Highest for five years

Ten estate agents closing every week as clients go online

Scottish rent and homes for sale

Estate agents ‘need to adapt to a changing market’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Ten estate agents are going bust across the UK every week, according to new research.

Property management firm Apropos by DJ Alexander said 371 businesses (348 in England and Wales and 23 in Scotland) have entered formal insolvency proceedings in the first nine months of 2019.

If the trend continues the total will reach 498 for the year – the highest annual figure since 2014 when 522 real estate businesses folded.

The Scottish figure is likely to be 30 for the year, almost double the 2018 figure of 17, but the second lowest annual number for the last decade, suggesting the sector is in reasonably good health in Scotland.

David Alexander, managing director of Apropos, said: “These figures highlight the impact that a declining high street, coupled with a changing marketplace, is having on the traditional estate agency sector.

“The specific issue for the estate agency sector is how to remain relevant in a market that is shifting relentlessly online. Ensuring you offer an appropriate and vital service to your clients is now not just important it is essential.

“Customers under 40 run their lives through their phones, tablets and computers. This group would never consider going into an estate agents’ office for information and they are the future, so the market must shift to cater for this group.”

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