UK Housing Market Rockets Foxtons' Property Sales Commissions by 41%

Foxtons estate agency has unveiled rocketing property sales and commission as the Help to Buy Scheme and Funding for Lending boosted the housing market.

In Foxtons' interim management statement, from 1 January 2014 to date, incorporating trading results for the quarter to 31 March 2014, property sales commissions rose 41.1% to £17.6m (€21m, $30m), up on last year, driven by significant volume growth in new and existing branches and increasing property prices.

First quarter mortgage revenue of also grew by 53.5%, albeit from relatively low levels in the previous year, to £1.4m.

"We are pleased to report an excellent start to 2014, continuing the trend seen in the second half of 2013. Turnover is well up on the comparative period and margins have been further enhanced as we continue to benefit from the roll out of our centralised business model," said Garry Watts, Chairman at Foxtons.

"As we have made clear previously, the outlook in the longer term will primarily be determined by the availability of housing stock, however, as of today our pipeline is well ahead of last year and gives us confidence in the results for the half year to 30 June 2014."

The group also confirmed that its turnover also increased by 19.2% on the same period in 2013 to £34.1m and that it "continues to create strong cash flow and remains debt free".

Foxtons has opened three new branches so far this year (Greenwich, Beckenham and Earls Court) "all of which are performing in line with our expectations".

There are four more planned, two in May (Stoke Newington and Harrow) and two in the autumn.

The UK housing market has heated up over the last year but there are "early signs" that the brakes are being applied to runaway house prices in London, according to Hometrack.

The property market researcher found that around two-thirds of London post codes saw house prices rise in April. That compares with a six month average of 76% of post codes reporting higher property prices.

Several forecasters have predicted a slowdown in the London property market during 2014.