace…

    Or 75.3 of Countrywide’s sum total. Not as easy to find their stats – but I’m inclined to think they will be on a par with Connells – such is the nature of these corporate sorts.

    They have 125.7% of the total of the sum of LSL’s brands – two of which, of which according to the figures, contribute 94.1% (?).  LSL exchanged on 27000 properties in 2016 (source: LSL Annual report 2016).  This would suggest that PB should be exchanging on around 33750 – or potentially even more, if their “83%” is currently present and correct.

    However, their recently-released half-year figures indicate some 35000 listings in the six month period leading up to end October alone.

    Funnily enough, in the same document states a market share made up of 16,310 listings…

    And then, we look at all of the ‘disruptors’.

    The sum of available properties with the “top 20 hybrid/ online estate agencies” listed on the report is 28,290. Considering that the company in position #20 has fifty-eight listings, I would surmise that all the rest added together will account for a few hundred – and even when you add in the two that ‘ValueCounts31’ flagged up at the start of the comment thread as missing off the list, they ain’t going to break 30k between them.

    Hey – it’s still quite an achievement – meaning that every High Street Agent is down a couple of listings as a result.

    BUT it makes you wonder where the often shouted five-point-whatever percent of the market claim comes from.

    And when you consider that the total figure for the 20 biggest “disruptors” is only 31.5% of the sum of the seventeen other companies in the “Group” list – maybe I can sleep at night a bit more confidently.

    Now… if the people who kindly brought us the above information had produced a chart for “MOST PROPERTIES HIDDEN DOWN THE BACK OF THE SOFA” –

    – that would be interesting, I’m sure.

     

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  20. AnotherPlanet365

    I note my comment is currently stating “Awaiting Moderation”?
    I would certainly expect the comment to stand as it makes no direct comment against any company however if one is to publish directly and in turn others circulate information which is itself published anonymously then it is right/proper to ensure that the possible implications of any “weight” that is placed on that information, whether positive or negative, is seen in the light of its legal implications under UK Law.
    This type of information on this scale, with these companies named etc must not be viewed lightly if there is any type of underhand motive.
    Suffice to say the Publisher is free to step forward and offer themselves up for scrutiny to ensure that their motives are entirely above reproach.

    Report
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