Foxtons benefits from “very strong property sales market”

<p>London estate agency Foxtons has reported an 8.2 per cent rise in pre-tax profits.</p>

London estate agency Foxtons has announced a surge in pre-tax profits for the past year.

The company, which has 52 branches across the UK with the majority being in central London, posted an 8.2 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £42.1 million for the year ending December 31st 2014. Foxtons noted that it was helped by a "very strong property sales market" in the first half of the year which was able to push it through a second half downturn.

A positive performance has allowed Foxtons to press ahead with expansion. The firm said that it plans to open another seven branches during the course of the coming year. It is acting swiftly as it predicted last month that it would not be seeing another increase in profits until after the forthcoming general election in May.

Commenting on the figures, Nic Budden, Foxtons chief executive officer, said: "2014 was a year of contrasting halves. The first half was characterised by a very strong property sales market with transactions reaching their highest levels since 2008. In the second half we saw a sharp downturn in property sales volumes, particularly in Central London.

"We continue to be confident that our organic expansion strategy, together with our strong lettings business, will enable us to grow revenue and profit even in a flat property sales market."

Rising house prices

House prices are continuing to rise across the UK. A recent report from the Halifax showed that while prices dipped 0.3 per cent during February, it contributed to an overall quarterly increase of 2.6 per cent. It means the average cost of a home in England and Wales now stands at £192,372.

The fall in the past month has put the average price back within expectation put forward by industry experts at the beginning of the year.

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