Foxtons profits plunge as London housing market stalls

Estate agency Foxtons has seen profits collapse as sales activity in London plummets to "near historic lows".

The group said full-year pre-tax profit tumbled 65% from £18.8 million to £6.5 million in 2017, while revenue slumped 11% to £117.6 million.

Boss Nic Budden said: "We are pleased to have delivered a performance in line with market expectations.

"However, sales activity in the London property market is near historic lows and this had a significant impact on our overall performance in 2017."

The group's sales division saw revenue drop 23% to £42.6 million, which it said was a result of "continued market weakness causing lower transaction volumes".

As well as property market slowdown in the capital, Foxtons is also grappling with the fallout from a stamp duty hike in 2016 on buy-to-let properties and second homes.

Mr Budden added: "Looking ahead, we expect trading conditions to remain challenging during 2018, and our current sales pipeline is below where it was this time last year."

Revenue from lettings was down 3% at £66.3 million due to downward pressures on market rents, Foxtons said.

But the company said it will focus on growing its lettings arm, which is described as "less cyclical" than sales.

Efforts to tackle its costs base also saw the firm book a £2.3 million non-recurring charge.

Mr Budden said: "The cost actions we have taken and our net cash position mean we are well placed to withstand these conditions and make the investment we have identified.

"We are confident that our high-touch approach to customer service and knowledgeable people delivers tangible results for customers differentiating us from the competition.

"The London property market has attractive long-term characteristics and our brand strength, coverage and approach, position us well to manage through the current market uncertainties and take advantage of any future market recovery."