2011 builds momentum as housing market activity increases
26 July 2011
National estate agency and property services group Connells today announces pre tax profits of £16.9 million for the first half of 2011.
The result comes despite a subdued housing market at the end of 2010 and into this year, with Connells’ figures showing growing interest from buyers and sellers as 2011 has progressed.
Connells experienced a notable upturn in activity in the second quarter of 2011 compared to both the start of this year and the same period in 2010. In June alone, Connells recorded an 11 per cent increase in second hand sales*, a nine per cent increase in the number of properties it has on the market and a 38 per cent increase in the number of mortgages it arranged compared to June 2010.
“Our results at the end of June 2011 understate a performance and market that has improved as the year has progressed,” says Stephen Shipperley, Group Executive Chairman, Connells. “Connells enters the second half of this year with a substantially increased sales pipeline for new homes, second-hand homes and mortgages than we had in January 2011. Our continued investments into areas like Mortgage Services are delivering substantial returns as demonstrated by increasing our mortgage sales by over a third since this time last year.”
Along with Mortgage Services, where Connells have made a considerable investment into increasing the number of consultants in the branches, the Group has continued to invest in new branch openings, expanding its lettings capabilities, new divisions including the Estate Agency Sales Centre based at its head office in Leighton Buzzard and acquisitions such as the recent joint venture with LMS. In 2011, Connells has invested nearly £1 million into new premises for its Connells Asset Management business and the growing Estate Agency Sales Centre.
Connells has also seen significant upturn in new homes sales as a result of a number of business wins this year. In the second quarter of 2011, it recorded a 44 per cent increase in sales for new homes compared to the same period in 2010.
“Connells’ experience and breadth of services continue to put us at the forefront of estate agency,” Stephen continues. “We intend to maintain our market-leading position and continue providing high quality advice and expertise to customers regardless of fluctuations in the market.
“At the start of the year, we envisaged a gradual improvement across the housing market as the year progressed and this is what we have seen, particularly in the last couple of months,” says Stephen. “Connells will be building upon this recent growth and utilising opportunities through the fantastic people we have in the business and ongoing investment.”
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Notes to editors
* Not including new build sales
About the Connells Group:
Founded in 1936 and comprising of 470 branches nationwide, the industry-leading Connells Group is the most profitable UK estate agency network. In addition to operating under the Connells brand, the Group trades under other well-known local names including Allen & Harris, Bagshaws Residential, Barnard Marcus, Brown & Merry, Fox & Sons, Jones & Chapman, Manners & Harrison, Roger Platt, Shipways, Swetenhams, William H Brown and Sharman Quinney. As well as residential property sales and lettings, the Group has a comprehensive range of B2C and B2B services including new homes, mortgage services, conveyancing, EPCs, surveying, corporate lettings, asset management, land & planning, LPA receivers, auctions and relocations. The Connells Group is consistently named Best Large Estate Agency at the Estate Agency of the Year awards, winning the top prize for four of the past six years. It is also highly acclaimed in the New Homes category, winning Gold five times in the last six years, and in the Financial Services category for which it currently holds the Gold prize. For more information, please visit www.connells.co.uk