Foxtons CEO: Renters must move outside of London due to difficulties

Foxtons CEO: Renters must move outside of London due to difficulties
Foxtons CEO: Renters must move outside of London due to difficulties

Foxtons is a London-based estate agency and property management company, founded in 1981. It operates primarily in London and the surrounding areas, offering services such as sales, lettings, property management, and mortgages.

The company is known for its distinctive branding, including the iconic green and yellow Mini Coopers used by its sales force. Foxtons is one of the largest estate agencies in London, with over 50 branches and more than 1,000 employees. In recent years, the company has faced challenges due to a slowdown in the London housing market and increased competition from online estate agents.

However, it remains a prominent player in the London property market.

The CEO of Foxtons, a UK estate agency, has said that renters who are struggling to afford London’s high rents may need to look further afield. This comes as many people have been forced to move to less expensive areas due to the financial impact of the pandemic.

The CEO, who was speaking at a property conference, said that the issue of affordability in London was becoming more acute, and that many renters were having to move to areas outside of the capital in order to find affordable accommodation.

He also highlighted the challenges faced by renters in the wake of the pandemic, including rising rents and a lack of available properties.

The comments come as London continues to be one of the most expensive cities in the world to rent property, with many renters struggling to afford the high cost of living.

Despite this, many people continue to move to London each year in search of work and better opportunities, which has put additional pressure on the city’s housing market.

According to Foxtons CEO Guy Gittins, struggling renters will have to compromise on property type or location and move further out of London due to a mismatch between supply and demand.

Despite rising rents, the company reported a doubling of its annual profits, with its lettings business experiencing strong growth and a revenue increase of over 17%.

According to Foxtons CEO Guy Gittins, the main issue causing renters to move out of London is a mismatch between supply and demand, rather than affordability for the majority of the market. Gittins also attributed the supply and demand challenges to recent policy decisions, which he described as “unhealthy.”

In its update to investors, Foxtons noted that the UK housing market was impacted by interest rate increases and the government’s “mini-budget” last September, which resulted in a drop in buy-to-let mortgage deals and may adversely affect affordability in the housing market.

Foxtons CEO predicted that the market shortage will persist for two to three years but expects sales activity to improve in the latter part of 2023 as mortgage rates decrease and buyer activity increases.

Rental site SpareRoom’s data shows that the number of active renters per available room in London and its surroundings was higher this month, with five renters per room compared to two in March last year and eight in September 2022.

SpareRoom director Matt Hutchinson told the BBC that rents across the UK have hit record highs in the last 12 months, and it is unlikely they will come down unless new supply enters the market. High rents discourage tenants from moving, which exacerbates the problem.

Meanwhile, average UK property values rose by 1.1% in February, according to the Halifax, with reductions in mortgage rates, improved consumer confidence, and a resilient labour market helping to stabilise prices following the falls in November and December.

However, the underlying activity still points to a general downward trend.

Guy Gittins, who became CEO of Foxtons in September 2022 amidst a challenging housing market, made some early decisions to invest in the company’s sales force.

This included purchasing a fleet of green and yellow Mini Coopers, and sending around 100 of the top-performing employees to the Italian ski resort of Courmayeur. Mr. Gittins started his career at Foxtons in 2002 with a salary of £22,000, later becoming the CEO of rival agent Chestertons. His current role comes with a starting salary of £450,000 and a maximum bonus of one and a half times this amount.


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