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Online agents take a nibble out of the high street with 61% growth – but still have just 6% of the market

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Online agents increased their market share by over 60% at the end of last year while high street agents saw their business dip.

However, despite the sharp rise in online agents’ exchanges, they still started this year with only 6% market share.

The new figures also suggest that almost as many properties were withdrawn from the market as were sold in the final three months of last year. With fall-throughs added in, more deals failed than exchanged.

Analysis by data company TwentyCi – based on sources such as agent and portal property listings and the Land Registry – found that the market share of online agents was 6.06% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, up from 3.76% a year before, an increase of 61.09%.

In contrast, high street agents saw their market share drop 2.39% to 93.94%.

The figures are only based on exchanges during the fourth quarter of 2017 which show that of 241,975 exchanges at the end of 2017, 227,301 were from high street agents and 14,674 from online.

This compares with a total of 239,652 exchanges in the final quarter of 2016, made up of 230,630 from high street agents and 9,022 from the onliners.

The data also suggests exchanges were up 1% year on year in the fourth quarter, with average house prices increasing annually to £298,000.

The volume of new property listings on the market was also up 2.2% in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year, with a slight dip in price, the report showed.

On a regional basis, Wales was the only region to have experienced an increase in property exchanges during the fourth quarter, up 5% to 13,215, also the highest annual increase at 11%, while the north-east was at the bottom of the tables with a 4% annual drop to 9,156 exchanges.

During the quarter there were 242,000 exchanges and 243,000 properties sold subject to contract, but there were also 224,000 withdrawn from the market and 54,000 fell through.

When it comes to the type of buyer, the report also found the over-65s, dubbed the “silver economy”, had 31% more exchanges annually in the fourth quarter, while millennials – those aged 18 to 35 – had 17% fewer.

Colin Bradshaw, chief customer officer at TwentyCi, said: “After the turbulence that followed the Brexit vote in 2016, we’re seeing a much calmer landscape for the UK housing market.

“We are not seeing any seismic shifts year-on-year and the huge spikes in house prices that we’ve seen in recent years appear to have stabilised.

“The good news is that we’re seeing a marked increase in people at every stage of the home mover process, from the initial stages of planning, right through to completion, demonstrating positive movement year-on-year despite the slow economy.”

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Source:: Online agents take a nibble out of the high street with 61% growth – but still have just 6% of the market