The housing market may be showing signs of cooling but estate agents are better off than at anytime in years. Their customers, by comparison, seem more miffed than ever.
Recent research from emoov.co.uk, the UK’s leading estate agency disruptor, tells a story of growing estate agency wealth but in direct parallel with rising tempers amongst the public.
Latest house price statistics from the Nationwide building society report that the average UK home has now beaten the previous 2007 high of £184,131 by almost £5000.
And transactions are increasing too, growing from 932,000 in 2012 to over one million last year. This year, volumes have increased still further with 794,340 sales recorded by HM Land Registry from the 1st January to the end of August, an annualised 1.2m.
The combination of higher prices and more liquidity means that the industry’s total fee pot has increased by 23% in just one year. Estate agents are well and truly coining it again.
If that wasn’t reason enough for home sellers to continue their disdain for our sharp suited property nemeses, it seems that complaints against estate agents are rising just as fast as their commissions are, according to the Property Ombudsman Scheme’s 2013 figures. At 24% up on 2012, the correlation between customer dissatisfaction and higher fees seems pretty compelling.
‘No wonder people have it in for the estate agency establishment’, says emoov.co.uk founder and CEO Russell Quirk. ‘Home sellers are forced to shovel more and more money at them and, in return, are receiving poorer and poorer service. It’s hardly a fair exchange is it? The perception that the average estate agent is unable to justify their charges not only seems to be backed up by hard evidence, but the correlation between rising total fees and growing customer angst is a dynamic that is astoundingly anti-consumer. The house selling public deserve a much fairer deal’.
2014 looks set to see even more house sales complete and still higher prices. And, guess what? The most recent Property Ombudsman figures released just last week for the first half of this year illustrate that complaints are up again at 2828 to the end of June. A hike of 14% on the first half of 2013.