UK Estate Agents Market Report 2021
“The estate agents market was supported by the stamp duty holiday, which drove a boom in market activity in 2020 and into 2021. This helped offset losses seen in 2020…

UK Estate Agents Market Report 2021

£ 1,495 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

The UK Estate Agents report identifies consumer attitudes towards residential and commercial property markets, stamp duty and affordability in the UK. This market report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry analysis trends for the Estate Agents market in the UK.

Current Market Landscape

The pandemic saw agencies adopt new working practices across the industry, such as the use of virtual tours through the integration with online property portals. Other adaptations favoured the use of property technology, enabling and improving the efficiency of processes that could now be carried out remotely.

  • The estate agents market grew by 5% to £10.9 billion in 2021.
  • There was a 30% increase in the number of transactions that have taken place in 2021, matching 2019 levels of activity.
  • Commercial estate agent activities were estimated to be worth £3.5 billion, accounting for the remaining 32%.

The stamp duty holiday led to a boom in activity in the housing market, with HMRC reporting a peak of almost 200,000 residential property transactions in June 2021. This saw the sector grow despite the major headwind of COVID-19 impacting its ability to operate.

Future Market Trends in Estate Agents 

The boom in house transactions has depleted the stock of available housing, which alongside a decrease in the rate of residential construction caused by supply issues and consequently rising costs, threatens to create a bottleneck in the market as existing homeowners find their choices limited.

This puts an even stronger impetus on using digital practices, as it allows agencies to overcome geographical barriers through the use of virtual tools and digital conveyancing to facilitate the home-buying process between parties at ever greater distances – synergising with consumer demand for larger homes with outdoor spaces at affordable prices.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Industrial market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the estate agents market;
  • Trends and developments in the residential and commercial property markets;
  • The impact of the stamp duty holiday on residential and commercial property market activity;
  • How the pandemic COVID-19 is accelerating existing trends in house preferences;
  • How affordability is shaping the property market activity;
  • How changes to taxation for landlords is driving a professionalisation in the buy-to-let segment.

Covered in this report

Brands: Connells Group, Countrywide, Foxtons, Purplebricks, Rightmove, Zoopla.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Francesco Salau, a leading analyst in the B2B sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The estate agents market was supported by the stamp duty holiday, which drove a boom in market activity in 2020 and into 2021. This helped offset losses seen in 2020 due to the closure of the housing market, and later cautiousness due to uncertainty over the pandemic. Future growth may be limited by a lack of housing stock, making ‘proptech’ more essential than ever to link buyers with sellers in regions that traditionally may have been unattractive, but is made feasible through practices such as virtual tours.

Francesco Salau
B2B Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • COVID-19: market context
          • Economic and other assumptions
          • Executive Summary

              • Impact of COVID-19 on the estate agents market
                • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the estate agents market, 2020-25
              • The market
                • Market size and forecast
                    • Figure 2: Market size and COVID-19 scenario forecast for the estate agents market, 2017-26, (£ billion)
                  • Market segmentation
                    • Figure 3: UK estate agents market size, by segmentation, 2017-21, (£ billion)
                  • Market trends
                    • Housing market trends
                      • Commercial property market trends
                        • Affordability was a key driver of activity
                          • Rise in digital practices spurred on by the pandemic
                            • Market drivers
                              • Looming end of Help to Buy is shifting house builder’s focus to affordability
                                • Pandemic pushes property preferences further in favour of large homes and outdoor spaces
                                  • Taxation changes driving buy-to-let professionalisation via use of limited companies
                                    • Companies and brands
                                      • Industry structure
                                        • Company profiles
                                        • Issues and Insights

                                          • Slowdown in house building and decline in housing stock will bottleneck property market transactions
                                            • Online agents fail to take off despite favourable conditions
                                            • Market Size

                                              • The impact of COVID-19 on the estate agents market
                                                • Figure 4: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the estate agents market, 2020-25
                                              • Stamp duty boost critical to estate agents market recovery in 2021
                                                  • Figure 5: UK estate agents market value, 2017-21, (£ billion)
                                              • Market Segmentation

                                                • Rising house prices push up residential capital values
                                                  • Figure 6: UK estate agents market size by segmentation, 2017-21, (£ billion)
                                                  • Figure 7: UK commercial and residential property capital values, 2015-21, (£ billion)
                                                • Online-only and hybrid estate agents
                                                • Market Forecast

