Purplebricks breaks own record as 7,000 homes listed in July

PA

Online real estate agent Purplebricks had its best month ever in July as the UK’s property market started to rebound after lockdown restrictions were lifted.

More than 7,000 homes were listed on the company’s website during the month, bosses said on Monday.

It comes as the business reported an 11% drop in revenue for the year to April 30.

Revenue was flat for the first 10 months of the year, before dropping in the last two as the coronavirus pandemic struck.

“This year has seen some very difficult market conditions with political and economic uncertainty dominating the landscape as a result of both Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic,” said chief executive Vic Darvey.

“But despite all of this, I’m pleased to say that we saw a resilient performance, with revenue decline of only 2% across the group.”

It marks the end of a year of consolidation for Purplebricks, which has pulled out of the US and Australia and sold its Canadian arm.

It has allowed the business to focus its strategy purely on the UK.

Being a digitally focused estate agent helped the company to weather the storm caused by the pandemic, it said.

But the outlook for the second half of this financial year is uncertain, despite a strong restart in the market.

The UK is set to leave the EU at the end of the calendar year, potentially without a deal, which could impact the economy and the housing market.

Peel Hunt analysts Sam Cullen and Clyde Lewis said that the pandemic has pushed more people to shop for homes online, a habit that is likely to stick

“Trading has recovered strongly since the market reopened, July was a record month, but the near-term outlook remains uncertain,” they said.

“We are more optimistic over the medium term, where we believe the pandemic will accelerate the adoption of digital, technologically led agency services.”