Savills shares jump after UK housing market improves post-election

Savills has seen shares jump after the estate agency said it saw the UK commercial and residential markets pick up after last month’s general election.

The real estate business said its full-year results for 2019 will be at the “upper end” of expectations, following an “excellent” performance in the UK.

It said Brexit uncertainty had restrained UK growth until mid-December, but saw “a strong close to the year as confidence to transact returned to the market”.

The London-listed firm also said it was particularly “resilient” as it faced challenging backdrops in both the UK and Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, Savills said the political unrest had a severe impact on trading from the middle of 2019 and continues to press on performance in the region.

It said that, as a result of the political backdrop, its Asia Pacific region has performed “slightly below” expectations, while the company has also seen an increase in the time taken for its Australian business to bear fruit.

Elsewhere, the company delivered significant year-on-year growth in the US, as well a “strong performance” from its investment management arm.

In continental Europe, trading was broadly in line with expectations, despite declining markets in some countries.

In the trading update, Savills said: “Despite the backdrop of uncertainty, the UK performed well across all business lines, latterly benefiting from improved investor sentiment in both commercial and residential markets.

“Our residential business continued to outperform the overall market conditions, in particular taking share in the core London market.”

Savills said it believes increased political stability in the UK means it “should maintain improved sentiment”, but said it remains cautious until the full impact of Brexit is better understood.

Shares in the company increased by 7.1% to 1,231p in early trading on Monday.