                                                  • Estate agents market to grow to £12.4 billion as adaption to COVID-19 helps transactions continue their recovery
                                                      • Figure 8: UK estate agents market forecast, 2021-26, (£ billion)
                                                      • Figure 9: UK estate agents market forecast by segmentation, 2021-26, (£ billion)
                                                  • Market Trends

                                                    • Stamp duty holiday drives rush of activity in the housing market
                                                        • Figure 10: UK monthly residential property transactions with a value over £40,000, October 2020-21, (number of transactions)
                                                        • Figure 11: Annual change in house prices, Sept 2017 – Sept 2021, (% annual change)
                                                      • House prices
                                                          • Figure 12: UK average residential property price, Sept 2018 – Sept 2021, (£ average price)
                                                        • Commercial property market activity
                                                            • Figure 13: Quarterly number of UK non-residential property transactions, Q1 2016 – Q3 2021, (number of transactions)
                                                          • The pandemic highlighted affordability as a key driver of purchasing activity
                                                              • Figure 14: Mortgage owner to private renter ratio by age group, 2003/04 – 2019/20, (ratio)
                                                              • Figure 15: Change in average house price by UK region, year to June 2020 vs 2021, (% annual change)
                                                            • COVID-19 necessitated digital practices that continue to offer flexibility and improved efficiency
                                                              • Digital conveyancing
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • The end of Help to Buy is driving activity outside of the most expensive regions and pushing the focus on delivering more affordable homes
                                                                    • Figure 16: Private and affordable and rental sector housing as a share of NHBC registrations, 2011-2020, (% share of registrations)
                                                                  • COVID-19 has pushed consumer preferences towards larger properties
                                                                      • Figure 17: Change in UK annual new home registration by house type, 2010 vs 2019 and 2019 vs 2020, (% change)
                                                                    • Changes to tax relief and stamp duty have pushed private landlords out of the market and driven industry professionalism
                                                                    • Industry Structure

                                                                        • Changes in industry structure
                                                                          • Figure 18: Analysis of changes in ‘real estate agencies’ activities, 2017-21, (number of outlets and businesses)
                                                                        • Changes in employment structure
                                                                          • Figure 19: Analysis of the employment structure of ‘real estate agencies’ activities, 2020 and 2021, (number of outlets)
                                                                        • Changes in turnover structure
                                                                          • Figure 20: Analysis of the turnover structure of ‘real estate agencies’ activities, 2020 and 2021, (£’000, number of businesses)
                                                                      • Company Profiles

                                                                        • Connells Group
                                                                          • Recent company activity
                                                                            • Financial information
                                                                              • Figure 21: Financial analysis of Connells Limited, 2016-20, (£ million and % annual change)
                                                                            • Countrywide
                                                                              • Recent company activity
                                                                                • Financial information
                                                                                  • Figure 22: Financial analysis of Countrywide Group PLC, 2016-20, (£ million and % annual change)
                                                                                • Foxtons
                                                                                  • Recent company activity
                                                                                    • Financial information
                                                                                      • Figure 23: Financial analysis of Foxtons Limited, 2016-20, (£ million and % annual change)
                                                                                    • Purplebricks
                                                                                      • Recent company activity
                                                                                        • Financial information
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Financial analysis of Purplebricks Group plc, 2017-21, (£ million and % annual change)
                                                                                        • Rightmove
                                                                                          • Recent company activity
                                                                                            • Financial information
                                                                                              • Figure 25: Financial analysis of Rightmove plc, 2016-20, (£ million and % annual change)
                                                                                            • Zoopla
                                                                                              • Recent company activity
                                                                                                • Financial information
                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Financial analysis of Zoopla Limited, 2016-20, (£ million and % annual change)
                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                  • Further Sources and Contacts

                                                                                                    • Trade associations
                                                                                                      • Association of International Property Professionals Ltd
                                                                                                        • Propertymark
                                                                                                          • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
                                                                                                            • Trade magazines
                                                                                                              • Estate Agent Today
                                                                                                                • Property Industry Eye
                                                                                                                  • Property Professional Magazine
                                                                                                                    • Trade events
                                                                                                                      • Housing 2022 Conference & Exhibition
                                                                                                                        • Housing Technology 2022
                                                                                                                          • The Listed Property Show

                                                                                                                          About the report

                                                                                                                          This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


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