‘Brexit isn’t helping’ – profits dive 18% at Savills

has posted an 18% drop in half-year profits after sharp declines in commercial and residential deals, and warned that the deadlocked Brexit negotiations made it hard to make predictions for the rest of the year.

Residential transactions fell 7% in , and 10% outside the capital, in the six months to 30 June. However, the average value of London property sold by Savills rose 16% to £3.2m and was up 3% in the regions to £1.2m.

Overall transactional revenues were flat, hit by a slowdown in the UK commercial business as last year’s large deals were not repeated. The firm’s profit before tax dropped to £26.7m from £32.4m a year earlier.

Jeremy Helsby, the chief executive, said: “We had a slow start to the year, we had the ‘beast from the east’; the summer is always quiet and the whole Brexit scenario is not helping us.”

But he said he was “cautiously optimistic”, noting that reservations in July were slightly up on last year.

It follows a long period of falling house prices in London, particularly at the top end, and Helsby said: “We are seeing more realism creep in and that’s when you get deals done.” In June the company sold three homes worth more than £30m that had been sitting on its books for 12 months.

However, the property company cautioned: “Ongoing political and economic uncertainty created by the negotiations to leave the EU make it difficult to predict market volumes for the rest of the year.”



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